Thursday, December 29, 2011

A little bit of this, and that

I have several of these sweet little heart orname nts, bought from Value Village, one year, and I use them along with other child friendly (unbreakable) decorations on the tree in the room where I work. My children are free to take them off and put them back on as many times as they wish.

I've been enjoying reading the posts of several of my favourite bloggers, in the past few days. (In truth, I find every blog I have encountered to be a "favourite", but there are too many for me to read on a daily basis. : )

I was so impressed to find that there were energetic individuals posting over this post-holiday time.I tend to be abit tired over the holidays - catching up on rest after the buildup. I love the preparations for Christmas, and the music, stories, art, lights, and general fun and merriment; but in my family we have a quiet day on Christmas Day. This year, my son, Paul and I went to the new "Mission Impossible" movie, on the afternoon of Christmas Day; and then we came home and made a small, but delicious Christmas meal .I haven't quite developed an acceptable way to spend Christmas - after a few losses in my family, and not being a great socializer in my personal life.

I never thought I would go to a movie on Christmas Day, but we did last year, and then now, again. Interestingly, there was quite a large turnout, and I didn't feel too bad about doing this.

I tend to take a few days to somewhat get back to myself after this holiday, as I tend to feel losses more so at this time than others. Please do not think I am looking for you to feel badly for me; but this is my honest experience. I know that I am not alone, in trying to find a way to get through Christmas Day. And really, I love my life, and my work.

I bought 2 of these plastic balls this fall, and filled them with "gems", and they create a nice effect. One of my children calls them "bubbles".

But, back to the interesting blog posts I've enjoyed reading - I so appreciated reading, and thinking again about the work of teaching young children, and feeling re-inspired.

Teacher Tom, has an interesting post today, about some directions education has been going in the States, which is not really child appropriate. He wrote about how he resists these forces by continuing to teach in the right and good ways he does.

I found myself reflecting on how all the bloggers I read do the same, in sharing and talking about the wonderful teaching each person does. There is surely great hope and power in all this

 I feel that in my small way, I too contribute to the positive forces for good in early childhood education. One of my favourite ways to teach my young children is through play. Sometimes when I sense a gap, I will  actively begin play, and see where the children take it.

The past few weeks, we have had little snow, and our play yard has actually seemed abit barren, with the frozen ground, some ice, and just not much else.The children don't want to wear their mitts, but still do need them, and there tends to be abit of standing around, feeling miserable over mitts, and hats, and not much to look at or play with.

I know this sounds quite dispririting and dreadful, and I know I should have come up with many different creative things we could do outside. But the lack of snow seems to have thrown me and my co-workers for abit of a loop. I really was about the only person who did venture out to this "no man's land" with my children.because it just looked so dreary, and there was so much to do inside where it was bright and cheery.

However, we did go out, and after standing around my children soon began to discover sticks, leaves, sleeping ladybugs, and as all children will,  began to just move and explore.This is always the moment when I know we were so right to get out, and when I feel all the stresses and tensions leave our bodies.

One enjoyable and fun play I initiated in the past few weeks, was "Let's tow you out of the mud". We have several wonderful riding toys, and large plastic cars, and when I noticed a child just sitting in one (which the children will often do, and that is okay too), I asked them "Are you stuck in the mud?', and then suggested I might tow them out. So I "became" a tow truck, driving along a circuitious way to get to the child, and then "backed up" all the way saying "beep,beep,beep", (I think you get the picture), and pulled the child out.

I just love the slightly bemused look children get when I play like this with them, and then the look of engagement as they "get it", and start to play. I am abit of a ham, when it comes to playing with my children, and it's one of my favourite parts of my work.

I come by my calling to work with young children "honestly", I think. My best memories of my own childhood, are of the fun I got up to with my two younger brothers, who tended to look up to me, for direction. We just had so much fun outdoors in those days.

We were also blessed with a mother who made sure we got outside everyday, no matter the weather.

So, to get back to the present, I have most of this week between Christmas and the new year off. Our center is open at this period, but we had the option to take time off because our enrollment tends to be quite low over the holidays.I did work, yesterday, and now back at home. I'm taking the time to rest, and reflect, and recharge

.In the New Year, my entire group will change, as our daycare center has decided to go to "mixed age groupings", or "family groupings". This will be interesting; and as with all change it will also be exciting, and a little stressful for the children. I'll be glad I think, that I had some down time before going into all this.


Tess Michaels said...

Thanks for the post. Christmas can be a mixture of feelings for a lot of people. Personally I try and ignore it and have a quality R & R.
I do believe there is a trip you can book in Australia that moves you around the world so your always just before Christmas in the varying time zones until you arrive back in Australia just after new Years Eve. VoilĂ ! Problem solved (of course you need a couple of thousand dollars). Possibly just family members you don't want to napalm, a few good books/DVD's, chocolate and smoochy cat. Much cheaper.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi, Tess,
Thanks for dropping in to read, and for your comment.
Well, I've never heard of the travel package you mentioned, I know sometimes I've thought it would be fun to go somewhere very warm, and different for the holiday. But, cost is a factor, of course. LOL
I hope that you are having a good, restful break.

Kierna C said...

I love this post Brenda- it is so honest and true. Probably more people dread this season than look forward to it! I love that you stuck with the idea of getting outside too, I know it is miserable is the children are unhappy at first - and believe me everyone has some of those children who would never, ever choose to go outside. I'm going to share this post on my FB page as I love it so much. You are so right about us all trying to do our best for the children in our care - it's what we have to do, be their advocates until they are old enough to stand up for themselves.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thank you for this compliment.
Take care,