Topics in Early Childhood Education

Monday, October 08, 2012

Helping Children Bloom

We are getting ready to say goodbye to our flowers for the season.  In our area, flowers disappear with the first frost.  Although a little early, we lost a few vines this past week, but we are still enjoying the flowers.  However, I understand that we must enjoy them today because they will be gone tomorrow.
I was looking at my geraniums and thinking how different each plant can be.  Not only are the colors of the flowers different, the leaves and the plant patterns vary from mound to mound.  It is like having different children in our classrooms.  If we are working with 5 year olds, they are all 5 year-olds.  Fortunately, they all have different patterns, different leaves, and variegated colors.  Like all of my geraniums, children need different things to flourish and make the most of their development and accomplishments.  I had a geranium this season that needed constant monitoring with additional plant food and water.  Because I took the time to do this, that plant did well and provided many beautiful blooms during the summer.  Other plants seemed to grow like weeds, without much additional care.  The children in our classrooms are so much like that.  Some need extra care and consideration to make the same progress other children seem to make automatically.  The key is to provide that extra nourishment.  Children who need extra care are sometimes the ones that fight it and seem to rebuff that extra attention.  That means we teachers must make it  a priority to provide the necessary care.  If the child is going to bloom, we must be willing to provide the necessary support. As early childhood community, we need to work to make sure every child blooms.

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33 Comments:

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous nini white said...

Your analogy is worth considering, and I would take it a step further: the plants have many differences on the surface ... yet when we look more deeply into their fundamental make-up differences are indiscernible. The same holds true with 5 year olds: many differences on the surface (personality, preferences, constitution, etc.), but deep down their fundamental feelings are quite similar. The thing is, we can't tell them that and be very effective with improving their behavior, BUT we can help them to consider different points of view by asking them intelligent, open-ended questions that respect their hearts and minds. Questions are the key to lighting the creative spark that empathizes, problem solves, relates, collaborates - naturally and without force.

 
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At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the analogy you have presented here! I never thought of it this way. I have tried to keep flowers growing as I do with students but realize how different they can all be. Flowers are all different even if they are the same just like our students. I love this post!

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Taylor H. said...

I love the analogy here. I agree that all students are different just like flowers. I have never thought to approach students that way; it helps to make sense of why students behave the way they do. I agree that the needs of each child are important, like the needs of each flower are important, and some children (like flowers) need more care and consideration. Thank you for this post!

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Jill H. said...

This was a great analogy and a different outlook on children. I agree that not all children are the same in the way they grow and learn and that it is very important to acknowledge this and figure out ways to address it. What are your suggestions in doing so without making other students feel that they are less important?

 
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