Kindergarten classrooms are often busy places.
- Bins of toys are dumped. (Students can pick up the toys and sort them again.)
- Garbage is left on the floor. (Students can sweep up the mess.)
- Hands and fingers are used when paintbrushes were intended. (Students can wash their hands.)
- Paint shirts were forgotten. (Clothes can go in the wash.)
- Water splashes on to the floor. (Students can wipe the water up.)
- There are arguments over toys and activities. (Students can work together to develop fair solutions.)
- From paint to water to juice, there are LOTS of spills. (Students can always clean up a mess.)
- Clean cloths become dirty with all of the extra use. (We have a washing machine, and we can learn how to use it together.)
As I focus this year on being a better listener, I find myself observing students more. Yes, problems happen. They even happen a lot. But maybe a few spills, disagreements, and messes are okay after all. If we allow children to work through these issues, and support them as they do, imagine how much they’ll learn. How do we give students a chance to make mistakes? How do we support them so that they can learn from these mistakes? If students become problem solvers at a young age, imagine the impact as they get older. I see the potential for something wonderful. What about you?