By: Holly Beckert
“Our image of the child is rich in potential, strong, powerful, competent and most of all connected to adults and other children" ~Loris Malaguzzi
First, it’s a little spark that you see in their eyes,
Next, it’s their little hand reaching for yours directing you over to see something “quick, right now!”
Before you know it it’s their little body running full speed into your arms upon arrival.
It’s a picture drawn just for you.
It’s in the moments you spend together each day.
It’s when they call you “mom” and then blush and say oops, I meant “Miss Holly”
It’s when they come in with something exciting to show you from home because they just knew you’d like to see it.
It’s showing you an acorn, a rock, a stick, some animal tracks, a broken toy.
It’s playing quietly by themselves but looking back now and then just to make sure you are there.
It’s a long story about their weekend, a booboo they got, the last time they went to the library, when something funny/silly/scary happened.
When they trust you with all of their feelings, happy or sad, angry and disappointed, messy feelings, like they say, “warts and all”.
It’s truly being able to be themselves.
It’s trusting you, looking up to you, enjoying and resting in your time together.
It’s the children truly knowing, truly seeing, truly feeling that the teachers are here for them, the classroom belongs to them, that we are supporting who they are as individuals and we don’t want to change a single thing about who they are. This is the twinkling magic we strive for in our relationships with young children.
Because this is what matters, the children come into our space, leaving their families for maybe even the very first time.
There is nothing as important, nothing, as ensuring these children feel they belong, they matter, they are capable of anything. That our trusted relationship is the foundation from which all learning will emerge.
Here’s what they don’t need: top of the line materials, carefully scripted and crafted lessons teacher-directed in the name of “kindergarten readiness”, forced participation.
These little people come into our lives for such a short time and what we do with that time matters. Let’s choose to put relationships first. Achieve those sparkling, glittering, twinkling feelings and you’ll know you’re on the right track. It’s truly amazing what emerges when you do!
Holly Beckert and Dawn Irwin are moms, early childhood educators, and advocates. Please enjoy reading all about our adventures inside and outside of our classroom!