After yesterday's post, you'd expect more harsh ravings about how bad it is over here, but today I am feeling decidedly mellow. And I'm feeling better.
Is it the sweet, sweet pages and pages and PAGES of educational theory, history and philosophy that I've been reading and trying to understand for these last papers, or the copious amounts of chamomile tea that I've been consuming to try to wrestle first a stomach flu and then a cold into submission, or the fact that the sun has shone for the last four days straight (four days I've been cooped up inside, I might mention - either banging my head away at said papers, in class endeavouring to follow what the prof was saying through the miasma of illness, or sleeping off that miasma, you choose they're all inside)? That sentence was long and convoluted enough for you to lose track of what that question mark was about. Why am I feeling so mellow?
Not sure, but sure glad it's stopped by.
Reading about play today, folks, since the last legs of this cold kept me away from the kiddies at placement AGAIN. Joan Almon wrote at length - and I mean long, for an article at 35 pages - about the importance of play. She's a Waldorf kindergarten wonder-star, part of the Alliance for Childhood, and describes play in her wonderfully long article that "creative play is a central activity in the lives of healthy children"(Almon, 2003, p.1) That's on page one, and the rest of it talks about the importance of making sure preschool is place where kids can play, as play is central to small humans becoming fully developed humans. She goes on to make a pretty strong case, as if a stronger case was needed than the one we already have. High stakes testing? Not good for kids or learning. Business models for education? Not good for kids or learning. Play? AWESOME for kids and learning. I'm paraphrasing - but that's what she's saying.
And I guess that's another reason I feel mellow. I am DOWN with these ideas. These are the ideas I live and breathe, and am readying to defend from an informed, academically backed point of view for, I imagine, THE REST OF MY LIFE.
From what you all out there in the classrooms everyday are telling me, it still needs defending. I'm DOWN with that too - to join with all you cool cats, you exhausted-from-the-demands-and-pressures-of-ridiculous-bureaucracies kittycats on the front lines of our children's chances. I'm IN. I'm DOWN. And I'm relaxed and ready and ripe.
I also have THREE and a HALF more years before I get MY OWN CLASS, survive my first year out there on my own. But, still feeling like an ally in the struggle. Learning all I can get into my head and heart to win over the folks who think that factory-izing our kids is the way to make a workable world to another way of thinking.
MeeeeOW! Chamomile all day is GOOD STUFF.