Dear Hawk Families,
With joy in my heart, the Hawks are humming along…
As an educator, I love beginnings, the beginning of the school year that is. They represent new birth, new potential, a new community of unique individuals coming together to grow, to learn, to support one another through developmental highs and lows, twists and turns, steps forwards and steps backwards. Each September and October I feel like an artist, standing before a beautiful canvas, a canvas waiting to be filled with color galore. My imagination runs wild with possibilities for what we can do together and, as Dr. Seuss writes, “Oh, the places we can go…” But, before we go places (i.e. projects, skill building, etc), I am reminded of how the seeds of community must be planted first. It can take several weeks, if not longer. It is a process that should not be rushed. The children must be reminded of and learn old and new routines and expectations, reconnect with their peers, build relationships with their teachers, and find a new rhythm. They must come to feel safe, to trust, to know they are cared for. They must begin to put down roots in present time, a little bit older, and developmentally a little bit more mature. Once the roots are in place, the tree can grow, and grow. I look forward to our tree, our class community, growing strong this school year. These are several of my intentions for the beginning of the school year…
- Show children the connection between themselves, each other, and the world they are a part of
- Foster responsibility about choices and actions
- Create community
Here is a glimpse of the Hawks in communion with each other, their teachers, and the Calvary space. There is no doubt in my mind that a caring, kind, and bright community has begun to flourish. It even feels like there is a smidgen of magic that has begun to swirl already! It could also be called love!
Speaking of trees, the Hawks have been busy with a real team-building project, as of late. Yes, we’ve made placemats, started our classroom jobs, and have settled in to some of our daily routines, all wonderful root-deepening activities, but the Hawks (and their teachers!) have been needing something more ~ a totem of sorts, a symbol, an identifying mark! You could say that Hawks, the bird, are definitely our class symbol, but these birds need a home we all agreed. So, the children have gotten busy growing together a classroom tree. We began with drawing pictures of trees, brainstorming what we know of trees from seeing them on city streets, while hiking, and from our imaginations. Then, we took a trip down to the Calvary Fairy Garden to observe several trees. Quietly, we sat observing, noticing, paying attention to, listening, and sketching what we saw. Upon returning to our classroom, we began to create! We painted with brushes and fingers, we cut and glued. We laughed, we helped one another, we enjoyed getting messy, we tasted what it was like to work as one with a mission, and purpose. Lastly, we carried, all together, our large pieces of painted paper to a drying space… very, very carefully!
The Hawks are very proud of their tree, indeed. We love to sit under it, on our rug, reading books and singing songs each day. And, Cesilia and I are very proud of the strong, creative, and kind class we’ve become in just a short time.
Hawk families, have a beautiful weekend!
And, you may just come across a tree in the next days that you can’t resist giving a hug to you! Go for it!