Where do the Arts Belong?

Last week, I had an interesting conversation with one of my sons’ teachers. He has a classroom teacher who delivers the “core” subjects (not my favorite term, by any means), a physical education teacher, and a teacher whose job it is to teach social studies and the arts. I had asked her to call me…

Accidental Assessment

I’ve had several anguished conversations with friends in the past few weeks.  These are people with young children, particularly boys, who are watching their kids disengage from school, start to feel anxious about school, begin to dislike school.  Whereas backpacks and shoes used to fly on in the morning, now they have to coax and…

Cultural Navigation

I had an interesting experience this summer watching the musical Fiddler on the Roof.  Produced by one of our local community theatre groups, I had been following the rehearsal process with interest and was looking forward to finally seeing the show after hearing great reviews from friends.  Now, you should know that I’m Jewish and…

The Capable Child

I believe that children are capable.  If my teaching life has a base, that’s it. I’ve started so many experiences with that assumption that it’s become second nature.  I’ve tried, over the past few years, to make that assumption really clear and obvious to children, parents, and colleagues.  Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge:…

A good school

Earlier this week, I wrote about our children starting at a new school. It’s a “good school”, that’s what everyone says. About their old school, they said less flattering things; it’s a rough school, a bad school. I always felt like I was on some kind of affirmative action campaign, trying to dispel those myths…

Oh very young one

Today while we were out and about, my son nuzzled into me, pushing my arm over his head and onto his back, demanding my closeness. He’s 7; every time he wants to be that close is a gift. I know that soon he’ll start pushing me away, he’ll start finding me embarrassing – and not…

5 Lessons from Camp

We picked our little boy up from camp the other day.  He’s been to sleep-away camp twice this summer, early in the summer for 4 nights, most recently for three nights.  He’s still little so these have been taste-of-camp programs, designed to give kids an idea of what camp life is like, to whet their…

Observation Frustration

The child has a hundred languages (and a hundred hundred hundred more) but they steal ninety-nine. The school and the culture (Loris Malaguzzi) Children can draw from observation.  They have an eye for detail and they can reproduce those details with remarkable accuracy. Even very young children, only just able to hold a pencil, can…

Architectural Voices – Part 3

This is the third and final installment of children’s poetic reflections on their architecture projects.  To read about the project in its entirety, please use the search term “architecture” in the search window below. The Big Apartment Building It’s kind of big and also people who live here don’t have to live in little houses,…

Architectural Voices – Part 2

This is the second post in a series of children’s poetic reflections on their architecture projects.  You can read more about their projects in earlier posts on this blog tagged with “architecture” as well as here. The Fire Fighter Station/Gymnastics Place We put the roof on top and it can move a little. I want…