Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Hatchery of Ideas

By: Marie Bee
In one of my roles, I work at an elementary school and so my days are filled with questions, laughter and imaginative minds. I have the pleasure of starting my mornings surrounded by kids who adore sharing their ideas, thoughts and explanations for why things occur. I always love when these explanations are in reference to animal behaviour and/or ecological processes. There are two examples that have stayed with me that reveal the loveliness of how children associate their experiences in how they relate them to themselves. The first occurred on a chilly morning a few months back as the sun slowly started to heat the playground creating the dewdrops to evaporate into the air from every surface. I heard a little boy call out “the tree is breathing!” and a group started to circle around the base of the large trunk to watch as the sun warmed its bark turning the morning droplets into little misty clouds similar to when one exhales… In the past weeks, I have had the company of a little girl who tells me about the chickens she has at home. There are over 40, but she has told me that she does know a few of them quite well, one in particular by the name of Henrietta. As it were, Henrietta had fled their place a while back. I listened to her story of how Henrietta had disappeared and return one day with a crowd of little chicks following closely behind her. I loved the explanation that this little girl gave me which was that Henrietta had left because she wanted to have a family. As they collect the eggs Henrietta would not have been able to have her chicks had she stayed. And so, as she stated this was the only way that Henrietta could be the mother she had dreamed of being… I am always fascinated by the logic that kids come up with to explain behaviour, understanding or function. They are often inspired by the understanding they have of themselves but more importantly they express a genuine empathy toward the beings that they encounter.

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