There was a little under an hour to go before the first bell rang in the start of Term 3. I was putting the finishing touches to our new room arrangement when I heard it………… the sound of feet running up the ramp and then a BIG “hello!” Over the next half an hour this was repeated over and over again as my preppies returned to school and our classroom. They were full of joy and enthusiasm and lots of tales about their holiday adventures. Their chatter filled the classroom and as they put their things away and met up with their friends and class mates they began to discover the changes to the classroom.
“Oh look” said one ” we have a real tree for the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom letters”. “There’s our Wild Things.” said another. “Hey the blocks have moved.” …………. “Look at the sight words”……….. “There are dinosaurs on the whiteboard.”………… “What’s that blue thing?” meaning our new felt board……..”Can we sit in the little rocking chair?”…………. “We can play twister on this mat!”………….”Can I read the bear a story?”…….”Why are there dragons hiding in here?”……. “Here are our photos”………and so it went on.
Sadly I didn’t have my camera to record these moments of discovery, but the memories will remain with me for a long time. I had spent 4 days of the holidays organising and rearranging the classroom, finding just the right place to put things, making new resources and introducing lots more natural materials, trying to create a more “Reggio” feel. Was I successful? Based on the children and parent’s initial response, yes I was, but were the new arrangements going to work? Would the children’s engagement with the classroom and materials be effective in the changed spaces?
The real test to find the answer to these questions would come at playtime, but as the bell finally rang to tell us it was time to start, and as we sat on the carpet, all together again at the start of a new term, that wasn’t what was important. For me it was all about watching their happy faces, listening to their laughter and joy at being back at school and their enthusiasm for all the fun and learning to come. They had a sense of belonging and no matter what the classroom may look like, they were back, and rearing to go. Ready and wanting to learn……. full of confidence. That to me was what was important. Is there any better feeling a teacher can have? I don’t think so.
Tomorrow I’ll let you know how the rearranged classroom is working.