Teaching and learning from preschoolers.
I was just thinking about this today. It's what I used to do. "Keep them busy so they don't have time to think". This was one of the worst things I ever heard another educator say. We want them to think! We want them to problem solve! We want them to communicate - or learn to communicate. It's hard work. But it's our work. It's our job to model how to work with others. Now, I give them time. They have time to play. They have time to think! And it's a whole lot more interesting and a whole lot more work for us teachers. It's more work than breaking the day down & keeping them busy.
So well expressed!
NZ, it takes courage to say what you did. I see something similar happening in early years classrooms with lots of transitions. They still call themselves "play-based", but I find them to be similar to traditional programs because of what you described. Extended periods of uninterrupted play lead to what Teacher Tom described. Soooo nice to hear the stages of playing together broken up like that. It's true, there is almost always that final phase of cooperation if you just wait for it. I do believe that at the end of the day children want to get along with others and will find a way of doing so when allowed to work and learn together to make it happen. So nice that there are places where they can practise that hard work. Thank you, Tom!
This is an incredible post: listen to what they are saying. I have to allow things to get messier, when my daughter's friends come over. We just moved here, they haven't started yet--but when they do ....Thank you for this incredible post. Marian