Dear Exchange Community,
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “risk.” It’s a tricky one right now. We absolutely don’t want to encourage inappropriate risks related to pandemic concerns, for example, so it doesn’t work to say that risk is always a good thing. But it also doesn’t work to say that risk is never o.k.
Our Exchange team has talked about the fact that one of the new books we released during a pandemic is Adventures in Risky Play by Rusty Keeler. We very much believe in the book, but wondered how the title would strike people right now. What I’ve learned is that educators are using it to have deep and thoughtful conversations about what messages we want to give children related to risk.
We know children are watching us closely to see how we’re coping with current challenges. Somehow we have to strike a balance between helping them take safety measures seriously while also reminding them that not everything is dangerous. I love how Rusty’s book helps us remember that children need chances to feel brave, to test themselves in appropriate ways and to experience the joy of conquering fears.
Actually, maybe we all need to do those things as much as children. I would guess that during this past year you’ve done some pretty brave things. Maybe it’s time to celebrate those a little!
Exchange Publisher, on behalf of our whole team
What is Your Yes?
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Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play is allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children. He challenges us to rattle our cage and discover where the lines are movable. In our role as educators and caretakers, when we allow children to play and confront risk on their own terms, we see them develop, hold their locus of control and make choices on how to navigate the bumpy terrain of a situation. What better teaching tool for life is there?
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