Friday, November 13, 2009
So much of my after school time has been dedicated these weeks to thoughts about limits, and how to become more consistent in the environment that I've been looking at the classroom through a focus perhaps a little narrow. What a break I had today, when I sat back more, observed more, tried to influence things less, enjoyed myself, listened, and appreciated all the minor/major things that so easily go unnoticed when you work with little children. I enjoyed myself with the children so much today.
I have to say that the change in perspective has to do with having watched "Where the Wild Things Are" last night. What an excellent reminder of what it's like to be a child going through difficult times at home. The producers and director were bold enough to try to present the story from the point of view of a 9 year old (it could have easily been a 5-6 year old) without having to filter the experience into a completely coherent adult viewpoint. I recognized so much of the raw emotion that I see in some of the children at school. The abundance of emotion and at the same time confusion, the trying to make sense of things that you can't possibly understand yet... I cried and cried thinking of what some of my own wild things in the classroom are going through in their little lives, and of my own experience as a child from a divorced home- what a difference it can make if someone just listens and connects without judging.
I sit at child's eye level all day long in the classroom on my little stool, I see what the children see, but I forget every so often that they are new, overwhelmed, abundantly emotional, intensely creative (each in their own unique way), and longing to be understood.