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Springtime has me thinking about change. Change can feel hard and scary, but it can also provide a source of comfort. It can bring darkness and rain but also light and growth. Change can be a good thing. Often, when things change, we grow and learn in new ways—ways that couldn’t have been possible without that change.
Last week the children in Opal 2 had some things to say about change:
Teacher: On Friday when Dylan was here with his band, one of the members of his bank talked to us about how a song doesn’t always have to be the same. He said that you might change how you sing that song every time you sing it, depending on how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking that day. That made me wonder: Are there other things like that—that don’t always have to be the same every time?
ZB: Your art work. Your art can change in what feelings– like if you’re feeling sad you might draw what’s making you sad– and try that out.
KN: You’re not probably always going to be the same. When you’re little sometimes you wake up earlier or later than you usually do– because my brother tries to sleep in as much as he can and I try and wake up as early as I can. 
Teacher: Do you think that’s going to change when you get to be your brother’s age?

KN: Yeah!

Teacher: When you get older sometimes you change, but what about people across a day?

TG: I actually did do that just yesterday. My parents want me to play this game since I keep buying new things for it, but then I never use them. So they looked up this thing and I went there and figured out there was this really good one on sale there for 5 bucks and I bought it. Now I changed that I want to go there a lot.

Teacher: So a new experience changed what you want to do or what you’re interested in?

TG: Yes.

OR: I grow and learn every day. Sometimes, you can grow a little bit and you don’t notice or you can grow a lot and you do notice.

LH: Your thinking can change. You don’t think the same thing every day.
AG: What if you had this big question that was stuck in your head for a long time? And you didn’t have the answer?
RB: And you think about it every day.
AG: And you can’t forget it and you can’t really think of anything else. What if that happens?
These are questions with no answers; no right, no wrong, just questions worth exploring together. It’s those questions- the questions you can’t forget, the questions that make you not really able to think of anything else, that drive the work we do together at Opal School. Those are the questions that change us. And it’s what keeps me excited about this work from day to day and year to year. Because I know things will change, but there seems to be a comfort in that change knowing that when we listen to children, they will always lead us to stumble upon those questions we just can’t seem to forget.
April 25, 2014