The intention behind the project was to create a Community of Practice in which the Educators could come together and engage in deep reflective dialogue with each other about their work with children. My hope was to open dialogue about rights, respect and the idea of reciprocity, to understand these concepts in relation to the children’s lives; themselves, their friends, their families, the environment, the school, the community and the Earth. To become more aware of the values and beliefs that our educators bring to their work and to reflect with each other about this. To learn and to grow.
In February 2018 we began this journey. Naively, I envisioned this as a six-month process. Now I know this is a lifelong journey for those of us who choose to take it on. Leading us on this path is Pedagogical Leader and Mentor Lorrie Baird. Lorrie’s experience ranges from Classroom Educator, Director, College Faculty, Curriculum Consultant and now as the Executive Director of Pedagogy with Compass Early Learning and Care in Peterborough, Ontario. Lorrie travels the world to offer professional development and keynote speeches to Early Years professionals. We are thrilled to have her leading this journey.
We are almost one-year in. The first six months were spent building a container, a structure, a process within our schedule to do this work. I feel we have succeeded and now the real work is beginning.
We are so very excited about the progress being made in the Lynx classroom. We are nearing the end of the job and are looking forward to settling into our fresh, new space. We are so thankful for the enthusiasm of our staff and families as we plug away at these changes. We have also began a bit of our outdoor renovations! The Bobcat staff are waiting anxiously for their play yard to get it's facelift. Here are some photos of the recent changes.
Amy and Mandee were invited to experience one of the greatest days together, thanks to C.O.I.N.S and their collaborative team and their partnership with The School House. The School House has been putting in dedicated time educating our staff, (and little ones) on the importance of our indigenous history in Canada, including reconciliation and cultural teachings. Part of this education included a Drum Making Workshop, which both Miss Amy and Miss Mandee participated in. Together they learned the history and absolute love that it takes to create a life through a drum. After, they were able to share the experience of a “drum awakening” ceremony with the entire school. It has been such a profound experience watching the children show respect and deep understanding of importance for our drums. Mother Drum, one of our most prized gifts, took Center stage as Amy, Mandee and Tracy (who had created her drum at an earlier workshop, but never awakened it) awoke their drums. Check the Lynx Stories Section for video and photos of the Awakening Ceremony.
We are sure you have noticed it on your way through, but our new kitchen is nearing completion. We are overjoyed with the final look and only have a few more finishing touches to add until it is completed. This kitchen will serve as a place to create meals for the children (and with the children) and staff to warm their lunches. We look forward to our next staff meeting when we will get to utilize the new space for our dinner together!
One of the most exciting parts of the new kitchen is our new, very fast, sanitizing dishwasher!
You may also have noticed some new cabinets in the Ducklings and Otter's classrooms. Soon both classrooms will have their own sinks, as well as a fridge in the Otter's classroom.
Our staff will soon enjoy their new, much larger staff room for their well deserved breaks and planning/documentation time. Once these changes are done families will no longer have an indoor pathway from Lynx to Bobcats programs and will have to access them from their outdoor entrances. This will help maintain the privacy and integrity of our staff room.
More 'major' changes are still yet to come, but a little bit at a time. Stay tuned for more updates, or stop by the desk to chat (and dream) about the next steps in our renovations.
Striving For Excellence
The School House is always a busy place. Our staff are continually striving to improve their skills and abilities as educators. We recently underwent some extensive renovations and have plans for more outdoor renos in Spring 2020.