Friday, November 21, 2008

Imperfection

As a Children's Librarian, I plan and lead a variety of programs that target children spanning from the ages of six months to twelve years. As one should expect when working with children, my programs are synonymous with commotion.

I use the term "commotion" to capture the energy, activity, and surface chaos ( ... okay ... sometimes actual chaos ...) that accompanies my programs. Overall, I see this commotion as a positive reaction ... Brains are still developing, and there are so many topics to explore and discuss ... There is so much to see and do!

Working in an urban location of my library's system, the majority of children who come to my programs are brought by daycares or preschools. Occasionally, it is necessary for several of these groups to come at the same time, and when that happens ...


I wish each child could experience my program with a one-on-one caregiver.


Socialization and learning how to be part of a group are very important. ("Life is people and relationships" as my mom has told me.) However, if I'm interpreting the information correctly, the research on (individual) brain development (especially from birth to age three) points to critical learning through one-on-one interaction ... from the amount of time devoted to bonding as well as time devoted to conversation. Even tweens and teens have developmental needs that demand the time and attention of individual adults.

Yesterday morning, I actually had one caregiver and child from the general public at my program. This was in addition to three preschool classrooms. During the arts and crafts activity, I was able to share a few words with the two, but stated I would return to talk some more.

In the commotion, I neglected to return.

After everyone had left, I realized my mistake and felt ... I can't think of a better word than ... down.

After talking with colleagues, I understand that one does what one can ... planting seeds along the way ... For that moment though, I just felt a little blue. I can understand how the two felt isolated from the preschool groups and had wanted to extend my welcome in order to encourage families to continue to attend my programs.

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