Showing posts from January, 2014

Things I Miss About Teaching

Can I tell you the truth? I was a preschool teacher here for 14 years before I moved into this studio job. Now that I am a resource teacher, I sometimes feel a longing to be back in the classroom. Most of all, I miss the connection a teacher enjoys in being responsible to a group of children and having collaboration with co-teachers. As I listen to the lower school teachers talk about their classrooms, and the preschool teachers getting ready for conferences on Monday, I've been making a mental list of things I wish were still part of my job.
One thing I miss is getting to know families. As a classroom teacher, I had a lot of contact with parents, brothers and sisters at pick up time, classroom meetings and conferences. But as a resource teacher there are very few occasions for me to talk with adults. If I didn't do preschool carpool I wouldn't recognize the children's families at all, I bet. I am sad that there is a whole generation of preschool parents coming up that …

What is a Time Machine?

I said, I wondered if any of you had ever heard of a time machine?
Emmett "Yeah, I’ve heard of one, my sister built one."
I was wondering if we could figure out how to do a time machine. Emmett, do you want to tell everyone what a time machine is?

Emmett "Well a time machine is a machine that you get in and you have to put some flowers or something in this mailbox thing? And then you press a button? Then you say where you want to go and then it zooms there."

Yeah, so you could go in time. Like, you could say ‘I want to go to the time when I was a baby', and then you could go and see yourself being a baby. Or you could go to the time when you're a Grandmother, or a Grandfather if you're a boy.
Noah "or a Mommy...How do you get back where you started from, Emmett?
Cal "You go back to the time!"
Emmett "You say the words." Is it magic words or something?
"Yeah, you say ‘go back to the time when I was born', and then you go back t…

A Lizard and a Killer Whale

killer whale and lampfish 

Thinking about eyes

Some ideas seem so rich with possibility that when I hear them in a child's conversation I pay attention. Anything to do with point of view almost always opens a new door to children's thinking. Twice recently children have mentioned eyes in ways that were intriguing. First, in a conversation in the kindergarten, the children were proposing ways to know what the weather was each day. Alexander said something about making a magic weather chart outside that could write itself, and then said "school should have eyes and an arm to check the weather." Many children laughed or shook their heads, but Hunter said "I really think the school could have eyes." At first it may seem frivolous or fantastical to think of a building having eyes, but really, think about how much things can tell us about the environment they are in. Lately I wonder if young children and scientists are on the same wavelength, and the rest of us are just trying to catch up. On another occasion …

Talking with preschoolers about trees

Cris has been taking four year old children from her class outside to observe trees. She invited me to go along one day...

Addisyn "There's a little flower in the tree and a Princess was, and the flower was trying to come out."
Vivienne..."We need all these people (the trees?)... there's a face on the tree." Anna "Addisyn had a idea, about a Princess in the tree. How could you make a Princess for a tree?"

the nicest fashion girls ever

Anna "Why are you making lipstick and perfume?"
Elina  "I like to be fashiony and wear makeup."
Anna "What is fashion?"
Vivienne "It's like the fashion show!"
Elina   "it means to be pretty."
Anna  "am I fashiony?"
 (it was the day of the polar vortex, and I do carpool. I was NOT fashiony!)
Sadie  "yeah. why cause, you got sparkles on you!"
Anna "I don’t think I’m really that fancy though."
Viv.  "but I like your scarf though."
Anna "is Elaine (their teacher) fashiony?"
Everyone "yes yes yes!" 
Elina  "all of us are fashiony except the boys."
Anna  "Who is the most fashiony that you ever saw?" 
(I was thinking they might name a celebrity or movie character) 

Everyone  "Me! Me! Me!
 Yeah! Everyone is fashionist!"

When a group of girls came to the studio to make lipstick and perfume to further a game they were playing in their classroom, I was wary. I admit that…

Reflecting on the New Year, and the old one

Does Winter break get you in a reflective mood? For me, even more than New Year's day, this pause in the year is time for reviewing and thinking about how to do things differently. I love the cycle of a reflective practice of teaching (trying something, critical reflection, trying again to see if you can make it better). As a way of working, it keeps you thinking and wondering. However it is easy to get discouraged with yourself since you can always find something you can do better in any teaching situation. All of that self criticism can bring you down if you aren't careful. 

Yesterday I realized that in all of my planning for making the second part of the school year so much better than the first part, I was forgetting to think back on all of the things that my colleagues and I accomplished this calendar year. 

I do that a lot- forgetting the forest for the trees. 

So before we jump back in to working harder and doing better, let's all take a minute to remember the good, or…