The Magic in Messy Moments
Timi Mathai, EC Teacher
There are so many wonderful aspects about working with children. They are kind, adventurous, imaginative, creative, and naturally eager to explore and learn. As a teacher, I want to foster these traits. I find that one of the best ways to encourage growth is to also be adventurous, imaginative, and creative myself. However, these traits come more naturally to the children then they do to me.
In the classroom, I find myself scheduling every moment of the day. However, I often ask myself, am I doing my best? How can I add to the children’s learning experience? The answer is to stop obsessing about “planning teaching moments” and simply be more present with the children.
In art, sometimes it is best to forget the clock and allow the children to paint, glue, glitter and stamp for as long as their hearts desire. In order to remain present with my students, I even join in art projects, creating my own alongside them.
As an early childhood teacher, it is important to develop consistency through a routine schedule. However, when you realize that the students have been working on an art project for 10 minutes (and having a blast) and we are running out of time for this project, I remind myself to take a step back and breathe. We don’t always need to stay on schedule.
The beauty and joy children discover in these creative explorations are the precious moments where my students truly grow and become their own person. For me, these moments are magic and remind me of why I love to teach.