Better late than never. I’m still working out regaining my normal schedule after the whole Hurricane Sandy mess—so my apologies for not being on top of this blog.
It’s been an interesting journey. Over the past couple weeks I’ve began to receive emails from the parents of my preschoolers thanking me for the work I’ve been doing, and the food based curriculum I’ve created. These emails have come at a critical time, because prior to two weeks ago, my curriculum was being challenged by a few, and I was questioning if I was creating the results I wanted to see.
If anything, a few things have been reminded to me. Throughout this process I am not only teaching the kids about food, cooking, and basic nutrition, I’m teaching their parents as well. As I stated a few posts back, this isn’t to say that parents or adults don’t know how to feed themselves or their children, because they, in the literal sense, do. It’s more to say that there isn’t enough time dedicated to teaching ourselves, or other [kids] about food, and exposing those around us to various types of food and cooking styles.
Another interesting thing to note is the dialogue within my classroom the past few weeks. As well as starting to be able to pair tastes and smells together and create recipes on their own, the kids are also beginning to ask me more involved questions about the food they eat, and have a more informed understanding to the answers I’ve given them. For example, yesterday one of my kids asked me if she could have another Graham Cracker for snack (our snacks are provided by the parents as part of the co-op model of the preschool). My response was, “well, you’ve already had quite a few Graham Crackers for snack…” to which she immediately jumped in stating, “and if I eat more they can make me sick, because they’re not that healthy for me.” After stating this fact, she simply got up, cleaned her snack spot, and went to play. It was a unique interaction because this was the first time this child has had an understanding of the idea that too much of something could harm the body.
Ultimately, the learning process is always a slower one and that pace will not change (even if you have parents watching your every move and questioning what you’re doing). It’s definitely a practice in patience, not only for myself, but the parents and the school’s administration as well. But things are shifting, and key concepts are beginning to root in the minds of the kids. It’s going to be an exciting winter.