Sunday, July 17, 2011

Watch your words!

As an Early Childhood Education College Instructor who visits student on their practicums there are few phrases I hear all too frequently that send me into orbit ......

1. "Use your walking feet"....... really? I don't know about you... but I only have one set of feet and they run and walk and hop and skip.....why don't we just ask children to slow down and walk?  What if we design the environment so they can't run where we don't want them to?  It is not about their feet but about how they are using them.... don`t mislead them!

2. "Use your inside voice"...... how about "You don't need to shout, I can hear you when you talk to me".  That would mean we would actually need to listen and not be shouting ourselves....some teachers use their very loud voices to ask children not to use theirs........ ironic and disrespectful.  Some people are louder than others, sometimes it is necessary to shout but again what we want children to do is control their behaviour so that is what we should ask them to do.

3. "Click - turn on your listening ears".......seriously??? We are leading children to believe there is a switch they need to turn on manually in their ears in order that their ears can listen.  What utter nonsense.....and if you further believe that children will magically listen to your tedious badly read story because use asked them to click a fictitious switch in their ears then... you ....... better hope I am not your instructor!

4. "We play nicely with our Friends" or any other sentence that automatically suggests that all the children in the group are our "friends".  In many ways I think this is the most subversive phrase as it sets children up emotionally.  I know saying "kids" is not very respectful but what is wrong with children? And to devalue the word ``friend`` is a great disservice to children.   You are not necessarily friends just because you share a workplace with someone so why suggest that this would be true for children.

All of this came to mind as I was musing that I don't get (or take) enough time to put on my "thinking cap"...... ha ha...... just another way to justify why I don't take time to think deeply about or meditate on things that are on my mind..... There are a couple of things that I have been mulling over for weeks or months now and I really feel the need to wrestle with them as topics and their impact on my life.  I get so caught up in my own biz-ness that I never complete my own thought process and thus never reach a resolution.  And this keeps me awake at night.

So in this "quieter" time of "Summer" I am attempting to sort through some things and you will see my musings on my blog - I hope they are more than half-formed thoughts...... maybe if I use my walking feet, listening ears and inside voice and find my thinking cap then all my friends will enjoy what I have to say!

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