…the envelope, think outside the box, stretch yourself. We spend all this time talking about it and encouraging it, but how often do we actually follow it. I had this thought first a few years ago while working at a daycare. The teacher was upset when the students were not perfectly quiet and didn’t obey the rules to a T…They were 2 Years Old!!! Is it really reasonable for your ones to behave perfectly, or should we take some time to excite them and encourage their imagination (beyond the scheduled 23 minutes for them to “play”).
I had the privilege of learning from one of the best on how to interact with kids (my mother who is incredible, engaging, and exciting…kids love her) and seeing the restrictions these kids underwent made me feel for their imagination. They didn’t seem encouraged to push the envelope. Kids were expected to be silent in hallways, not come in certain areas, and obey each and every command the teacher said with no exception. It made no sense to me and when it came time for meals and nap time, they had too much energy. Let the kids be themselves. Implement rules, but don’t abuse them!
I have seen it again as of late when working with Student Affairs professionals. I have set through numerous meetings where we are told to think outside the box and expand our horizons. Then we get stuck because of the “political game” where bringing up an idea and being creative gets shot down because “that’s not how we do things” or “someone higher up wont allow that.” Mixed messages are frustrating and make change and improvement difficult. It is part of why we are so slow at adapting to new ideas and functioning. I am not saying I know everything, far from it in fact. That is why I am a graduate student. But if you tell me to be different and creative and then reject my idea every time I am, the actions do not support the words. Even acknowledging the idea and offering feedback would serve a better purpose.
I am also not saying everyone in SA is this way, but I would encourage you (and me) to keep it in mind while working with students.