We’re on summer break at the preschool, which gives our staff a chance to work on our facility, organize materials, plan projects for next year, research education issues, and spend time with our families.
At my house we got a new dog. Toby is officially Kiddo’s dog, but he left for a week of camp the day after we picked Toby up from the shelter so the fabulous Mr. Fuller and I got to enjoy his sweet dogginess on our own for a while.
Toby didn’t start off sweet. Like many shelter dogs he was not a trusting soul. He hunched into the corner of his crate although the door was wide open. He wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t pee, wouldn’t look at us. Our vet said to give Toby lots of TLC, but warned us that some shelter dogs never bond with their families.
At Bellevue Discovery we have two guidelines for working with young children:
Surround ‘em with love & Trust in their development
We repeat those words to each other at our daily Child Study meetings; we encourage the children’s parents: trust in their development. Because we know whatever the concerns are today, children will grow.
I kept Toby in the same room with me when I was home, but didn’t force him to interact. After half a week he lay down on the floor instead of in his crate. After a while I sat down next to him, first doing my own thing (curriculum planning on my laptop) then talking to him and giving him little love pats. After a few days of gentle voice and touch Toby looked me in the eye.
It helps that I have decades of experience waiting kids out. Trusting in their development isn’t wishful thinking for me. I trust because, in my experience, children grow.
There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. (Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory)