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Friday, 12 October 2012

Inspired Teaching Moment

Re-posted from Exchange Everyday
October 12, 2012

One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds.
-Dan Bennett
Great moments in early childhood classrooms are seldom scripted in advance.  In her motivating new book, Heart-Centered Teaching, Nancy Rosenow captures one such moment from her own childhood:

"When I was in 'nursery school,' my teacher was an exceptionally warm and supportive person.  She would often read to us from Robert Louis Stevenson's classic book,
A Child's Garden of Verses.  On most days she would stop reading after she'd come to a page about something in nature, and say: 'Let's go outside to have our own adventure.'  We had plenty of green space around our school, and I remember often searching under bushes and plants, looking for 'treasures.'  One day, to my horror, I found a dead baby bird under a leaf.  I remember being stunned and running to my teacher's side. Her response has stuck with me to this day.  She gently walked back with me, knelt down by the dead bird and put her arm around my shoulder.  'Yes,' she said to me, 'It's very sad to find a dead baby bird.  It hurts us when things die.'  Then she lifted me up to peer into a bird's nest above our heads.  There I saw a circle of tiny birds... all very much alive.  'We must never let the fear of death keep us from enjoying the wonders of life,' she told me.  I am grateful even now for the sensitive way she handled the situation.  She didn't deny my feelings, and yet at the same time she helped me learn to cope with them.  My ability to define myself as a 'realistic optimist' was strengthened early on because my teacher used a lesson from nature to teach me a lesson about life."