Within a Room

Lynne Wanamaker


In the face of an injustice toward a child, what is the responsibility of an early childhood educator? What are the risks if we speak out? What are the risks if we remain silent, if we do nothing? “Courage, Hannah Arendt (1958/1998) suggests, which we often think of as a quality of the ‘hero,’ is already present in the willingness to act and speak, to insert oneself into the world and begin a story” (Berger, 2010, p. 73).

“Lynne is conscientious in her work but she is shy.” I find it quite interesting that this comment/label written about me on my report card 52 years ago by my kindergarten teacher entered my thoughts out of somewhere while I was contemplating how to tell this particular story about taking risks in my practice as an early childhood educator, and how I let go of normal. If indeed I am normally shy, I most definitely let go of my personal and professional normal in a family drop-in program in which I am the only early childhood educator-facilitator. It happened one busy morning in front of parents, grandparents, care providers, and children from infancy to five years old. People had been engaged in relation with each other and the mostly unconventional materials in the intentionally unstructured, untimed, and nontraditionally run program that is situated within a room in an urban elementary school. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v42i1.16886


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