I have been reading "In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, Researching and Learning (Contesting Early Childhood)" this week. It is one of those books that I pick up and read for a while, then have to put aside, because it is so rich with ideas. One of the phrases that got me thinking was from the Translator;
"in Italian, we use the word formazione, or formation in English, for professional development, as well as the more general formation of the person." Like so many Italian words, this one seems to have a much broader and truer meaning that the ones we use.
As I have been ending my school year, which brings lots of reflecting on what went well and what I could change, I have enjoyed reading other teachers end of year reflections as well, like this one from Allie; bakersandastronauts/sketchbook-reflection
During this process of ending the school year, I am often filled with self-doubt and the feeling of failure. So many things slipped through the cracks, so many little projects went unfinished (or un-started!). I find them as I go through the studio...little plans for a doll someone was going to sew, half of a sculpture, or a finished drawing that I was going to ask someone to represent in another media.
However, I know that this feeling is just a part of the cycle of a reflective teaching practice for me, and it makes me think hard about being a better follow-upper, question-asker, listener and collaborator. At this time of year, I look to other teachers for tools that will help me be organized, tidy, and on time (I have no problem being flexible, creative or persistent!). Next year I will come back, filled with hope and joy, ready for the best year ever.
Now, thanks to Carlina Rinaldi's book, I have a new way to think about this part of my professional development. This is what I want to do... It is the formation of me, as a teacher and a person.