I will catch up. This is possible.
Everyone I talk to in the field and at school - they all agree with me. Placement semester is a gong-show. We have so much to do! A full course load + two days a week of placement + jobs to help us bolster our much appreciated but not-quite-adequate student loans = a lot to do. Not to mention homework, projects and papers.
So the academic powers-that-be invented Reading Week, so that we can attempt to catch up on everything and not become blubbering basket-cases.
HOWEVER, if you're nerdy like me, and get obsessed with all you're learning and immerse yourself in extra projects to explore and inquire even further, and go to your placement on your break so you don't lose connection with the kids (lose your place in placement) because really, is two days a week enough to learn all that this opportunity presents? And read inspiring books and articles and blogs that get you even more excited, ever more sure that you made the right choice, even though your brain feels like it's overheating sometimes.
Then, OH THEN, you need to remember to breathe. And make space. And not get too thrashed up over things. And that way you - I mean I - will become the teacher I want to be and not a burnt-out bonglehead.
And then, when I am that teacher that I want to be, I'll go on to maybe inspire a kid who'll in turn go on to invent a time-machine or something that will enable us to get all the things we want/need to get done in the time allotted to us, or add a couple of extra days onto the week. Or something.
Anyways. in my readingreadingreading, I have bumped into something I like thinking about - in my Creative Arts course text Art & Creative Development for Young Children by Robert Schirrmacher and Jill Englebright Fox (2009), in the chapter about designing early childhood art programs they talk about 4 important elements to include. I think they're all really important -
1.sensory experiences - situations that engage and enliven kids through stimulating all of their senses
2. beautiful and creative experiences - exploring nature, culture and art to create a relationship with beauty
3. time, space and materials for making art - provide a place and long enough periods of uninterrupted time for kids to express themselves, and enough interesting materials to explore and play with
4. an introduction to the world of art, artists and a variety of art forms and styles - what is art? Who are artists? Why do they do it? Beginning to ask these questions, even in early learning, is useful and important.
I really enjoy thinking about this, and picturing how to shape curriculum to incorporate them. Starting to understand different ways of thinking about curriculum, from the very structured plans that seem to be expected in our school systems here, to the more almost philosophical stances, open-ended questions or points of inquiry that seem to underlie emergent curriculum.
OK - I gotta get back to homework. BREATHE and DIVE.