Reflections and revisions

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

—Anatole France

It’s summer vacation. Snow cones, beaches, great novels, roller coasters and garden fresh produce are definitely on my itinerary. But so is August 9, when a new crew of little ones will pile into the classroom. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about which tenets of my teaching plans worked, and more importantly, which ones didn’t work. I’ve been making mental lists of things to change, add, and tweak.

There are so many exciting changes in store, the most dramatic of which is a new classroom that includes several amenities the old space lacked like a bathroom in the class, large built-in storage cabinets, and a sizable section of tile floor for messy play. Of course, I’m excited to set up this new space. Visions of a well stocked mini-studio and basket-lined shelves make me smile.

Authentic family involvement in the class was a weak area. As much as I would like to pawn it off on the families, I need to take ownership of the fact that in order for these families to connect, I need a better plan of action to invite families in and involve them in a meaningful way. I’m looking at freshening up celebration rituals, especially for birthdays and new siblings. A new classroom will mandate some changes in some of our daily routines, so those need to be thought out as well.

I find that going through this reflection and revision process in the summer is soothing. There is time to stretch out and ponder the possibilities of what might be possible and to remember all the reasons why I love my work. I imagine all the ways we might be more successful, more peaceful, more connected as a classroom family than we have been in years past. Those dreams lead to plans and those plans guide the action to come in the following weeks. Isn’t it amazing what a person can accomplish curled up in a hammock with a glass of iced tea at hand?

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