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

Workshop Follow-Up: Reading the World

Workshop Follow-Up: Reading the World


Opal School teachers and children share their work with the world through professional development workshops. The effort involved in this is significant – but it’s our way of fulfilling our mission of strengthening public education well beyond the walls of Portland Children’s Museum.

Last week, we held a program called Reading the World. A group of educators and administrators from Oregon, British Columbia, Arizona, California, Georgia, and New York gathered to explore the connections between literacy, creativity, and sustainability.

Opal School children’s worlds are open to these visitors.  Imagining that some children came home tired after those days, I thought that they and their families would like to hear some of the voices of participants – especially because the participants spent so much of their days focusing on the children’s voices.

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I feel like attending this workshop was like winning the lottery!

Thank you for opening your school and experience for us. It is a beautiful gift I will hold in my heart.

Beautiful… nothing beats seeing real classes in action.

 Classrooms are inspirational – teachers a joy to watch with the children – respectful 

We are working on many aspects of story workshop and Reggio inspired practice. This was a wonderful experience for us to come together and experience the Portland setting. We have left feeling energized and excited to try many things we have explored these past 2 days.

This was an amazing experience! The time to observe, read, listen to ideas, share ideas and to privately reflect helped to make strong connections in my brain.

 It was inspiring to listen to the children’s conversations and observe how teachers, students, and materials mediate learning.  I loved to observe the classrooms, the intentionality, creativity.

 I appreciated the [teachers’] openness sharing not only ideas but struggles.

 It is so powerful to walk into these living spaces and hear the children – AMAZING!

 Feeling so very fortunate to be able to study this approach.

Always amazed by what children are able to do if we expect them to. 

Thank you so very much for being a place teachers can come back to to learn about their approach, continuing to build and understand the depth and nuance around educating our future adult citizens in a way that empowers compassionate, creative, multiply-literate enthusiasts for life. 

It was a wonderful opportunity to see theory put into practice. I especially enjoyed seeing all levels – preschool-Grade 5.

I’ll be recommending [you] to others who are interested in this innovative approach to education. Our children’s future depends on it! Keep up the great work!

The past two days have been vigorous. There are so many possibilities that emerge from this experience… The belief that literacy, creativity, and sustainability have the power to connect us all and lead to empathy worldwide is a lot to chew on and process.  Thank you!

I learned so much about the tone and culture of the school and was really able to see the values and approach consistently throughout the classrooms.

This was wonderful! It has felt both very relieving as well as challenging/stimulating. 

The relationship between the classroom observations, the theory/philosophy presentations, & opportunity for reflection & dialogue created a beautiful balance & helped me to make meaning from the experience & make a plan for more meaningful pedagogical experiences in the classroom.

It was fantastic!  This, by far, was one of the best PD opportunities that I’ve had.  I appreciated being able to get into the classes, have the reflective time and time for dialogue.  I’m leaving really inspired and full of things that my colleagues and I will share and work towards.

I am leaving Opal with a sense of inspiration, to question my practice, to listen, to be sensitive to the child’s voice, always wonder, ask questions that open up thining, discover, etc, etc

Really shifted my view/focus of inclusion and gave me a way as a person to have a window into the world of a child who is different/challenging

[Classroom observations were] one of the best, most useful components of the workshop. Heard the language used, saw how clean-up happened, heard and saw some gentle discipline, wondering questions, etc. [Time with Opal Staff was] second best thing about the workshop – so useful and enlightening.

Thank you for welcoming us to your school – it was powerful and inspiring, such a gift to observe and connect theory to “real life.” The thoughtful and intentional use of space, time, etc was both thought provoking and simply brilliant!

Wonderful to see/feel Opal School in action.  It was powerful to be present and an amazing privilege.

Our next gathering in Portland is the Summer Symposium, June 19-21.  We hope you can join us!