During circle time most of the children participated . There was singing and dancing. As I looked around the room , I saw smiles and happy children. During one of the songs I saw two children holding hands. Before long, they added a third and a fourth and even included me. As the song ended the circle was wide and many of our friends were standing in the sweetest circle holding hands and grinning from ear to ear. In the preschool world that is what we call ” building community.”
What is building community?
As teachers we take a group of children that come from many different walks of life. Some live with mom and dad, some with grandparents, some speak english and others dont. We all come with our unique talents and abilities , strengths , weaknesses and yes…. even hurt and pain. Our goal is to make everyone feel accepted and valued. I want our classroom to be a safe place where kids come in and can just ” be a kid” and be happy. In reality, learning cant take place until this happens.
In addition to the music time I already mentioned , I will give you some examples of how we did this today.
Dillion had a hard time coming in . Jaxson , with a year under his belt was a little more confident starting his day. As I transitioned Dillion from his mom and dad I asked Jaxson could he help Dillion go wash his hands as he went. Jaxson took Dillion’s hand and headed to the bathroom. I noticed later in the morning that they two boys were playing together. Sure, it would have been just as easy for me to take Dillion to the bathroom and help him but this way, I was building community in our classroom. Dillion made a new friend and Jaxson gained more confidence as he took on a leadership role!
One of the little girls took ALL The blocks out of the blocks shelf. Our rule is – if you take it out , please put it away before going to another center. ” Little girl” left the block center and all the mess. As i asked her to come back and clean up she said I cant do it all by myself. I replied ” I cant make a friend help you because it is your mess but if you would like to ask someone to help you , you may.” Before she was able to ask, Whitlee piped in that she would help her. What a friend!
We learn to take care of each other.
We learn to have confidence in what we do.
We learn that sometimes a group is much better than doing it alone.
Community in a classroom is a good thing.