Preparing to Emerge
Posted by mrsmelva on 24/08/2010
As I was working in my classroom yesterday I decided to go to the bookroom to sign out some literacy center works. There are some works there that I was using at the end of the year with my kindergarten students that they can continue with as they start the new school year. When I got there, the literacy-numeracy catalyst teacher was very busy, creating huge piles of materials for each teacher. As a kindergarten teacher I did get some materials in this manner but I was somewhat overwhelmed by the amount on my pile for grade 1. Each time I took a load to the classroom, more materials were on the pile when I went back. Yikes, it really felt as if there was such an emphasis on the stuff that there was no room for the teacher! And where was I going to put it all?? I found shelves for the teacher resources and a tentative spot for the student readers – but not sure about that one. During my lunch break I read part of one of the teacher guides and decided that it wasn’t all bad – after all if I look at that sentence about so much stuff there’s no room for the teacher in a way that’s the Montessori philosophy, the prepared environment does the teaching, the teacher observes and prepares the environment (oversimplified, I know, but a nutshell summary). My challenge will be to work with this very traditional material and utilize it for the students’ learning in the best manner possible – not impossible, but not easy.
I was busy trying to sort through these resources and other stuff like that, so it doesn’t look like I did much at all. I did work on my two hallway bulletin boards. Last week my son helped me with one, we layered the paper for the entire year on the board and then I posted my list of students’ names. I will put a border on it before the students arrive, but other than that it will be blank, waiting for their work.
For the other board, I wanted light blue for sky and the light blue paper had not arrived so I left it. When I went shopping on the weekend I purchased some light blue fabric for sky, some striped green for grass, and some light brown plaid for autumn grass. I already have white quilt batting for snow. This board will be a generic outdoor scene waiting for the students’ work. I put the student list on this board as well. The lists (which I blurred for privacy) are simply typed in a child friendly font, clear and easy to read for the first day when there will be many students and parents looking for the correct classrooms.
Today I need to get focused and finish the set up of the room, and put away the things that I won’t be using right away. Kids will be there soon, to breathe life into the set up. I am preparing to emerge from my chrysalis as a Montessori based, child centered grade one teacher, but I think it will take a long time and a lot of pumping to prepare my wings for flight.