In the beginning of my journey of working with children I started with little to no knowledge, but I’ve always knew I had a heart and passion for children and caring for them. Most people think that caring for children it just babysitting but that’s not the case. Watching and observing how children learn through play is so amazing. As a child’s second teacher because their parents are their first teacher you must love what you do. I wholeheartedly believe that children learn at their own pace through play while being able to freely explore and engage. Learning should not be rushed. When children walk into a classroom they should feel wanted, welcome and accepted from the start. Children should be welcomed into an inclusive enviroment that provides them with nurturing, loving, responsive, joyous, and safe care. I believe children learn best through play because it is so beneficial as an educator to see things through the eyes of a child.
Children are like little sponges that soak up everything around them, so it is important as their teacher to be a positive role model because they are watching everything we do. When I began my journey with children, I recognized how genuine I was in understanding what it took to care for children with a purpose of helping them grow. I learned there are many advantages for children and how they learn best through play. Play allows the children to develop language and communication skills as well as listening skills. As children engage in pretend play, they are building strong interactions with others. One thing I know from my personal experience working with children is that getting down to their level is the purest form of engagement. It lets the children know you are interested in their learning and play. It really makes a difference in how they engage with you as their teacher and as a friend. You ever heard the saying “You have a friend in me?” That’s what children should feel at the end and beginning of every school day.
When I first enter a new classroom, I set the tone with a big welcoming smile that lets the children know that even though I’m new I’m here to learn and grow with you. When I began my experience with a little boy name Ahron, he was very open to engage with me which I really enjoyed. As I watch and observed him, I learned that he has a strong interest in nature. So, I took that strong interest of his and we created a game where he was able to incorporate things of nature, he found through play into our game of find the object under the cup. It was amazing to see how he chose his nature objects. As I continued to learn with Ahron through this activity, I gain the knowledge of his strengths and interests which deepen our teacher-child relationship.
Learning is a journey not a destination. I believe children learn best by being in an all-inclusive enviroment that catches their attention through play and meets the needs of every child. Learning for every child comes in many forms from books, different toys, and open-ended activities. Some things they are familiar with and some that helps them learn something new. Learning and growing with children help them become lifelong learners because after all this journey of how children learn is what it is all about!
April 22, 2022 — 2:02 pm
I agree that children learn best through play. I think that doing something that is fun and interesting will always improve their motivation to figure out how something works, like solving a puzzle or coloring a picture. I think that you brought up great experiences from your own life which really shows how passionate you are about this topic. I think play-based childcare should be implemented in school systems more, as they will surely learn better through play rather than rigorous assignments. I agree that all children have different passions and interests, whether it be building, dressing up, or coloring. Helping them learn through their interests makes learning easier and fun for them.
April 27, 2022 — 10:11 am
Hi Marshanae, Thank you for sharing your essay! In reading your thoughts and beliefs on the importance of play, I couldn’t help but think about how teachers are intentional in planning play experiences for young children. As you point out in your story about Ahron, it all starts with observing and understanding the child’s interests and abilities, and then creating those opportunities for play.
April 30, 2022 — 6:55 pm
I think that it is great that you knew right away that you had a passion for taking care of children. Your story about connecting with Ahron demonstrates your passion. You took the time to get to know him, what his interests were and how he learned through play. It shows that you have a love and passion when you take the time to learn what it takes to be an early childhood educator. I believe that you will inspire many children.