I realized this morning that I hadn’t just written about my life in a while, and it seems as though when I ignore that aspect of my writing, I begin to lose track of the flow of my life. I become trapped in cul-de-sacs of repetitive (have you noticed that this word describes its own spelling) thoughts and my trains of thought start to run in loops around the switching yard. Well I intend to take my trains out and give them a good run 2 or 3 times a week for the rest of the summer at least.
I have started working on the end of my novel again as well as studying 20th century poetry and writing some as it inspires me. I have less time this summer to focus on writing as I have been working, not at Head Start, but at a private cooperative school. It has been a nice break nevertheless, as the school is a relaxed and truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life even though it is right in the middle of our city. I have rediscovered how important environment is to the teaching/learning experience along with the teacher’s commitment and ability to learn his students, the most important factor in a early childhood education class. Our “classroom” includes a large garden, a grassy hill, climbing trees, a sliding ramp, a large field with two 4 foot diameter plastic pipes about 7 feet long for sitting, or rolling around in, an outdoor stage, a goat pen with 3 goats that get milked once a day, a basket ball court and an ancient gnarled apple tree.
We have a tiny inside classroom, but I never have more than 8 students, so I have been able to make personal connections with each one everyday they come a nice change from having 18 everyday and a set schedule that often gets in the way of important interactions or activity threads. Conversations have been my main teaching tool as my students are all articulate and curious about the world as most 3-5 year-olds are. We have been exploring nature and art, bubbles, kite flying, and the finer aspects of tree climbing. Every day is full of choices which lead us outside in search of wind, bugs, and flowers and trees to climb. Inside we paint and draw, sing songs, tell stories, and talk about whatever comes up. There are some tears, but mostly laughter and joyous screams that are too loud for inside. So we go out and visit the goats and take pieces of cardboard to the ramp and test our speed and daring and then there is always the trees and bubbles and a kite to fly and just plain running crazy through the field. Its a rough job but somebodies got to do it.