April Showers Bring More Than Flowers

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While it may not be true everywhere this newsletter appears, it is often true in central Texas where the newsletter is written! April is a RAINY month!

The phrase “April Showers” can actually be traced back to an English poet in the 1500’s! Wet weather in England inspired Thomas Tusser to write “sweet April showers to spring May flowers” so many years ago and we still hear it in advertising, in curriculum and in activities today. 

This idea of rain as a metaphor for nurturing can be applied as we consider early childhood and the care that we provide for children and staff in our centers, programs and schools. Rain plays a vital role in nature’s cycle, nurturing the earth and enabling growth and renewal in much the same way as educators influence the growth cycle of a child, where guidance, care, and nurturing foster development and learning.

Just as rain is essential for growth, embracing change within educational practices can lead to growth in our skills and techniques which leads to significant improvements in outcomes for children. Change is not just inevitable but necessary for development. Though rainy days can be challenging in a setting with young children, challenging times can provide valuable learning opportunities. Challenges encourage problem-solving, resilience, and adaptability among both educators and children. Finding ways to entertain, amuse and interest children who are cloistered indoors (sometimes for days at a time!) can be the best problem-solving opportunities around…and those opportunities sometimes turn into going out into the rain! Sometimes the best option is to face the challenge and make the best of it.

Like seeds needing time and consistent rain to sprout, children need patience and consistent support from educators to thrive. Remembering the importance of giving children time to absorb and learn at their own pace reminds us that what the steady nurturing rain provides to plants is like the consistent care and attention children require. Consistency in educational settings creates a safe and secure environment for children to explore and grow.

And finally, we celebrate the joy of blossoming– celebrating milestones and growth in our children, just as the arrival of flowers and new growth is celebrated after the rain. These celebrations encourage further development and bolster self-esteem, helping children feel their importance and develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. 

It is also important for directors, administrators, team leaders and other staff to highlight how educators grow through this process. Witnessing and contributing to the development of children enriches teachers’ professional and personal lives. Through their observations and successful endeavors, teachers are offered fresh insights and can feel a renewed passion for teaching.

Just like the earth rejuvenates with each rainfall, educators and educational practices should continually refresh and renew. The changing seasons and environment after rain can inspire curiosity in children which can inspire teachers as well. Engaging professional development, discovery of new approaches, and adapting to the latest research in early childhood education are all growing opportunities that directors can encourage and empower by providing resources, presenters, time and support. Similarly, introducing new concepts and changing the learning environment can spark curiosity and engagement in children.

Rain is a basic part of the water cycle. The ongoing cycle of learning includes growth and change in early childhood education. Like the earth with its seasons, education is a dynamic field that thrives on renewal, innovation, and the nurturing spirit of educators. Work with your staff to embrace the rainy days, nurture their students’ growth patiently, and celebrate each step of development, just as nature does with every shower and season.

As you do, you will inspire and motivate your early childhood educators to see the value in growth, change and the importance of the nurturing role they play in the development of the children they teach.

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