In Lisa Murphy on Play: The Foundation of Children's Learning, Murphy makes this observation:
"Howard Gardner tells us that at any given moment or any given day we could be facilitating an experience that makes a lifelong impact. He calls this a 'crystallizing moment.' And as teachers, we never know when one might occur. Could be Monday, Friday, the rainy day, the day we are in a good mood, the day we are in a bad mood. We cannot plan or schedule, buy or coordinate a crystallizing moment. There isn't a signal, a bell, or a loud trumpet indicating what has happened.... Ideally, crystallizing moments occur when we are at our best. Unfortunately, for some, it's when an adult was at her worst. Crystallizing moments can be happy memories or sad ones. This is only one of the reasons why we MUST be fully present when we are with children and must never, never, ever, ever underestimate the power of what we do."
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Yes, be present--pay attention, talk to the children, listen to the children in your care. It's not about fancy lesson plans--it's about real connections----play, laugh, sing, dance, read stories, play games--these are children and children want to feel loved and connected.