Happy New Year! As Amy Weber dropped her daughter off for school today, she shared with us a few valuable insights, insights that she had gleaned from her own childhood. We twisted her arm, twice to be exact, (don't worry, it's not broken) and asked if she'd be willing to share her observations with a much larger audience. She agreed! When you finish reading, be sure to leave Amy a note in the comments! It's her guest blogging debut. (We think it should become permanent.)
"We all look forward to the New Year in different ways and for different reasons. As a teacher, new years usually started in mid August with each new school year and ended again in late May as the year closed. To me, January always felt more like the middle of a year, and I really wasn't one to celebrate January 1st---until this year.
This year, the roles in our household changed a bit, with me taking a sabbatical from my teaching to stay at home with my children. This year, I'm the lucky one who gets to drop off and pick up my daughter from BaanDek each day. This year, I'm the one who gets to share the conversations about what work she'll choose and who her lunch partner was. This year is truly a New Year for me and my family and I couldn't be more excited.
On our first morning drive to school, I asked Emerson to tell me a little bit about the routine of her day. What happens after you shake hands with your teacher and put your lunch away? Her response was, "I choose my work." Of course came my barrage of questions like, What will you work on? How do you know what you will pick? It was her simple response that really struck me: "It depends on what's available."
You see, I remember my own dad bringing my brother and me to school each morning, but I don't remember the conversations we had. What I remember is anxiety--a feeling of dread and worry that I'll be late again, as we sometimes were. Even "right on time" caused me stress. What if everyone had started without me? What if I missed attendance and was counted tardy, or worse, ABSENT.
I started thinking about Emerson and her pride and excitement when it comes to her learning and work at BaanDek. What if there was a particular activity she loved to do, but it "wasn't available" by the time she got there? What if she too, had an anxiety about arriving late? In such a well structured learning environment like BaanDek, where my young learner gets the CHOICE in her learning and the feelings of excitement and ownership in "choosing her work," I am the most excited about getting her there on time, so that she never has to feel what I remember feeling. Instead, she can "choose the work" she loves and start her day off on the right foot, from the moment she walks through the door."
Excited about this NEW Year, Amy Weber