RIE in Real Life…RIE never stops

I remember when my friend and colleague, Janet Lansbury, started writing her blog many, many years ago. I was still in my training to become a RIE Associate, while working as an office manager for the nonprofit itself, RIE. And she came into my little office one day with this light in her eyes, telling me about her blog and what fun she was having with it. She was so excited. I was happy for her, but distinctly remembered thinking “how you can you write about RIE, like every week?! Won’t you run out of things to write about?”

And then* I started writing.

And I learned: No.

No, you can never run out of things to write about because while the basics of RIE are simple, the applications are absolutely endless.

*I didn’t start writing until the lockdowns of 2020: it was unsafe to teach in person and I was unable to connect with all of my families over zoom (we all remember zoom fatigue, right?). So, I started writing.

And while I started out worrying I wouldn’t have enough, what I’ve learned is that what I’ve accumulated is way too much! My website is overflowing with hundreds of articles, and more come out every week.  

And just like I never start a class with a preconceived idea of what to teach, instead letting the day unfold to what is needed by each individual group… I know that my weekly writings will only really strike a chord with some of my families each week…and that’s okay.

But for today, rather than add to the pile, I thought I’d sift through it and share some of my personal favorites from over the years…maybe one of them will strike a chord with you, too!

Here’s one I wrote (and recorded audio for) on the gift of slowing down.

And one I wrote about the angst of transitions.

Oh, and here’s one I sent to my mobile infant class just this week…all about the benefit of struggle.

Oof, here’s an in-depth one on the development of executive function and how it applies to RIE’s basic principles.

And here’s one I developed in cooperation with one of my (then) students (and now), RIE Associate, Kumiko Akiyama…it was all about, well cooperation.

And here’s one I wrote almost 20 years ago…back when I was a toddler teacher in a RIE-inspired classroom. I was talking about why we don’t rush to hush crying babies. Yes, in the over 20 years of my experience, I’ve grown and learned more…and yet, I haven’t strayed from Magda Gerber’s wisdom because while her basics are simple, the applications are endless.

Lastly, this is one of my favorites from last year…a story about how I, someone who’s been steeped in RIE for over 2 decades, still have my own learning to do…if only I slow down and listen to children. Because that, my dears, is what this whole RIE thing is all about: learning to slow down, to listen to children’s points of view, and to be willing to grow and change.