For the past few weeks, our unit has focused on things we can do outside. We have spent time talking about swimming at the beach, flying a kite, skate boarding and roller skating, riding a bike and playing with a ball. But the highlight of the week is definitely our time spent with bubbles. As I blow watery soap through a small plastic wand, I am amazed at the raw excitement that explodes from each and every one of my students. It is hard to explain the joy and pure innocence that their laughter conveys. For a moment they are able to forget about the difficulties of a broken home, the challenges of living with a disability or the frustrations of not getting what they want. It takes my breath away.
Some of the students I am teaching spend a very limited time outside. On home visits and discussions with parents, I try to explain the importance of large motor activities. More than one parent has stated, "I would spend time outside with my child but they would rather watch TV or play video games." Other parents express concerns about their child’s physical incapability. I tell these families, "Come to school and watch your child be successful! They are jumping, running, twisting, turning, hopping, and laughing!" All the while…the teacher in me takes over and says they are learning so much more. They are communicating with each other and they are using their brains and bodies to do some great motor planning exercises. They are experiencing cause and effect and the amazing science of air, wind and gravity.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have the job I have. The deep belly laugh and uncontrollable joy of four- and five-year-olds is contagious. We have so much to learn from them.