Summer is here. In the last week, I have thought a whole lot about letting the girls go. The time that we spent together in the crowded confines of our classroom was special. May sound a bit trite but oh how true it is. Together a community of friends, advocates, problem solvers, learners and teachers was built. It did not come easy. There were peaceful days and rigorous days. Days full of smiles and yes sometimes, some tears. Massaging a group of 15 powerful girls into self-confident, outspoken, hard working learners means introducing a lot of challenges and sometimes pushing ourselves to our limits of comfort. The girls have done that regularly. Pretty impressive for 5 and 6!
When school is first over and summer is just beginning children can feel a loss, a vacuum. They have been immersed in the culture of their peers and each day they knew where they were going and what was going to happen. They had each other and time to figure out things for themselves and there was always another child to talk to and play with. Michael Thompson says that the reason a child comes to school is to look into another child’s eyes and be seen. First Grade is really on our minds now that we have visited the cafeteria. Some may be dealing with the idea of the transition by thinking about having me as a teacher again next year. I very much encourage you to be conscious of not using that as a transition piece. Sectioning is not finalized until the end of the summer and though we listen to parent input and weigh that with our own knowledge of the girls, nothing is for sure until that final list is sent out.
What supported us in our busy days in K was our quiet times. Even with our busy, busy days, we had down time: white space in our lives. I have read a lot about the idea of including white space in your life. For me white space is that margin you leave in your life between working hard, being productive and reaching your outer limits, becoming overwhelmed. You create it by building simplicity, contentment, balance and rest into your life. That is what the summer is for and that is what will support your daughter is re-energizing and refocusing herself for First Grade. With white space on your calendars and in your lives the summer can be for learning new things, getting better at talents, finding comfort in alone time and joy in being with friends. We had a meeting in KM about this today. We started formulating a working list of what we could do in the summer that was NOT watching TV.
Your daughters have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort getting better at things this year. This summer I hope they have time to just be.