Lots of my thankfulness this week has been for our school. So here we go… top 10 reasons I am grateful for Roots!
10. I love that now as I read through my favorite natural play blogs and books that I have this amazing group of children with whom to go mess around with the ideas!
- I am grateful for taking the time either by myself or with children to stack blocks back on the shelf just so! Really, I love cleaning up. (I should write a blog post about our clean up process sometime!)
- I am grateful that becoming co-faciliator with Miguel has been full of ease and trust and that because of the larger ALC Mosaic network we are able to focus the majority of our time on children.
- I am grateful for kids pushing wooden trucks full of gnomes around the room! I love the opportunity to design, extend and document the use of open ended and beautiful playscapes. Seeing when and how the kids choose to engage in these spaces is total joy.
- I am grateful for the families that make our little school a community. I love that we get to have siblings around now and then and parents often. And in their wisdom I think that the kids pick up on the vibes of community and co-creation even when families are not here during the day.
- I am grateful for playing records at circle time! When I taught kindergarten years ago I dreamed of focusing totally on building community, social-emotional growth and honoring play. Somehow the record player and the Raffi, Ella Jenkins and Mister Roger’s vinyl I have collected over the years represent this circling back to the best parts of progressive early childhood from the 70’s and early 80’s. My older teacher friends used to tell me that I seemed from another time. It’s pretty awesome now to take the wonderful traditions we have for early childhood education and match it with the social possibilities and resources available in 2014.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to hear about, support and document kid’s ideas unfolding. Their plans are sometimes pre-meditated: they come to school knowing what their plan is and what materials they may need or they meet with me and name an idea and we make a plan together. I like supporting the fruition of their intentions. More often they are very spontaneous and in sync with the moment. Their ideas, the planning and the engagement of them happen fast! They are doers! I am grateful for both kinds of intentionality and everything in between.
- This is my dream work. This is literally the work I envisioned for myself come alive around me this fall. I am grateful that I get to engage in the daily living of an early childhood natural, play based community. Even as my wellness in the first trimmest of pregnancy has been a challenge the last two months, I have found such joy and ease in the school day. This is a peaceful place where I am happy! I love being busy all day with the kids. And I love that there is space for motherhood here, too. Spaceto sit and watch the play scenes while I rest. And this just becomes part of our natural rhythm, too. I noticed that I had alot more opportunities to sit and read with various kids in the last few weeks. As I sat down to take a break, someone would often come over to join me with a book. I love that this work flows with life.
2. I am grateful for children finding new delight in the sandbox after the rain or digging trenches from the rain barrel. I love that . elements of the natural world like rain and shade and shelter . shape our days and our play.
- I am grateful for seeing the children growing into a community that trusts and supports each other. I had some anxiety early in the year as I wondered how kids would integrate into a community. Now in November I feel a great trust in the children and in my ability to support them. I am grateful for all I have learned from them about being together in these first months of school. I see them weaving in and out of play groupings, engaging as a whole group often and workingthrough challenges. I am looking forward to how we will continue to grow and expand as we have a few more children join.