Author: Kerry Salazar

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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Mar
13

Curiosity

Last night I was reading a story to my two-year-old son. On each page he stopped to ask me a question. Sometimes I tried to answer with what I thought, sometimes I asked him what he thought, and sometimes I told him I didn’t know. No matter what I said to him, he followed up […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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Jan
26

Feeling Big

“The child is not a citizen of the future; he is a citizen from the very first moment of life and also the most important citizen because he represents and brings the ‘possible’…a bearer, here and now of rights, of values, of culture.” -Carlina Rinaldi, In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, Researching and Learning A […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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Dec
01

Making 1 from 20

This year, the Dogwood Community was invited to write the story for a school-wide community celebration, the Lantern Walk. The Lantern Walk is held each year when the days grow shorter as winter sets in. The message below, sent to families each year, captures the intentions of this tradition. The idea behind the Lantern Walk […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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Sep
23

Partner Explore

  “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.” –Brené Brown We’re only in our third week of school, and the Dogwood community has been spending a lot of time thinking together about […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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Apr
12

What brine do you soak in?

Students in Opal 4 have been working to seek connections between some of their experiences in Opal 4 this year, the questions we’ve been exploring around perspective taking, and Opal School’s goals and expectations (which we first wrote about here). Because we know that the use of materials supports students to seek these connections and […]

By Kerry Salazar | Intermediate
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Dec
16

Exploring Opal School’s Goals and Expectations for Students: Part 1

One important document that lives inside the family handbook that goes home at the beginning of each year is Opal School’s goals and expectations for students. As teachers, this document is a critical piece of our work. We use it as a resource for planning, reflecting and assessing. It serves as a guiding document that […]

By Kerry Salazar | Intermediate
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