Author: Kerry Salazar

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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Oct
23

Unpacking Compassion

“Empathy is a gateway to compassion. It’s understanding how someone feels, and trying to imagine how that might feel for you — it’s a mode of relating. Compassion takes it further. It’s feeling what that person is feeling, holding it, accepting it, and taking some kind of action.” – Lori Chandler My colleagues and I […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Oct
07

Participating Together

One of Opal School’s Values guiding all of our decisions is, A belief in the rights of children, families and educators to participate together in forming and shaping rich environments of learning, challenge and choice. I began my 11th year teaching at Opal School this year, so I have spent over a decade practicing this […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
13

What do you rely on?

In her last post, Susan shared stories about getting started with Story Workshop. She wrote that educators interested in Story Workshop often ask us, How do you get started? She told you that we often answer, It depends. Which is true. It depends on many things – on our intentions for individuals and for the group, our relationship […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
04

Not just a pretty space

At the beginning of the school year, before the children arrive, all of us teachers at Opal School spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of environments we want to create. We are guided by our questions. These include: What do we hope this environment communicates to children and about children? To adults […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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