Author: Kerry Salazar

Feb
05

Sharing Our Stories: Reflecting together on teaching and learning in a pandemic

The current health pandemic has brought about feelings of incredible uncertainty, fear, and vulnerability for teachers, families, and students across the world. Here at Opal School, like for so many others, this year has felt like we’ve faced unimaginable challenge after unimaginable challenge. For me personally and professionally, it’s been a real struggle. I think […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
16

What’s a parent to do?

 I wrote earlier this year about my desire to step in as a parent when my child is at home doing online learning and my struggle to step back and let him navigate things without me doing it for him. That impulse to intervene continues to be strong even as I tell myself that his […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Oct
03

Growing Independence And Collaboration

I used to picture my five-year-old son starting kindergarten as an experience that I expected would be full of nervous excitement, joy, laughter, and new friends. My son loved preschool. His experience with school prior to kindergarten led him to hold a strong image of what it means to go to school and to learn–an […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
28

Blocks (and unblocking)

This year, the Primary Team is framing their intentions through a study of self. During the first week of school, teachers set intentions and committed to processes of observation, documentation, and reflection to open new questions and possibilities. During the first week of school, teachers wondered what provocations they might offer early on in the […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
13

Glimpses into the first week

When people come to visit Opal School, we often hear the question, “What does all of this look like in the beginning of the year? How do you start?” And really, that can feel tricky to respond to, because it never looks just the same as it did before. New children, new families, new teachers, […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Aug
30

Getting Ourselves Ready

The teachers are back to work at Opal School this week, getting environments ready, cracking open big ideas, and imagining possibilities in anticipation of the children arriving on Tuesday. The primary team began our work together this year by sharing our excitement: things that each one of us was looking forward to exploring with children […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Feb
20

designing for tension

“The most frustrating, agonizing part of creative work, and the one we grapple with every day in practice, is our encounter with the gap between what we feel and what we can express.” -Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play In my own experience as a writer, I know there is a gap between what I feel and […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Jan
23

collaborating with colleagues

Recently I’ve been thinking about “developing a reflective practice” and the parallels I see between my own practice of reflection and the practices of reflection I’m inviting the children to engage in. In this month’s member meet-up, Matt and Mary Gage had a conversation with colleagues around the ways we mentor and collaborate with colleagues […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
26

Developing a reflective practice

Story Workshop began at Opal School many years ago with teachers and children working together to research the question, What is the relationship between literacy and the arts? Over a decade later, this question continues to guide the work we do during Story Workshop. When I was first learning about Story Workshop, I remember how […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Nov
23

Sharing Gratitude

On Friday morning, Opal School children, families, and teachers gathered together for our weekly school-wide gathering. This week, it was the Dogwood community of first and second grader’s turn to lead. They decided to spend that time sharing about what they are grateful for and then giving the audience a chance to do the same. […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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