Good Afternoon Parents,

I hope you are all well.  I must share an enormous compliment (a thank you!) to all the Shark children for the amazing job they did this week when much of our schedule and many of our daily routines changed.  They came to school with positive spirits, helped each other, and were very flexible. Too, their maturity helped the younger children to feel safe and grounded.  With all that was happening outside of Calvary, it sure was calm and peaceful inside.

About two weeks ago, the Sharks gathered together to consider a very important question ~ What are your hopes and dreams for the school year?  This was prompted by the question ~ Why do we come to school?  I remember how the Sharks put on their very serious faces and their thinking caps.  Hmmm, why do we go to school?  Several shared how we come to play, to be with friends, and to learn.  We talked some about what the word learning means.  Then, once again, I asked the children what they hope to do and learn this school year?  This question helps students to get excited about learning, and to make personal connections to what they will learn in school.  It invites them to name goals and intentions and shows them that school is a safe place, a place where they are important, and they can look forward to an engaging and fun year of learning.

Well, I must say, the Sharks took this question very, very seriously.  After a moments time, hands shot up….
Dylan: I hope to be a great builder.
Finley: I hope to be a Mom.
Grant:  I hope to be a policeman and keep the Sharks safe.
Lyle: I hope to be a princess (but not forever!).
Vivienne: I hope to be a planter.
Cooper: I hope to be a great builder and build a skyscraper!
Clara: I hope to be a Mamma of three babies.
Roch: I hope to ride a big bike (I can have this dream at home too, with a big grin).
Emme: I hope to be Cinderella.
George: I hope to ride a scooter bike fast.

Ms Linnea: I hope to build a strong and loving classroom community.

After declaring their hopes for the year, they went off to draw a picture of themselves doing it.  Then we turned on music, we danced, and celebrated our hopes and dreams!  Many of the children have already begun to make them come true!  For example, building a tall skyscraper in the block area and being a Mama in dramatic play.

About a week later, we met again.  This time we talked about how, if our hopes are going to come true, we need to make sure we have a safe classroom.  Together, we generated several agreements that we would do our best to keep across the year.  The children, together as a team, came up with these four agreements….

1. Be kind and listen to each other.
2. Be careful with our materials.
3. Be the boss of your body.
4. And, everyone is welcome to work and play!

The children pledged to keep these ‘ways of being’ with a promise and a painted handprint. When the children put the puzzle pieces, with their handprints on them, together they exclaimed, “Now we are complete!”  Over the next weeks, we are going to practice these agreements to get them into our bones, our blood, and our consciousness.  I have already, though, heard the children using them.  Just the other day on the roof, one child said to another, “But everyone is welcome.  You can’t say you can’t play!”

Hopefully, these skills of community-building and awareness will stay with the children as they grow.  Too, may they bring them into their future classrooms and one day into their workplaces!
For now, we’ll keep practicing!
Have a good weekend ~ a peaceful and restful one.