Monday, August 29, 2011

Half Teacher, Half Superhero

Today I came to a stark conclusion, a conclusion of realization and understanding. That I can not love and properly care for children if I do not love and properly care for myself. What can I possibly do for the growing and learning minds and bodies of these aspiring young toddlers; what use am I as a teacher if I am hacking, coughing and physically too tired and weak to do much more than cover my coughs to protect them from my germs? When my throat is too sore to speak, sing or laugh with them?

I now realize that my first and foremost duty to them is to provide a safe and clean environment for them that is conducive for their learning and growing experience. Their health and safety comes first. As any parent or childcare giver knows, runny noses and colds are a pretty normal occurrence in a childcare setting. Teachers and children get sick all the time. And for the most part, we teachers continue to come in and provide care and educational growth and development for the children in our care despite how bad we feel or the tickle in our throats. We smile, hug and push on. I am strong-willed, dedicated and passionate about my job and role as an early childhood teacher and caregiver, but I have my limits as well. It finally hit me, to give 110% of my all to a profession and career that I think is the most rewarding of all, I have to have 110% to give.

I guess even super heros need a break to recharge and regain their strength. With this realization, I lie in my bed on this early Monday morning with my box of tissues, cough medicines, lozenges and hot teas trying my best to get better, get healthier and get wiser.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Make your own water colors!!

This was a really fun science/art project we did in my class. (Sorry I don't have any class photos to go with it :( ) But here is what we did. My kids love to paint but like all things, it somehow always ends up in their mouths. So I decided we'd make our own water colors and they would get to help!

Here is what you need:

A variety of berries: Blackberries, raspberries, etc
wide bowl
large metal strainer
small cup (for smashing the berries)
paint smock

Note* room temperature berries are a lot easier to mash and produce more juice.

1. place the large metal strainer over a cup

2. put a berry in the strainer and smash it.

3. Continue until you have enough juice to paint with.

4. Have fun painting!! (and tasting)

My little ones really enjoyed the making of the berry water colors. I had a about seven children doing the activity. As you know, at one, patience is hardly one of their stronger characteristics! But they managed. One activity I added to the process was letting them play with some of the berries as they waited their turn. ;) which worked out really well. When it came to the painting part, we used construction paper and paint brushes like normal and the kids went to town on their paintings. A few preferred sucking on the paint brushes! Even though we used a totally edible material, I still reminded them to "paint on the paper" as I want them to get used to not putting art materials in their mouths.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A gift from the heart of a child......

This picture was drawn and gifted to me by one of my previous toddler students who is now four. That's me in the long black dress and scarf :D It is so cute just how observant kids are. I usually wear black as it is easy to clean (and hide messy toddler love and stains :D) and that is him in the corner :D It is such a cute picture!