IMGP2231

Readiness

IMGP2231I’m having a day. One of those days where I just wished I was the kind of person who didn’t cry at the drop of a hat. Where I wished I was one of those people who could keep their emotions in check, who is able to appear to be “professional” at all times. I am not that kind of professional!!! That’s right I am crying and it’s an ugly cry. My mascara is running, my chest hurts and there is nothing pretty about the way I look or feel. I feel raw.

I want to tell you the story of how I got here to this raw place but it’s not my story to tell. Instead I will first repeat what I said on Facebook earlier:

“It is not my job to get children ready for kindergarten. It is my job to honour the person they are right now.”

Secondly I will say thank you to all those who liked our status, commented on it and shared it. You reaffirmed why I am so passionate about early childhood professionals.

Thirdly I will rant.

Can we just get rid of the words Kindergarten Readiness from our vocabulary?! Please! I think we need to stop using these words for a few decades, in fact let’s just plan not to say them for a century. Heck lets just never say school or kindergarten readiness again. ever!

Can we adapt our programs to the children and not expect the children to adapt to our programs! Maybe I am out there but when a child enters our program and it isn’t working for them I look to see what I can change. I am feeling like we are quick to point to the child and say something is wrong with you.

Can we realize that for a short time parents and children are letting us into their lives and that is an honour.  With that realization can we recognize that time should not be squandered on things that aren’t worthy of our time, like kindergarten readiness! Young children are some of the most interesting, creative, risk taking individuals I know. I want to immerse myself in their thinking and research. Someone else  preconceived ideas of what they need to know doesn’t interest me. I want to know what the children want to learn about. What questions do they have? What far flung theory do they want to try out today and how can I help?

Lastly can we all just stop getting children ready for the next phase of their lives and acknowledge the phase they are in now? Who they are right now is immensely interesting and deserving of our time.

Sidenote: Years ago at my first Leadership Institute session Rita Chudnovsky  posed the question “Why can’t we be leaders who cry?” I obviously took those word to heart.

About Danielle

Danielle is an Early Childhood Educator,blogger, self admitted ECE geek, Preschool teacher, Mother and project coordinator for The Images of Learning Project. These days she juggles presenting, conference calls and blogging with playing with her daughter and nursing her son. She looks forward to the day where she can once again finish her morning coffee.

One thought on “Readiness

  1. A friend (director of a nature preschool) and I just had this very discussion last night. Here are the questions I ask over and over. Getting ready for WHAT? Why get children ready for inappropriate tasks that are now required in kindergarten (in the U.S.)? What sane person would prep young children to be “ready” for that? It makes us cry, but we need to get angry and speak up. A group of teachers and I just read and discussed an article called, “A Thousand Rivers” by Carol Black, from schoolingtheworld.org. It’s very long, I’ve read it three times, but it always fortifies me to go on raising my voice wherever and whenever I can. Hang in there!

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