The Rock

By Vanessa Sanchez

As the children applied their sunscreen, Bonnie noticed a rock in the middle of the sandpit and said, “Vanessa! There is a huge rock in the sand! That is not safe for us to play in. What if Cohen trips over it and falls?” The other children agreed with Bonnie. “We have to move it out!” exclaimed Bonnie. Charlotte, Nora, Cohen, and Ethan joined Bonnie in the sandpit, and they began to push the rock. The rock did not budge. With hands-on her hips, Bonnie looked around the yard, ran out and back with a large strainer from the mud kitchen, and said, “Let’s put it in here!” “Yes! We can use the handles to carry it! Good idea, Bonnie.” Ethan said. Their goal was to move the rock to the lookout, out of the way of their playtime. Once the rock was out of the sandpit, Nora announced, “It’s going to be too heavy to carry it all the way up there,” as she points to the lookout. The children pause for a moment. Ethan has an idea, “What if we roll it in the tire?!”

As the children rolled the rock around the path, they communicated directions, became aware of others and objects for the children rolling backward, and complimented each other’s different ideas, including the ideas that did not work for them after a few attempts. This endeavor gave the children an opportunity to build positive relationships with each other as they combined their efforts.

When they stopped at the stairs and tested possibilities for reaching the end, they went back to their earlier plan to move the rock with the large strainer and rolling the empty tire.

Charlotte said, “I can help you see.” Then she guided Bonnie and Ethan, climbing up near them and announcing when their feet were near the next step. Once they reach their point in the lookout, all large items out of harm’s way, the team turned around with smiles and excitement to cheer their process.

Being in our cohorts has taken their opportunity to connect and learn from the other children and teachers. Still, it has given them the time to trust and support each other. Finding experiences for growth during an extended, complicated moment of our life has contributed to the importance of being in the moment and reflecting on the person I want to show others.

What has brought you unexpected positivity?

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