I need to do a project!
…said Katelyn. At 4:30 pm. So I set out paint, paper, tp tubes and empty masking tape rolls and many of the children joined Katelyn in her “late afternoon it’s almost time to go home printing painting project.”
I honored requests for MORE PAINT PLEASE even as the BUTS filled the air:
- But it’s almost go home time!
- But they just got cleaned up!
- But I just put the paint away!
- But gramma is coming very soon!
- But I just dumped the wash hands water!
- But I don’t have any more towels!
- But we already painted today!
I approach each BUT with an AND:
- And we don’t close until 6:30 pm!
- And we will assist in cleaning up again!
- And we will go get more paint!
- And won’t she love seeing her in action! (this might be an honest stretch, but you get my point!)
- And we will go get more water!
- And we can borrow some from Mr. Drew’s room!
- And it is ok to paint more than once a day!
So we keep it going. All. Day. Long. We have an obligation both as early childhood educators and as service providers to make sure that the children are provided a rich, engaging environment All. Day. Long. Right up until closing time (or, until the last child leaves - which every once in a blue moon is actually before closing time!) and not a minute before!
Even if we KNOW this’ll happen:
And that this MIGHT happen:
"ms. lisa my face feels cracky."
The day isn’t over when there are still HOURS left! So go get that paint! Go gather those towels! Go fill that tub with warm soapy wash-hands water! We’ve still got work to do… even if it is 4:30!