Based in San Francisco, iteachkids.org is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Weather and its effect

Weather and its effect

In my experience, working with kids is always harder on rainy days!

It seems to be a perfect storm: young children seem to be more affected by the physical atmospheric changes, daylight's a bit dimmer, messing with their circadian rhythms, and a lot of times they're forced to stay inside and out of the rain. Of course, these things affect a teacher too. Rainy days can often be panic inducing and chaotic.

So how do I deal with it?

If I can, I go outside anyway. As an adult, I know that rain makes me wet and that I'll want to stay inside to keep warm. How do I know this? Because I've been caught in the rain! Going outside in the rain can be a teachable moment where students can take the time to experience the natural world in all its glory. These days, kids' schedules are packed; they're shuffled from extra-curricular to extra-curricular with little time to just experience the realities of life. As teachers, we have the luxury of being able to take our time with our students. Playing in the rain can introduce new vocabulary, bring up new questions (and ideas for projects!), and serve as a sensory experience (what do raindrops feel like as they hit your head?) Children absolutely deserve to have this experience.

If I can't go outside - maybe students don't have appropriate attire for the rain, or they're sick, or the weather is dangerous - I break the rules indoors. I've already broken the rule that kids need to go outside every day, so why should any of the other rules remain steadfast? We don't need to stay in our classroom. We don't need to only use our inside voices. We don't need to use walking feet. In the past, I've scrapped lesson plans in response to unexpected rain. The kids know that a rainy day isn't a normal day, so forcing the banalities of everyday life on them doesn't seem fair to me. I often ask them what they want to do. I've had hours long fort-building sessions, led parades around the entire school with instruments, and even asked the children to help to rearrange the classroom!

This attitude of flexibility is an important attribute in life: sometimes things don't go as you plan and you need to be able to deal with it. Students will pick up on this.

A forecast of rain can really throw a wrench in your day as a teacher, but it doesn't have to. Go with the flow, listen to the children, and enjoy the magic that is the rainy day at school!

Embrace the Rain,

Randa

Lessons in tolerance

Lessons in tolerance