Google+ bakers and astronauts: Musing

15 February 2012


I've been thinking a lot about imaginative play - it has a lot to do with my thesis, but imaginative play is at the forefront of my mind most days as I watch children play.  I don't have any pictures to share with you today, but instead, an idea:

How realistic is it for us to tell children to "be quieter" or "slow down" when they are engaged in imaginative play?  If they are pretending to be chased by a tiger, walking is unrealistic, right?  I know that when we are playing inside, we have to be safe, and walking is safer than running.  I guess I should propose this from a different point of view:  can adults really justify being angry when children scream or run after an adult has told them not to do it again?

I have seen children beautifully engrossed in imaginative play, screaming at the top of their lungs when a monster comes near them or sprinting away from a bad guy.  I know it is unsafe, and I have asked children to stop certain actions, but I can't take it personally if they don't.  Because those adult parameters are not what is on their mind first: their role and the roles of others comes first at that time.  A good parallel might be how "don't hit" is a mantra that even children can repeat and a child can tell you that hitting isn't nice; but emotions can boil and hitting is a reaction for some children when they are angry.

I've been thinking a lot about my actions as a teacher, and how I need to step back more often, think of the different perspectives involved in a conflict, and consider how a problem might be solved in the long term rather than immediately.

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