Monday, March 1, 2021

Teacher Tom: "What Is It?"

Teacher Tom: "What Is It?"
"What Is It?"

I heard her mother saying, "What is it?" Her daughter, a two-year-old, was scribbling on a piece of paper with a marker creating a spiky purple tangle made from the kind of thick lines that indicate she was exerting excessive pressure. The girl paused briefly in response to the question, then resumed her work.

Her mother said, "It looks like a butterfly. Is it a butterfly?" 

I would have preferred that the mother wasn't questioning her child about her work. I would have preferred that she limit her comments to useful things like "You're using a purple marker" or "That's a spiky tangle of thick lines," informative statements that, should the girl choose to attend, might be used or not used to support her creative journey. Even better, this mother would not have been saying anything at all, leaving her child to her pursuit without interruption.

Adults are forever asking young children, "What is it?" Older preschoolers know the drill. They often have an answer on the tip of their tongue. They've learned that when they sit down in front of a piece of paper at the "art table," they CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: "What Is It?"