Monthly Archives: May 2012

My Connections to Play


As a child I was into playing “real life”. I played house, had babies. I specifically remember that in the summertime I would get upo in the morning, iron “my kids” clothing, pack their diaper bags and take them to daycare so that I could go to work. “Work” was being a teacher. I had part of my playroom set up like a classroom and I would teach my students for hours. Looking back, I find it interesting that this is the kind of play I enjoyed. I was not into Barbie dolls or such toys. And now, here I am…a mom and a teacher. Two things I loved whenI was little and two things I love as an adult.

 In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.

Ovid Roman poet 43 BC–17 or 18 AD

In play a child always behaves beyond his average  age, above his daily behavior. In play it is as though he were a head  taller than himself.

Lev Vygotsky Russian psychologist 1896–1934

When I was younger, my mom had a daycare. I often watched how she did things a daycare provider and a mom and I mimoiced her in my play. I would often ask her questions about being a mom and she would give me answers. Sometimes she would see em doing something and would give me a better idea for what I was trying to “play”. She encouraged me to play and would often sit and watch me. She would play with me as well. She would “use” the baby she was babysitting and I used my doll. We would pretend to be friends and take them to the park together.(outside on the swingset) or we would “talk on the phone” and make plans to meet up with our “daughters”.

I think that play today is similar in the respect that children still play dolls and house and pretend. I think the part where it differs is that my type of “playing house” was much more innocent than the type of “playing house” that goes on now. Children know a lot more and are often exposed to a lot more. Television shows they watch promote boyfriends and the lifestyles of people have changed and children are aware of it. I would hope that children are still playing the innocent way that I did and living out their dreams through play. That is something that I did.

The type of play that I engaged in was meaningful to me. I remember watching my mom as a mother and playing the way that she mothered. And now I am replaying those same acts of mothering but this time with my own child. It is funny to think back and see myself doing things as an adult that are a reflection of the type of play that I enjoyed as a child.  



Relationship Reflection


Relationships and partnerships are important to me because it is important to have people in your life who you can depend on, who will support you, and who will be honest with you.  These people help the continued shaping of who you are as a person, a friend, and  a teacher.
I had previously written a post about my childhood web and the people who impacted my life. Although all of those people are still an important part of my life today, and I could go on and on about the positive relationships I have with them I feel it important to acknowledge some other people in my life as well.

Michael: Michael is my husband. We have been together for 5 years, have a 2-year-old son, and have been married for a little over 7 months. This relationship has taught me a lot about myself. Thinks I like, things, I don’t like, things I excel at and things I should probably work on (like doing my own laundry.) Our relationship has many of the qualities of a partnership. We work together to make important decisions for ourselves and our life together. We also work together to make some of the most important decisions we will ever make…how to raise our child. We may not always agree but the beauty of our relationship is that we are able to work together to come up with a solution to any problem. (And usually he ends up agreeing with me 🙂 ) Part of maintaining our relationship is spending time together without our child. That time is necessary in order to nurture our relationship and keep it from fading away. Who ever said that relationships were hard work obviously had children and jobs that often created a lot of routine. It is important to step out of that routine and not forget how and why you got there in the first place.

Some other people I want to tell you about today are my best friends. All of them were my bridesmaids in my wedding and one was a groomsman. My relationships with each of these friends is equally important to me and I imagine that my life would be different had I not met each of them. I am going to choose only a few to tell you about because there were so many of them in the wedding.

Victoria: Victoria and I met through a mutual friend about 6 years ago. She lived in Pittsburgh and I lived in Baltimore. (strange combination I think. GO RAVENS!)  Although we were living in different states, we stayed in touch through phone calls, text messages, and emails. Maintaining a friendship when you rarely ever see someone is difficult. It is easy to lose touch and lose track of time. Before you know it you haven’t spoken to that person in weeks, or seen them in months. It sounds crazy when I say this but I honestly think we have only seen one another in person and spent time together about a dozen times since we have known each other. maintaining a friendship long distance is a challenge in itself but I learned that it also comes with great benefits. We know that it is difficult to see one another so there is no stress on either one of us to get together. Often as you grow up and begin to start families, there is less time for friends. But we still seem to have the same amount of time for one another. And honestly, I think we have more time for one another now. I have more time to text her because I am home with my family now on a friday night instead of out partying with the girls. We talk on the phone and stay in contact frequently. Her friendship has contributed to my life in many ways and I am thankful for it.

Craig: Craig is my best guy-friend. We have been friends for 11 years and counting. I have learned a lot from ym relationship with him.  I think having a close friendship with someone of the opposite sex really gives you a different perspective. I always felt that I could go to Craig for advice and the advice he gave me was almost always different from that of my girlfriends. Girls think very much with their hearts. Guys are much more logical and he always had a logical and honest answer for me. And he was almost always right.(Don’t tell him that!) I think that having me as a friend did the same for him. I recall him coming to me for advice about girls and my answer were always much more emotional than his logical ideas. I think it enables you to think differently about situations when you have a friend like I have in Craig.

Pat: Pat was a second grade teacher at my school, my first four years of teaching. We taught second grade together my first year and then moved to first grade. Our relationship was very much a partnership. We worked together to come up with creative and engaging lessons for our students. We were a great team because she was very knowledgable as she had been teaching for over 30 years and I had just finished college so I was full of new information and ideas. I had also been given many new resources at the new teacher orientation through the county and we were able to put together fantastic lessons and ideas for the kids combining my fresh ideas with her experience and knowledge.

My relationships and partnerships with others have an impact on work as an effective early childhood professional because having the experience working with others to make important decisions creates comfort for me when working with coworkers and parents for the best interest of my students. I am able to work with my husband to solve problems and make decisions. I have friends who give me advice from different sides and I believe this helps me to ‘put myself in someone elses shoes’ and understand how others feel. I have a friend who lives far away and despite busy schedules we make time for one another. This helps me with time management and making sure I get everything done. And finally, my relationship with my coworker has an effect on my professional life because I learned so much from her in a short time and I am able to apply what I have learned as I teach every day.

  • How might your experiences with relationships/partnerships, including your ability to be an active, reflective contributor, impact your work as an effective early childhood professional?