I'm not an artist, but I'd like every child in my class to think of themselves as one. There are certain foods I do not like (canned tuna fish for instance)- but I want each child who sits down at the table with me to feel brave enough to try something new that they did not like at all yesterday. I hated math as a student, gave up on my own number sense when I was six, and yet I think about math and how to incorporate problem solving and mathematical reasoning into meaningful play activities so these children will feel competent when asked to solve word problems in high school. I am not a scientist, but I'd like to instill an awe of the natural world and intrinsic motivation to understand how things work, are made, die and are recreated in new forms. No, I am not an artist. I am a woman, a sister, a partner, a step parent, an aunt, a friend, and a preschool teacher who believes that when a child creates anything out of paper, dirt, twigs, tape or air it should be validated, celebrated and hung on the wall.
I will provide the materials my students need, to experiment, to play, to create, to begin the life long process of discovering the world and how they fit into it. I will model open, honest, and non biased communication and conflict resolution skills to the best of my ability. I will continue to remind children that if someone does not want to play? it doesn't mean they aren't your friend and it's okay to play alone or with someone else for a little while. Sometimes, you can be your own best company.
I deeply respect the childhood of these young people. I am grateful and I am so very lucky to come to work everyday and to sit at the circle with fifteen four and five year olds. If you're happy and you know it?
Clap your hands.