The intention of our blog posts is to build connections between Opal School's pedagogy and what this actually looks like and sounds like in the evolving, organic life of the classroom. We will share images, stories and dialogues from the classroom as well as our work as Teacher-Researchers – our observations, questions, and reflections. Our hope in sharing these windows into the classroom is to not only give you a sense of the children's thinking and experiences, but also how it connects to what Opal School values and what guides our work with young children and why it is important.
In these first few days of preschool together, we are reminded of our belief that children are natural collaborators, always in search of relationships. We know how vital shared experiences are in helping all of us to build meaningful relationships, but in the beginning of a school year those first experiences can require such courage.
We are both humbled and in awe, in this short time we have spent as a community, of the children's unfaltering attempts to ignite relationships that will take root and grow. Below are some sneak peeks of some captured moments of the children's empathetic, graceful, beautiful encounters as they seek connections and relationships within this new learning community called Opal preschool.
Offering to help another with an unfamiliar job.
Trying a new experience together.
Sharing a strategy with a classmate.
An openness to share materials.
Working collaboratively on a piece of work.
Inviting someone into your imaginative play.
Noticing a friend needs help and offering it.
Reaching out for a new friend's hand.
Exploring a new challenge as a group.
Working together sparked by mutual excitement.
Commenting on a classmate's work.
Lending a hand (or two) of support.
Each of those images has a parallel I’ve seen in the older grades this week, Caroline. Such universal impulses!
As a reader, educator and as a parent of an Opal preschooler, this post speaks volumes to me. I am reminded of the idea put out by Carlina Rinaldi, “If you believe that the others are a source of your learning, your identity and your knowledge, you have opened a very important door to the joy of being together.” I feel so excited for this preschool community that this is so clearly valued through the images and words (unspoken and interpreted) captured in the post–and foresee a joy-filled year ahead!
Seeing the photos of your students on the rocks in the Rocky Space reminded me of a comment one of the Opal School 5th graders made this week as she easily stepped up on the same rock. She said, “Remember when these rocks used to be so big?”