Caring and Connection in the Early Childhood Classroom – by Mahajyoti Glassman

Caring and Connection in the
Early Childhood Classroom

By MJ Glassman

Caring and Connection with all of the dynamic life forms and elements of the created universe is an integral part of Yoga Education or Neohumanism. It is rooted in our interconnection with all living beings in that great Circle of Life, including both animate and inanimate alike; in yoga all these are considered living. This sense of kinship, the weaving all beings together, as one global family is reflected in active learning from theme to theme in the early childhood classroom. Every day will hold within it opportunities to express support and connection.

Active positive understanding of these beings – plants, animals, the elements, the environment – with whom we share life – are nurtured, showing kindness and empathy. Just as we emphasize sharing and love for fellow human beings, this love is also openly expressed and shared with other members of the created world that surround and embrace us. Active interactions and respect are extended to all. Each being has a special task or gift that it performs for the Earth or Mother Nature. Getting along with each other with love and expressing caring is the first step to realizing world harmony.

Activities of Care and Connection will be made available to students every day. Examples follow of some themes and some of their possible corresponding activities.

Asian New Year – Sending drawings with stories of pandas to a panda sanctuary where they are actively engaged in saving the species. Perhaps sharing how valuable and wonderful they are to children and the world.
Birds – Caring for birds, feeding them, making bird feeders, providing water, bird treats.
Bugs – Being kind to bugs, watching not handling, leaving them in their natural habitat.
Gardening – Which flowers can be picked and not picked, what do plants like or not like, growing flowers and vegetables, what do they need.
Earth Day – Collecting litter safely, keeping the earth, air, water happy, what do they need.
Land of Ice & Snow – Feeding winter animals, why support animals in winter.
Trees – Watering trees, learning how to care for trees, watching/drawing their seasonal changes.

In what other ways can we show Caring and Connection within each theme?
How does our connection, our relationship, with each being – enrich our lives and the world?
How can we become or express each being in asana?

“Sá vidyá yá vimuktaye - Education is that which liberates”