Working with new client schools is always an adventure. Earlier this summer I visited and worked with two gems hiding out in the hinterland of Indiana, just north of Fort Wayne: New Beginnings Childcare and Butler Early Education.
These two small early childhood and, in the case of Butler, elementary schools are on a journey to explore the greater possibilities in education. These wonderful educators are as serious about developing their understanding of education as any I ever met.
There is always a bit of trepidation in making new connections, with people and ideas...on both sides. Here's a reflection note from one of the teachers: I was unsure of what this experience was going to be like. I actually had some doubt about how effective it would be. This teacher and I were on the same page.
Then, we discovered each other. In both schools we worked on organization of environment and on curriculum mapping.
Another faculty member reflected: I appreciate how approachable you were. I was impressed by how intrigued and interested you were in our individuality and community...you wanted a better understanding of who we were and where we were coming from. I felt that you worked with us with the same intention that we try to use with our own students. What you shared was exciting, enlightening and doable :) I had expected to be overwhelmed, but I'm not experiencing that at all. Thank you so much.
Again, the feelings expressed by the teacher were also my own. I could easily have written the same to them. Approachable. Intrigued. Wanting a better understanding. Thanks.
To me the highest compliment I could ever receive is/was: I felt that you worked with us with the same intention that we try to use with our own students. (Of course, the context here is Reggio Emilia, John Dewey, Ron Berger, Grant Wiggins, Eleanor Duckworth, Howard Gardner, et. al.)
So, more connections made. I can't wait to see what they do next.