Thursday, 23 June 2011


Oh my, today has been a bit of a challenge... i've been at work and had stomach cramps and there was drilling into concrete outside my office ALL DAY. I was feeling kinda rubbish (am at home now with red wine and gilmore girls and a cuddly warm sadie-cat, so all is right with the world), so rather than do work where I had to think I did reading and researching instead and wrote notes to myself that went something like - coffee playdough, lightbox, waterbeads...

I found this great post on teacher tom about taking risks as a child. I love this bit:

And it goes beyond physical risk taking. Now is the time to practice performing or speaking in front of an audience (generally listed by Americans as a fear greater than death),now is the time to learn about being accepted and rejected by friends, now is the time learn to deal with disappointment, fear, and even death. Our job as adults is to not help children avoid these things, but rather to help them stop for a moment, assess the risks, plan for the potential consequences, eliminate the unnecessary risk, mitigate the inherent risk, and then pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and get on with their lives of doing.

And then reading Teacher Tom led me on to a new school opening in San Francisco in September called Brightworks which looks amazing.... I loved this post about how important :it is for the teachers (or collaborators are they are called) to get to know the children:

people often don’t find that sense of support from an adult or mentor who knows them well until they get to college or even grad school. Teachers are unable to spend time really getting to know students on a deeply personal level and understand their strengths and weaknesses simply because they have to manage a classroom of twenty to thirty students with intense amount of pressure from standardized tests and curriculum demands.

In my job I am really aware of this, and would really like to get to know the children who visit my sessions more and also to employ a more Montessori approach (as I've mentioned before).  I don't really know how to go forward with this though, as the sessions I run are mainly drop-in and although there are some children who come to the sessions again and again, a lot of them I will just meet that once. Also there are a lot of children (on average about 70 a day, although can be as much as 170 a day - and they are there with their parents so it's not like I have to look after them, but I often feel I could, or would llike to do more) and just one of me... I do know that I can't expect to be like a Montessori school and that the drop in art and craft sessions I run are a different kind of thing, but I would like to have more of that Montessori 'feel' and ethos to them. An impossible task? ha, perhaps. anyone got any tips?

I also came across play at home mom blog too which has lots of great stuff on. All the pictures I have used in this post are from there.x

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