Part of my journey in my education course is self-reflection, and last week I handed in my first Assignment an essay on Ecobiography for the Sustainable Education and Perspectives unit I am doing. It was an insightful journey discussing my experiences that influenced my life to live sustainably. The timing was perfect for my jump into full-time work in Elementary teaching.
This week the teachers are together with all the staff in workshops and presentations called “Professional Development (PD)” this is something that I was familiar with when talking to teachers at my kid’s school but little did I know that I would one day be a participant myself! I am thoroughly enjoying the week with many engaging presenters discussing the Reggio Emilia Approach to education, and I cannot believe that I have this opportunity to be working with such inspiring educators. This approach makes so much sense where the teachers work as a facilitator with the students and the journey in learning is led by the children. I can see myself falling in love with this way of teaching as it unfolds organically and is so engaging for the children. The examples that have been presented to me in shared discussions with the teachers are incredible. Reading the 100 Languages of Children you can imagine how this approach works.
This week I have felt exhausted as I have been getting up early to do my yoga and then get ready for work and we are out the door at 7:25 am to get the kids to school and then I have a 20-minute drive to work. That is a super commute I must say, and I have been getting there super early which is a good thing so I can get myself together before our training starts. By the end of the day I am starving – it is like having jet lag adjusting from the summer schedule to a full-time work routine, and I am only 3 days in! It is a matter of getting to bed early and managing my time at home, so I can prep and cook quickly for an early dinner and get the kids to bed so I can perhaps study once I get into the routine. There will be not a lot of play time, but we will manage to have some family game time together as I have a sitter to take care of pick ups with the kids and drive them to their activities, thank goodness.
Today was a highlight of the PD week with an embodied storytelling workshop with the whole group after lunch. We sang together a beautiful African rhythmic song and listened to a Native American Indian story about the hummingbird and the rattlesnake. This story was used as an inspiration for our team presention, we went outside in the sunshine on the grass and did some exercises as a group and soon after we were in our small groups to plan our play on relationship inspired by the story we heard from Lauren our storyteller (who was fantastic!). Our story focussed on the values of the school and seeing how relationships need to work together, I had so much fun collaborating with everyone. It seems like this path is where I should have been all along, but it has taken me a while to get here.
So much to learn and take in and it warms my heart with the experiences I am having this week with such an incredible team of people. I am so thankful for my friend Iris who mentioned this job to me and that my family is supporting me on this journey of where I really want to be as a human being. I am so looking forward to working with the kids next week and to see this empowering philosophy in action.