A long time ago I realised that there was always one or two children in my class who I didn’t truly interact with. I’d tell them stories as part of a group. I’d ask them questions during transition times. I’d even pat them to sleep sometimes. But I really didn’t get to know them for who they are because they were so happy to go off and do their own thing, they didn’t cause a fuss or a stir and very rarely asked for help.
This doesn’t mean I couldn’t teach them anything, that they didn’t need me or that they were advanced beyond the developmental range in the room. It just meant that I’d missed them. It was a horrid thought to have and even more horrible to realise the truth behind it.
Since then, I’ve made a real effort to spend time in all areas of the room, to try to get in on they play rather than direct all the play. It’s these moments that have taught me more about who the kids are. More about what my class needs, strengths and interests are. And more about who they need me to be.