Today over half our class did not show up for forest school. I think they may have been afraid of the cold.
For those who did it was a low level excitement start to the day as it became apparent that friends children had hoped to see weren’t coming. Also Miss Claudia was sick today so Miss Michelle joined us instead. Some of the children may also have been thrown off by one of their friends being upset about cold feet.
It is one of the challenges as a teacher and a parent when a child doesn’t want to accept the solutions offered to them. What do we do when we are met with stubbornness or a lack of willingness to help themselves? Especially when we can see that they are uncomfortable or would benefit from our suggestions!
The only thing I have learned that always works is love.
A long slow hug goes a long way.
It’s rarely about the thing at hand.
And our little ones can rarely tell us what or how they are feeling because it is so jumbled up and confused inside of them.
So when I have run out of ideas or can see that they are super stuck I shift gears and offer connection.
Connect before correct.
It’s something I learned with a particularly troublesome student many years ago who turned out to be the sweetest and most thoughtful boy but appeared as the toughest and meanest.
Also…apple cider helps too 😉
As the children matched their teachers energy their excitement and enthusiasm built and soon we were giggling and wondering together. We ate snack in the tent and read a story about beaver human conflict. Many friends tried some cozy apple cider and then it was time for sliding!!
Sliding is a marvelous combination of high adrenaline because of the speed and hard work because of the walking up a snowy hill. It really forces children to engage their will because of their high desire to go down the hill again 😉
It is also an opportunity to teach good sliding etiquette:
1. Clear the slide path ASAP.
2. Don’t walk up the slide hill because it wrecks its slipperiness!
It’s also an opportunity to learn about waiting in line and taking turns.
One child asked, “This is really fun. Do we get to do this as many times as we want?” he also then took a break to watch for a little while.
Some children enthusiastically launch down the hill, some want to take a friend, or a stuffy, or roll down in different ways, while others stand at the top and watch for a while. And I love being able to facilitate a space in which all of those options are completely ok.
I’m going to start writing mini stories of our day and dumping the photos we take into them. We don’t always have the opportunity to take many photos because our work is pretty hands on. But there are many moments of sweetness and learning I would like to share with you so I will try.