“Recently the early learning team and myself, had the opportunity to do some research into how we could make our environments (aka: classrooms) reflectÂ more ofÂ our personal message and feelings.Â Â We went to several different early learning sites around the province and had the opportunity to see some great and inspiring spaces.
The easel in this centre was layered with what looked like years of paint….
. And it was Wonderful!!!
The easel looked like a piece of art and inspired me to want to grab some paper and startÂ painting my own masterpiece.I wasÂ intriguedÂ by the fact that not one teacher or adult in the roomÂ told the children or myself, for that matter,Â that it was ok to get paint on the easel. We justÂ knew by the message the easel wasÂ relaying toÂ us.
So…Â I stopped washing my paint easel…
I didn’t say anything to the parents about what I was doing and why…
Then it happened and is still happeningÂ to this day, theÂ general feeling that its ok to get creative in that area without having to have the feeling that if you got paint on anything other then the paper you might be “in trouble”. Parents stopped shadowing their children.Â This gave the children the opportunity to really make some great art. Now instead of parents running to put up the paint pots from their two and three year olds, they are allowing the children to explore with the paint.. even if that means not using the paintbrushes..lol
With all this said, I now look at areas in my classroom and think about what that specific area is “saying” to the parents and children who come to play and explore. I stop and think “Â Are the environments and experiences Â that I am creating encouraging independent learning, without the pressure of feeling like we are in the wrong?
As a adult, are there environments that make you feel like this when you enter, maybe at work or even in your home?