If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Leave well enough alone. All cliches we’ve heard countless times. But you know what? Chiches exist for a reason. They’re true. So sometimes as a teacher, when the dynamic in the room is positive, or calm, or when the children are intently focused on something……don’t rock the boat!
So when I noticed 3 of my very active boys sitting on the patio playing with ramps the other day and realized it had been at least 5 minutes since they moved, I made an executive decision- I was going to do everything in my power to not change the dynamic they had working. As a preschool teacher, redirecting kids away from an interesting activity is not normally standard operating procedure. However, that is exactly what I begin to do here. I grabbed the camera, moved my chair near the boys, asked my co-teacher to try and engage the other 6 kids, and redirected children toward other things when they sauntered our way.
So 20 minutes in I know I have something really special here. These boys are delegating jobs – ramp holder, ball roller, ball fetcher. They are taking turns, showing patience, persistence and enthusiasm. They are counting, comparing ball speed, changing the angles on the ramp, using their legs as tunnels and basically having a “cause and effect” field day. These boys are 2 years old.
40 minutes in. I am amazed and fascinated by these kids. They are completely absorbed and using such positive, mature social-emotional skills. Why would I EVER want this to end?? This becomes my “group activity” for these 3 for the day. Did they join the other 6 kids in singing songs and reading books that day? No. But did they accomplish a level of play that some children twice or three times their age can’t achieve consistently? Yes.
As a teacher, sometimes your job is to not rock the boat.