“The gravel is very cool in the morning,” said the teacher.
The child walked towards with a soft smile on his face. He swiftly laid his fingers and then his whole hand on the gravel on the teacher’s hand. He quietly whispers, “cold.” His warmth woke up all the gravel and soon the teacher felt little warmth peeking through on her hand.
A small interaction that was unintentional and unexpected created a pathway to understand so many aspects of our ordinary moments. We always went outside routinely yet the moment of this interaction is not written in our routine. In Parkland Players, we thrive to create and spark ideas and moments like this with children and with the world around us.
“Experiment: in the context of this framework, to be open to something new, a way of thinking and doing that did not previously exist. To experiment with pedagogy means to go beyond the usual practices in order to create and tell different stories of knowing and being in our common world.” (Government of British Columbia, 2019, p. 13)
Yes, with all the COVID-19 safety protocols and safety plans, lots of things are set aside, cleaned, and organized. We had to bring more things other than toys such as hand sanitizers and gloves to be safe outside. Children are limited to touch, smell, taste, and feel things because of safety. It was less spark and creative moment blooming for sure. The educators started thinking about what are things that we can do to work around and with this difficult time for all.
“Engaging with complexity means accommodating many ways of thinking, seeing, doing, and knowing. Complexity is a condition of professionalism in early learning.” (Government of British Columbia, 2019, p. 27)
The moment of “cold” wasn’t dangerous. It wasn’t a scary or cautious moment. The educators and the children’s hands were washed and sanitized regularly. The washing and sanitizing part are done so exploration can happen with no worry or plan. Once we create sanitizing and cleaning ourselves as ordinary and routinized, we don’t have to be afraid of exploring and researching to find/make meaning and relationship with the world.
Ministry of Education. (2019). British Columbia Early Learning Framework.