The Night Before… the New School Opening

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.


About Jennie

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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102 Responses to The Night Before… the New School Opening

  1. Dan Antion says:

    It looks wonderful, Jennie. Good luck tomorrow.

  2. The new space looks all bright and new! I hope you and the children have a good day tomorrow.

  3. Pretty nice, Jennie! Have a fantastic day.

  4. It looks so inviting Jennie. Enjoy tomorrow!🤗

  5. Kerry Cusick says:

    Love that the loft is back! Such a fave of my two in the Aqua Room! Have a great day back! xo

  6. petespringerauthor says:

    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 festival 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.”

    • Jennie says:

      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!

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Oops, didn’t get the link right. Let’s try that again.

  8. 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.

    • Jennie says:

      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.

  9. Norah says:

    Perfect! Enjoy!

  10. barbtaub says:

    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.

  11. cindy knoke says:

    “The only thing we need is children.”
    I couldn’t possibly agree with you more.
    Happy morning to all~

  12. Ritu says:

    Good luck 💜 the classroom looks amazing 💜

  13. Enjoy you new class room

  14. beth says:

    so excited for all of you – I love the big box idea

  15. CarolCooks2 says:

    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

  16. GP Cox says:

    I know it will go well. Children need a teacher like you!!

  17. Darlene says:

    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

  18. quiall says:

    It looks like a welcoming space! May you all enjoy it.

  19. 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.

  20. Best wishes on the new space.

  21. 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?

    • Jennie says:

      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!

  22. It looks so nice! I hope you and the students have a lovely first day back to school.

  23. What a great idea–the box of favorites. Clever minds…

  24. Such an exciting time for everyone! Hope that all went well.

  25. Wonderful! 💞 How exciting for all. The children will make it complete! Happy New Year!

  26. beetleypete says:

    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.

    • Jennie says:

      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.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    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?

  28. dgkaye says:

    Wonderfully organized Jennie! I hope it went great! ❤

  29. abhiwriter21 says:

    Have a great day All the best

  30. I think its pretty cool to see teacher perspective as a student 🙂

  31. You’re children will have a wonderful time, Jenni.

  32. Lokesh Sastya says:

    Thank you for the nice blog.

  33. Wow! This looks like wonderful.Congratulations, Jennie! Sorry, i am late again. MIchael

  34. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, you will do very well, and the kids will love the class!

  35. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Here is the first of a wonderful series by Jennie, the excellent teacheer!

  36. You’re probably lucky I can’t “pass” as little kid…. This looks outstanding!

  37. willedare says:

    Yay!!! I love the ritual of packing and then unpacking box of important things. I hope all goes well…

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