Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Hello Goodbye Window

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Way, way, back, when I was taking my early childhood education classes, we learned about different temperaments. Some children, particularly those who are "slow to warm up"  can have difficulty with transitions.  These children need time to adjust to changes in activities and schedules.  For them, things like morning drop-offs at daycare are going to be a little harder

One of my many assignments as an ECE student, was to design an ideal childcare centre. This was an incredible amount of fun for me because my imaginary childcare centre also had an incredibly wealthy benefactor who provided unlimited funding.  (And that's the stuff ECE dreams are made of!)  My imaginary centre featured an amazing glass enclosed sunroom with big double sliding glass doors through which the children would enter each morning. My idea was that being able to look through the doors and see what was going on inside without actually being part of the activity would allow children time to adjust before they made their entrance.  It would be so perfect for those slow to warm up children.

Now even  though I found the assignment fun, I also considered it a a bit of a waste of time.  What was the probability that I would ever build this ideal centre? It wasn't until years later that I realized that I had been slowly incorporating many of my ideas from my imaginary childcare centre into my real life centre all along.  Imagine my chagrin!  Those instructors knew what they were doing.

Now, I'm still waiting for my incredibly wealthy benefactor to provide some funding but I have been able to incorporate the idea of a gradual entrance into my daycare.  I have, not only the sliding glass doors from my ideal centre, but a sort of "Hello Goodbye Window".
This is our "Hello Goodbye Window"

As my buddies and their parents approach the daycare, they pass by my kitchen window.  Often I will give them a quick wave hello as they pass. Then they walk across the patio area to enter through sliding glass doors.  They have full view of everything going on inside and have that moment to prepare for their entrance.  After drop off, that kitchen window is used again as parents will often give that one last good-bye.  It's just like "The Hello Goodbye Window" by Norton Juster.  If you ever get a chance to read this book, it's a wonderful story of a child and her grandparents and their window.   I've read it many times and I highly recommend it!  And if you ever meet up with that wealthy benefactor, could you send him my way?  I've got a few more things I'd like to build for my buddies.  I'll be waiting and watching through my window....

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