Sunday, October 9, 2011

Conquering The Slide

The children in the toddlers class seldom take on the 'big red slide' at the play area.
But once in a while someone would climb up and ask for assistance.
My assistant and I would ignore these requests and wait for what ever happens next.
They usually ask for help going back down the stairs again.
Today 'J' ( who is not quite 2 years yet) decided to climb up the stairs and sit at the top of the slide.
With her tongue stuck out, 'J'  carefully adjusted her position atop then called me, "Teacher!"
Then I said, "Go ahead and slide down, if you want to."
(pause)
(.......)
My assistant was watching the other children and occasionally glancing at 'J' on top of the slide.
I moved closer to the bottom of the slide and sat down.
"I can catch you, if you want."
(pause)
(.......)
Then she slid down.

And, she wanted to do it again. This time with me out of the way.
So she had a go with the slide again.
And again.
And again.
And again.
My assistant was describing how her face looked like while she slid down the first time.
I tried to describe it too but there were no words to articulate the way her face looked.
It was a mixture of reluctance with determination. fear with courage, doubt with triumph.
Her laughter was magic as she hugged me after I caught her when she slid the first time.
This is one of the reasons why the children need free play -  seriously.
Probably, if you asked these children what they want, it would be free play-the whole day.

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