Classroom Educator - The Child's Second Teacher
As an educator, I draw a lot of inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach, intertwining the negotiated and very personalized style of learning with the inquiry model of the IB PYP. I also am very excited about using nature as a place for discovery and learning.
I believe that children inquire and make meaning in many “languages”, not just through words. Play in the classroom allows for the those languages of childhood to become louder and more fluent, as children develop their words, wonderings, movement, painting, drawing, building, sculpture, shadow play, music, and dramatic play as ways to demonstrate their thinking.
My work, as a teacher, is to observe, listen, and connect the meaning making with the curriculum, all the while encouraging students to explore more deeply, develop theories about the world around them. I strive to engage thinking, to have children be able to speak about their thinking -- taking the time needed for thoughtful reflection.
I believe that students have the right to participate in decisions about their learning and strive to support student agency in this way. Our days are negotiated. I draw from student wonderings and ideas, as well as attend to the broad unit of inquiry in order to make connections between the two when the connections are authentic.
I take the time to listen to children through developmental play workshops, purposeful small group learning, or whole class discussions.
Empowering students to contribute to the conversation, while taking the time to observe what motivates the individuals, helps me to make decisions about how to activate their wondering, personalizing their classroom experience.