Back on track

I am getting back on track here. I must apologize for my lack of posts lately. There have been many things going on in my personal life that have taken me away from this blog. I'm not saying things are better, just that I have settled into a better routine with things. My grandpa has been diagnosed with cancer and given 3-9 months to live (we are in the second month). Needless to say, I have been spending much time over there helping out as best as I can.

This also means that there have been way too many visitors coming around as well; cousins, aunts, uncles, etc... that I haven't seen or heard from for many years. Of course, I must go visit because, well this isn't what this blog is about. So, you want to know my thought, visit me over here. I don't let loose much, but I do make my thoughts known once in a while.

This does, somewhat, tie in with what I want to talk about here. We have, several times, discussed respecting children. I am a big follower of Magda Gerber and her RIE philosophy. What I really like about her thoughts, practices, theories (whatever you want to call them) is that, although it is centered around and made for infants, it fits for all people.

"An infant always learns. The less we interfere with the natural process of learning, the more we can observe how much infants learn all the time."--Magda Gerber

In most anything that I have experiences from the RIE course and books, I have found that you can, in general, substitute the word "human being" for "infant" and get it still rings true.

The practices revolve around respect. Think before you do something to an infant. If you were that child, what would you want? How would you want to be treated in this situation? What is your interference going to do (for better or worse)?

When I walk into a classroom, these are the things on my mind. How is my interaction going to affect the children and adults in that environment (for better or worse)? What will this activity that I come in with do for the children? How will it help the adults? How will is effect everything?

These are the questions we have to ask ourselves at every point in the day. When you have two children negotiating over a toy, will it help to take the toy away? No, you work it out in a respectful manner. When a child sees a ball on the other side of the fence that they want, will it help to just go out and get it? No, work out a solution with the children in solving this problem. How can YOU get the ball onto this side of the fence? How can YOU make a tower that won't fall over?

Of course, we add to the experience with the knowledge we have and the books and resources we bring into the classroom; but that doesn't inhibit their learning experience, it enhances it!

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