Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The Dreaming Classroom
It's been almost two weeks since school ended. I hope you are all enjoying some rest and relaxation! Summer is such a wonderful time to recharge, renew, and pursue other interests. I have been spending my time reading, writing and running, three of my favourite things to do during my time off!
When Miss J and I left school on Friday we had significantly cleaned and emptied our learning space in preparation for the summer clean up and late August set up that will be done before the children come back in September. It was strange to see our beautiful, lively room so empty and quiet!
Each September our room is a blank canvas, waiting for the children's ideas and creations to help co-construct the space. We believe in the Reggio Emilia philosophy that the classroom exists as the 'third teacher' and one that helps children learn and grow as they revisit and reflect upon ideas and artifacts of learning that tell the story of our time together. We want each child to see himself or herself reflected in our environment. We want children to know that their ideas and contributions are important and valued as essential to our collective existence and understanding.
What then do you think the classroom does in the summer? Do you believe that it continues to exist as an organic, living space, dreaming of when the children return in the fall? Is it sleeping, energizing itself for when those creative little beings return to school fresh from their summer holiday and ready to explore all the world has to offer?
Although Miss J and I were sad to see so many of the displays we created with the children disassembled, we also spent much of our time on Friday dreaming for September. We made a few minor changes to the layout of the classroom that we think will benefit the children and encourage more interaction and even deeper inquiry. We spent the day brainstorming the new and exciting materials we will have ready for those first few weeks of school and are so eager to see what paths of learning the children take. And although we are enjoying our summer with our friends and family, we are continuing to plan for what new adventures we will have in September!