I came to a pretty startling realization this past weekend – but, more on that later.
I am enamored with the world of genetics and physics. I voraciously devour articles and podcasts that discuss these topics. I have often said that if I had my life to live over again, I would probably dedicate myself to some sort of scientific career (we can talk about women in STEM careers in a different post).
I also have great admiration for artists. I look on with wonder (and a touch of envy) while they manipulate color, texture, and space to create beauty. Oh, to be an artist!
That brings me back to my startling realization. It hit me like a thunderbolt – I am both scientist and artist; I am an early childhood professional.
To teach is to weave that tapestry that incorporates both science and art.
· We are scientists when we look at research about what a child needs and incorporate those practices into our class.
· We are scientists when we seek to understand the developing brain and when we make sure we provide the brains in our care with what they need.
· We are scientists when we are willing to evolve in our understanding and abandon practices that are not effective in supporting children’s learning, growth, and development.
· We are scientists when we intentionally plan for all aspects of a child’s development; not neglecting one in favor of another.
To teach is to partner in a dance that seamlessly balances both art and science.
· We are artists when we recognize the potential in a child that others have overlooked and work tirelessly to connect with and touch that child.
· We are artists when we recognize that children are more interested in turkey vulture perched on the fence than in a planned experience and we switch on a dime.
· We are artists when we join in laughter, wipe away tears, and dance with toddler-like abandon.
· We are artists when we create learning with a paper bag, a lone shoe, and a water-soaked sponge.
To teach is to live with one foot in the world of science, one foot in the world of art, and one foot in this wonderful space we call “childhood”.
If I had my life to live over again, I would be an early childhood educator;