Sunday, September 21 2014
One Small Squirt
Throughout the typical preschool day, many lessons are taught. A GoPlay! teacher will employ what might seem like a simple curriculum to assess the social and mental development of their charges. One of the ways lessons are taught at GoPlay! is through our daily whole-group routines. Our everyday routines, such as discussing the planned play scenario, identifying who is absent, and reviewing the previous activity, help focus a child’s attention and reinforce memory. During the whole-group rest room time, teachers include “waiting games”. “Waiting games” are planned activities conducted while children wait for their turn to use the rest room.
Increasing a child’s independence through the promotion of self-help skills is one of the preschool teacher’s most important lessons. Early in the school year, to avoid the continued "Wash your hands!" after each child uses the commode, GoPlay! teachers set up a routine. The children are taught to go directly to the sinks, wash, and return to their “space”. The procedure includes teaching the children how to use the liquid soap dispenser – promoting independence through a self-help skill. And Soap! Foaming Liquid Soap!
As I observed rest room time, and all that waiting game fun, I also noticed children enjoying the foaming soap - massaging, scrubbing, and squishing it. Sometimes the soap would even make its way up the arms all the way to the elbow, reminiscent of a doctor readying for surgery.
Then came the day I reviewed the supply list. Soap? We needed soap!? Needing to order soap is as distressing as needing to order ink cartridges. The soap dispenser manufacturers create the dispenser just unique enough to fit only the most expensive of soap cartridges. We had ordered a case of soap just 25 days before. We had used a case of soap in less than a month!
I decided to curb the GoPlay! soap addiction. I addressed each class during their next rest room time. “You’ve got skills! You can control how many squirts of soap you take. You can do it!” I would announce, while showing the quarter size amount of soap that I hoped would cut back on GoPlay!’s massive soap consumption. With more enthusiasm than a cheerleader, I relayed my desired outcome of “one small squirt” per child. My passionate appeal worked. Following this restroom pep rally, if I am anywhere near the rest room I am greeted with, “Look Miss Robyn, I have skills!” as my independent little ones display a small squirt of soap in the palm of their hand.
Then, the day before our Sysco order arrived with our second case of soap within a month, a box sitting next to the supply closet was opened. Soap! The case had never been unpacked. Apparently our soap consumption was not that bad.
1. The more enthusiastic and passionate you are, the more the message is driven home.
2. Always double check the inventory!
“One small squirt!”