“Teacher, I went camping yesterday…” said the little boy and continued about the camping trip.
He waited for the teacher to come closer and continued talking about the fun trip he had. The teacher listened carefully and said, “It sounds like an amazing trip you had! I love how you told me right after your first day back.” He excitedly added, “I couldn’t wait to tell you!” The dialogue between the teacher and the child continued throughout the day through conversation, body language, art, outside play, and indoor play. It kept reminiscing the child’s memory and continued the story through role-playing, housekeeping area, circle times, and art times.
Dialogue with children
Dialogue is giving and receiving meaning between one another. And its importance is clear in an early learning setting. The action and experience invite dialogues and the “can’t wait” feelings. Children love sharing ideas, bits of knowledge, and stories to discover more and to understand the whole world around them naturally and intentionally. Like the boy in this story, the dialogue between the family members, mood, atmosphere, new environment, and senses all around him must have excited him and gave him lots of stories to knead. It provokes wonder and invites the others to share the same wonder, which helps with social skills.
“[The] dialogues require us to attend to the situated, lively, uneven, embodied, affective, and agentic human and more-than-human relations that co-shape worlds” (2021, Yazbeck). Dialogue is in every minute in a children’s play or space. It is continuous and restless. So many areas of wonder and curiosity invite us. And it lets us build relationships, stories, and a safe ground where we can articulate our curiosity with an understanding of the root. It can be something general like the above child’s dialogue, yet when it gains meaning it makes it special, worthwhile, and will help the child bloom.