It’s the night before the opening of our newly renovated school. I’ve done all I can do before children arrive tomorrow morning. You know how hard a move is, and this was a major one. Teachers have worked long and hard to transform the new space into warm and welcoming classrooms. We still have some work to do, but we’re ready for children.
Did you see (in the video) the box on the small table, decorated by children? When we began to talk about the big move, our first activity was to have children pick a toy or something from the classroom that was important, something they wanted to ‘pack up’, too. Tomorrow our first group activity will be unpacking that big box. We’re excited!
We have our loft back. We have big windows for children to see the playground and the woodland landscape. We’re only steps away from going outside. We have a sink and a kitchen!
The only thing we need is children, and that will happen first thing in the morning.
I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about.
I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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It looks wonderful, Jennie. Good luck tomorrow.
The new space looks all bright and new! I hope you and the children have a good day tomorrow.
Thanks so much, Liz!
Pretty nice, Jennie! Have a fantastic day.
Thank you, Anneli!
It looks so inviting Jennie. Enjoy tomorrow!🤗
Thanks, Kim! More to come, I’m sure.
Love that the loft is back! Such a fave of my two in the Aqua Room! Have a great day back! xo
Thank you, Kerry!! It is very exciting. I can’t wait for families to see the renovation after the virus is under control. Miss you!
The idea to have the kids contribute an important item is one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. Talk about getting them invested in your move. I hope it’s a beautiful first day.
One of the children’s authors who attended our last children’s author festivalhttps://www.authorfest.org/ was Natasha Wing. I immediately thought of her when I read this post because she has a whole series of books dedicated to “The Night Before.” http://natashawing.com/welcome
Thanks, Pete. I cannot take credit for the idea, but I agree it’s a terrific one. It was another teacher at school, and many teachers packed a similar box with their children. I’ll try to take photos of unpacking the box today. Thank you for the link to Natasha’s Night Before books!
Oops, didn’t get the link right. Let’s try that again. https://www.authorfest.org/
The first link worked. It was about Natalia and her books. This link is the author festival. Both are good resources!
Where is the Aqua? I love all the light and my goodness, that’s quite a bit of snow. I’m sure the children will be delighted. Anxious to hear how it goes.
One wall in each classroom is painted the color of the room. Our Aqua painted wall was behind me. The loft where I videoed is against that wall… and also my big Starry Night poster. The light is wonderful! Stay tuned for more.
What a wonderful space! Of course there is only one thing your little students will need to be completely at home—and you’ll be there to welcome them. Best wishes for your students’ fabulous new year in their beautiful new classroom and their same best teacher ever.
Thanks so much, Barb! 🥰
“The only thing we need is children.”
I couldn’t possibly agree with you more.
Happy morning to all~
I will take pics today. I’m sure it will be exciting! Thank you, Cindy.
Good luck 💜 the classroom looks amazing 💜
Thanks, Ritu. You know what it’s like to create a new space for children. ❤️
Oh, I do love it!
Enjoy you new class room
so excited for all of you – I love the big box idea
Thanks, Beth! 😀
It looks lovely and a great idea about the box…I hope you have a fabulous first day…I wonder who is the most excited teacher or pupils? Have fun, Jennie xx
I have butterflies for sure! Will I be able to find anything we so carefully put away? I think the children will adapt quickly. Children always do. Stay tuned for pics soon!
Look forward to it Jennie.. Have fun, xx
I know it will go well. Children need a teacher like you!!
Thanks so much, GP. 😊
It looks perfect and the kids will love it. Thanks for the video. It will probably be the only time it looks that neat and tidy! But I think it will look even better with the children in it. Good luck. xo
I think so, too! Thanks, Darlene. 🙂
Thanks you, John!
It looks like a welcoming space! May you all enjoy it.
Change is hard, but change is good. Having a kitchen in the space is so wonderful, so many great opportunities open up just with that piece available. Love the windows and a door to the playground allows for the true feel of the outside classroom. I hope all goes smoothly for the new day in the new space.
