January 20, 2021
On my desk I have three containers of playdough. Sometimes I roll purple balls and squish them between my fingers or flatten a yellow ball I’ve created and push textures into it. It helps me to think. This time of the year I need it more than ever as I begin to rethink my next season of Seedlings.
When I was learning to become a teacher I always promised myself that I would never become an educator who repeated the same types of lessons year after year. I’ve kept my promise. For almost seven years I have reshaped my program based upon what is best and relevant for children at a specific time. Reshaping the program is a lot of work but it is worth the effort.
Sometimes revaluating whether the kids and I spend more time in the woods exploring rather than doing a craft is what gets reworked. I imagine locations that might encourage the children to value what is right in front of them. This takes finesse and a belief in what I acknowledge as a worthwhile experience for molding impressionable minds.
As I review what existed last season, the comments from parents and kids, photographs, and memories, I realize what needs to be added or taken away. The way a sculptor removes or adds clay to create or elicit a reaction from the viewer.
When Seedlings resumes in March the playdough at my desk is breathing a sigh of relief after a thorough workout. But don’t worry playdough, I’ll be back!