During the month of February, I noticed Laila (this is not her real name) sat on her own while she ate morning tea. It seemed that she was admiring her natural surroundings Meanwhile, her peers were keenly exploring the physical environment, but Laila did not engage. She continued to observe while eating her morning tea until it was almost time to return to the centre.
The following day, Laila did the same thing, ate her morning tea for the duration of our visit to the bush area.
The day after she was encouraged to leave her comfort zone and interact with nature and explore. Instead she observed her peers and educators from a distance as they continued their investigations, I could see she was listening intently but was not comfortable to part take.
I spoke with Laila’s parents about my observations and suggested they visit a natural environment over the weekend as a family.
It was at the next visit to bush kindy that she came out of her shell, pulling long strands of grass and tearing back bark from a tree. I believe this was a turning point in her self-confidence that led to further meaningful engagement and comfort in the bush.
She has continued to grow and develop her interests at bush kindy, being an active participant in group activities, demonstrating perseverance, taking risks and seeking out new challenges. One particular occasion comes to mind, when Laila, through fierce determination, climbed a tree despite initially struggling to get both feet off the ground. I watched in anticipation as she continued to push herself to new limits. She was comfortable, she was persistent.
The view must have been spectacular from where she was situated, halfway up the tree, she was in no rush to get down.
Laila’s has grown immensely and though English is her second language and sometimes communicates non-verbally with her peers, the relationships with her friends have strengthen and broaden through outdoor group activities and working together in aid of a common outdoor mission. I am grateful to be part of this enriching learning journey and witness the transformation of little seedlings.
Early Childhood Teacher
Seedlings & Co.