Have you ever heard the term “safe place”? I first heard about it in an article on emotional logic, the ins and outs of which I have not mastered.
When I heard the term, however, I was intrigued by the concept…one I latched on to and have been trying to apply in my classroom. Children need a safe place–somewhere they can retreat into when they feel threatened, when the things they are experiencing become too much for them, when the emotions they are feeling overwhelm and confuse them. I have the beginnings of a safe place in my classroom: a quiet, cosy reading corner (which could do with more work to make it cosier still), and it’s a corner I’m working on.
The idea came about when I discovered my own safe place at work–nothing fanciful, just a small white table in the corner of our music room, and two white walls. After the whirlwind of activity that comes with every preschool morning, I retreat to my safe place. There, while my children catch up on sleep, I catch up on all the thinking work that I need to do. That is the only time of the day I relax abit more, straighten out straggled nerves and put my thoughts in order. That’s when my admin work gets done (or at least part of it) and my plans for the next day take shape and solidify. That’s also when I call out all the other fleeting thoughts that brushed by me in the morning, that I did not get to before then (and there are alot of those, believe me!).
I have only one short hour to do all that (sometimes less!), but it counts! On the days that I don’t have time to retreat, life takes on the pace of a morning peak train, the thoughts tumbling past each other like so many commuters on their way to work. And I drop onto the pillow at night well-past surviving another minute on my feet. Anyway, so much for my safe place.
Children need one too…and so do you. Where’s yours?
Thank you for reading!