Yes! And you’re so right that having these things makes a big difference. Thanks, Lori!
Best wishes on the new space.
Thank you, John.
I remember when we were discussing the need for more banana boxes! I’m thrilled your move is now complete.
Can I come and play, too?
I remember that! It is soooo good to be back ‘home’ and in a great new space. I wish you could come and play, Laura. Parents feel the same way. They can’t go beyond the foyer at school. So sad!
It looks so nice! I hope you and the students have a lovely first day back to school.
Thank you, Deborah! It was wonderful today. I’m so tired!
I bet! You should sleep well then.😄
What a great idea–the box of favorites. Clever minds…
Thanks, Jacqui. It was wonderful to unpack that box today. 🙂
Such an exciting time for everyone! Hope that all went well.
It did! Thank you, Becky.
Wonderful! 💞 How exciting for all. The children will make it complete! Happy New Year!
You’re right, Bette. The children made it complete today. It was wonderful (and I’m so tired.) 🙂 Happy New Year to you!
Hugs & Happy Week! 💞
I hope it works well, dear Jennie. Things are so bad here, we have a new lockdown announcement in the next five minutes, with accompanying school closures. It feels a lot like playing Roulette. Sooner or later, you know you have to lose.
Best wishes, Pete.
Hi Pete. It was wonderful today. I must catch the news on your new lockdown. And schools? Hopefully not preschools and daycare for essential workers. We are in much tighter lockdowns. The restaurants now cannot do any indoor dining, which kills their business in the winter. So many people have lost jobs. The grocery stores are open, and other stores have a limited capacity. As for schools, each school district sets their own guidelines based on the COVID numbers in their area. Remote learning is definitely the common practice. The younger the child, the more they need to physically be in school, so preschools remain open with strict guidelines. Yes, it feels like playing Roulette.
How much of the way you want it still has to wait for the covid to be done? Can you have cushions in the loft?
Oh, I know exactly what you mean. COVID rules. No cushions on the loft, but it is carpeted and comfy. Today few children played at activities on tables. They all wanted to be on the floor with their classmates. Socially distancing is nearly impossible for preschoolers, but we do our best. Masks and sanitizer are the norm, and children are fine with that. Hugging a buddy or a teacher… I have to draw the line and say YES!
That would be a challenge and must take away some of the spontaneity you love in the classroom.
It is a balance and a challenge, although the spontaneity is never squelched. A child runs up to hug me in the middle of Morning Meeting? Yes! A child looks sad and I ask if s/he needs a hug, and they melt into my arms? Yes!
Are you in line for the vaccine? Here you would be next I think.
Nope! No mention of teachers as yet.
Wonderfully organized Jennie! I hope it went great! ❤
It did! I am so tired! Best to you, Debby. ❤️
And to you Jennie! ❤
Have a great day All the best
I think its pretty cool to see teacher perspective as a student 🙂
You’re children will have a wonderful time, Jenni.
Thanks, John. They did! I just posted about the day. 🙂
How wonderful, Jennie! I remember the days with those little ones when I started teaching in 1980. 🙂
I’m glad it brought back memories, Miriam.
I talked about those days with a retired teacher friend also. Those memories always brighten our days, Jennie.
I know what you mean. Teaching memories are the best!
Indeed they are!
Thank you for the nice blog.
You are welcome.
Wow! This looks like wonderful.Congratulations, Jennie! Sorry, i am late again. MIchael
Thank you, Michael! And, you’re never late. 🙂
Jennie, you will do very well, and the kids will love the class!
It has been a good start!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Here is the first of a wonderful series by Jennie, the excellent teacheer!
Thank you, Charles!
You’re probably lucky I can’t “pass” as little kid…. This looks outstanding!
I wish you could, KC! Many thanks! 😊
Yay!!! I love the ritual of packing and then unpacking box of important things. I hope all goes well…
It went well, Will. The box really helped bring children into the move.