|On any given day, this could be a caterpillar tree in my world!|
I am surrounded by optimists who believe in themselves & their capabilities, if they fall they get up again & keep on trying. They know that practice makes perfect & that when you do master walking along a plank for the first time, you have to try it again & again until you can run along it.
These sort of things are fairly typical things I get to enjoy as a nursery teacher.
A child finding some bark off some of the tree stumps & announcing it to be 'pineapple', some others around her accepting this & gathering enough 'pineapple' to have a whole shop! Then taking it over to the (unused) fire grill, gathering some sticks & cooking the pineapple.
Children busy in 'the forest' (this is what we call the former grassy area of the playground) cooking some soup for a witch, as you do, with Christmas tree branches & water in a cauldron because everyone knows witches like tree branches.
Or using the planks & crates to create 4 walkways from the sand pit to the playground & trip trapping over them as billy goats with the odd child popping up from underneath being a troll.
We have a crate full of sticks for the children to play with yet for some reason 1 stick in particular is the most popular & the 3 minute timer is in constant use when we are outside as children negotiate turns with this precious resource. To my adult eye it is a stick, to them it is so special it is worth fighting over.
But I think the aspect of my job that I really enjoy the most is that most of the children are still at a preoperational phase. This term used by Piaget covered the whole egocentric outlook of young children but I am referring more to the animist stage they are at - inanimate objects can have feelings & intentions e.g. a teddy bear etc.
I love that most of the children can really believe that is they drop a soft toy it might have a sore head or need Mr Bump (our ice pack) to put on the sore head. I think as an adult I enjoy being able to enter back into this phase that most people have to leave around the age of 7 or 8. I get to believe that a leaf might talk or have feelings!
Another aspect of my job is that I get to enjoy picture books, I can usually be found in the children's section of any bookshop long after I have spent time browsing in the regular section. And I have been the only adult in a queue to meet Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. I get to believe in a Gruffalo, or talking fish or lonely beasts!
|Meeting Axel Scheffler - a major highlight!|
I have said this before if I won the lottery in the morning I would keep on teaching nursery, it truly is the best job in the world.