The start of the school year is always a time for reflection: looking ahead with excitement, looking back with love. Right before school began, some of our teachers took the time to share moments they are proud from the past year, 2015-2016. You’ll notice the focus on social-emotional learning and warm relationships: starting from the heart! (Look for more from Step One teachers in April.)
Kevin Becketti Afternoon Teacher
This last year I was proud that I slowed down more and took time to sit with kids: reading to them cuddled around me in the chair, talking with them one-on-one. I’m often involved in active play in the yard, and I realized that with quieter play, different kids spent time with me than do playing ball. I think part of that shift came from spending time in the nap room over the past year: I got more in touch with the rhythms of the younger child, the quieter child. I was pleased to connect with the nurturing side of my teaching, and I’ve brought that nurturing energy into the way I play active games, too.
Angie Forrest-Flahive Room 4 Head Teacher
All year in our mixed-age groups, the older children are learning from being mentors, gaining competence. Then at the end of the year, the older ones realize that they are leaving Step One and start to regress. The younger ones see their moment and start caring for the older ones, and the older children are so grateful. When that happens, I’m so proud knowing that the younger ones are ready to be our big kids, and to guide the new little ones joining the room. This year was especially poignant. We had a large group of kids leaving, so it was an very emotional month and the younger ones rose to the occasion. They were nurturing and ready to carry the older ones until the end.
Amalie Hazelton Room 2 Teacher & Early PM
Outside by the slide on a hot day, I was talking with a group of kids about lemonade. Some of them mentioned that it would be nice to make lemonade for all the rooms. After that, we talked about spending a week making all kinds of treats to share with everyone. Then one child said “We could make a bunch of food and bring it to the homeless.” We had done a lot of work talking about change-makers, and I was so proud to see the kids come to the idea of sharing with the larger community on their own.
Maria Llambi Afternoon Teacher
This past year, I was proud to see the older kids helping the younger ones, teaching them to draw and use tape. They saw what we were doing as teachers and wanted to do it themselves. I was very proud that they were so patient and empathetic, saying to the little ones: ”I’ll show you how to do it. You could try it this way.”