Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

Opal School Visitation Days 2019: Reading the World

Opal School Visitation Days 2019: Reading the World

Wednesday, April 10: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Thursday and Friday, April 11-12: 8:30am-4:00pm

What conditions do human beings need to thrive? What is the role of schooling in creating these conditions? How do we support children to connect their reading of the world to the things we do in school? To what extent is making space for these readings necessary for democracy? How do we best support the transition between reading the world and reading the word in a way that strengthens the relationship between empathy and agency?

When we invite the 100 Languages into schools, we open the door to new kinds of relationships and creativity, including joyful learning that supports the growth and development of a citizenry that can reinvigorate our democracy. Reading the World invites participants into a study of Opal School children and teachers at work. Observe Opal Beginning School (ages 3-5) and Opal Charter School (grades k-5) in session. Engage in reflection and dialog about the role of quality in education.

Curious about the structure of the retreat?  Here is the 2018 agenda.

A few reflections from 2018 Reading the World participants:

It was invaluable. It really helped to broaden my whole understanding of my image of the child, my beliefs, the purpose of education. Big, “meaty”, transformative changes. Sometimes I felt so overwhelmed by the rift between where you are and where our district is that I felt like shutting down. But, it was perfect. You can’t shake foundational beliefs without discomfort.

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so safe as I approached such big changes to my thinking and teaching. Having the time to process my thinking and observations worked really well for me. It took a potentially overwhelming and difficult process and made it safe and allowed the process to be felt and to take root.

I needed an energy boost and something to help me appreciate my role. I was starting to lose interest in my work and it was becoming just a job. Thank you for reigniting my inner passion.

Even though there are many things we can’t replicate, there are so many things we can do and change – particularly our language and how we relate to children.

I am not the same teacher or the same human as I was when I walked in Wednesday night. I feel like I will look more closely at my practice, unpacking deeper understanding of the what’s and why’s of what we do with a renewed vigor and a modified lens. My definition of reading expanded in ways I didn’t know were possible and will forever change the way I think of literacy/being literate!

This workshop has not been like any other professional development I have experienced in that I have never been asked to engage in the intellectual work of constructing a theory of literacy, inquiry, empathy, agency, creativity, and democracy. By engaging us in this intellectual work, these words are more than buzzwords and I’m inspired to continue revisiting the theory we started to co-construct, share it with a few people that I trust, and work to make it come alive in my classroom.

This workshop has empowered me to use my role as an educator to encourage students to be agents of change and responsible global citizens.

This workshop has helped me to develop a framework for our work with kids: How do we help them to develop relationships with each other, materials, and the environment so they can learn about themselves? The flow of the day/program was wonderful.

Participants are eligible to receive university credit upon completion of coursework and payment of an additional fee to Western Oregon University.

May 26, 2017