Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Quail family come to visit

We are blessed in that our school was designed by a Montessori teacher who ensured that each classroom has windows low enough for every child.

This past week, those wonderful windows allowed the children to witness something very special.

While working with a child at a nearby table, I was aware of two other children kneeling on the floor watching out the window and chatting about 5 year old things. Suddenly, they became very quiet and still. After a few seconds, they began to beckon to other children and I could hear the excited whispers of "Quail! The quail are here!"

All activity stopped as the family of Quail marched carefully and hesitantly across the primary playground toward the birdfeeder in the elementary playground.

 Those children who had been working on the deck moved to the railing and watched the procession. Even our rambunctious new three year olds stood very quietly so the birds would not be startled away.

 Eventually, and after a few scatterings and regroupings, the quail made their way across the yard and through the fence to the other playground.  At this point, most of the children lost interest and returned to their work. 

The original two 5 year olds, however,  took up new positions at the "birdwatching window" and observed the funny birds until something spooked them and they flew away into the community garden. 

The birds, I mean.....not the children. : )

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A visit from Maria

T'was the night before first day, and all through the school
Not a creature was stirring; all gleamed like a jewel.
Materials were cleaned and placed with great care,
In hopes that the children soon would be there.

The teachers were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of pink towers danced in their heads.
Diana in the office, and me in high gear,
had just set the calendar for the coming school year.

When out in the hallway there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
Across the classroom I flew like a flash,
Threw open the door and tried not to dash.

The sun through the window made Donna’s class glow
with the lustre of mid-day to objects on show.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the new class upstairs, set for 8 tiny dears.

With a brand new classroom, so lovely and quick,
I knew in a moment it would do the trick.
More rapid than eagles the children would come,
So we'd meet them and shake hands to know them – each one!

”Now Bobby! now, Tommy! now, Suki and Hal!
And, Sarah! and Patty, Denise and there's Val!
To the top of the cubbies the labels did go!
Then we dashed away! Dashed away! Dashed away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So out to their cars the teachers they flew,
With boxes of laminating and cutting to do.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard down the hall
The clatter of something as it fell off the wall
As I drew in my head, on the floor there I spied,
a picture of Maria – the very first guide.

She was dressed all in black from her head to her foot,
Surrounded by children and reading a book.
A smile of pure joy could be seen on her face,
And she had on her head, a hat made of lace.

Her eyes-how they twinkled! Her dimples how merry!
And I laughed when I saw her - I was feeling quite airy!
The philosophy and method that she had developed,
Are firm in my mind; I'm completely enveloped.

I spoke not a word, but went straight back to work,
Continued my cutting, then locked up with a jerk.
But as I drove away, a quote came to mind;
"The child is both the hope and promise for Mankind."

(With a nod to Lisa Nolan from whom I inadvertently got this idea.)
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