This week we’ve had a few of the nest cohort out, and so some of the older children have been visiting in the morning. Today as I observed CG helping HB with his shoes in the cubby room, I was reminded of children in the previous year who had taken on mentoring roles. I wrote a blog about this a year ago, here.
At first, CG was looking at HB, and said, “Put your boots on! Put your boots on!” I turned to CG and said, “CG, would you like to help HB with the boots?” CG said, “Yes!” and then turned to HB and said, “I’ll help you put boots on.”
We originally began encouraging the more experienced Elm House children to mentor the younger, newer children last year, because we saw it as an opportunity to foster
strong and nurturing connections between incoming and returning children. This quickly became part of our school culture, and I believe it was so important because I have observed how common it is for older or more experienced children to feel fearful, impatient, or to have misconceptions about the abilities of the younger and less experienced children. Through mentoring, the children come to appreciate their shared abilities and similarities, and to recognize their own and other’s strengths and challenges.