Making our voices heard - Listening Lenny
Preschool is a pretty busy place. There is so much going on all of the time. My co-teacher and I were finding ourselves interrupted all the time. Now you don’t want to say to a child “hold on” but you can not possibly answer everyone all at once. I was looking for a way to have their voices heard and still be able to manage all the conversations. That’s when I remembered my daughter and her special stuffed animals. She would talk to them and tell them her thoughts. I wondered if this could work in preschool too. I decided to create Listening Lenny. Listening Lenny was designed as someone the children could talk to if we were busy.
The ground rules were that no one picks Lenny up. He stays seated. That’s it. The children were encouraged to share stories, thoughts and feelings with Lenny and even a good joke! They were excited. Over the next week we encouraged them to talk to Lenny and by the next week I observed several children interacting with Lenny on their own. When children who had been absent for the introduction of Lenny arrived the other children filled them in on what Listening Lenny was all about. By the end of week two I have seen and felt the value of Lenny and the power of feeling heard. The children are happy when they get to say what they are thinking - even if it is to a squirrel. Today as I cleaned up I discovered that several children have begun leaving gifts for Lenny.
The children have begun to develop a relationship with Lenny and their gifts show me he is important to them. The power of feeling heard. Such an important message and important element to have for every child. Thanks Lenny - we are glad to have you at preschool.