Read Previous Submissions below:
As we wind down the school year I am mixed with many emotions of our time together. We have wonderful memories that we have shared as well as some difficult challenges we have faced. There were lots of gatherings and celebrations that we enjoyed as well as some that we had to postpone or cancel. I chose to share this photograph of one of our school wide assemblies hosted by our Kindergarten team. This photo reminds us of what our lives "looked" like prior to Covid-19. We were holding hands, united, all together in the gym celebrating light and joy! And yet this photo also symbolizes how we have gotten through this pandemic. We have stuck together and embraced the challenges as one community. Our collective efforts made us stronger, it allowed us to open our doors and hearts to our neighbors in ways we have never imagined. I have been so honored and humbled to serve this wonderful community of educators, students, parents, and community members. While there still remains much uncertainty of what our future may look like I am confident that we will get through it together.! As we close out the year let us not forget to celebrate the remarkable job everyone has done to keep our children/families safe, healthy, engaged, and supported! We wish you a sunny and restful summer and look forward to seeing you upon our return!
I stumbled upon this quote at the most perfect time..."Together may we give our children roots to grow and wings to fly." Why is this the most perfect time you may ask? Now more than ever we are having to find unique ways to work together as families and educators to provide our young ones with roots for their stability/growth as well as wings to fly on to the next school year. Many of you are probably wondering how can we possibly do this during a pandemic? How will we provide closure for this school year? What will next year look like? How will we help students transition to the next grade? These are all questions that we will need to answer together one day at a time. We will need to give ourselves permission to adjust and adapt, revise and repair, share and communicate-all for the best interest of our children! We are in this together and I want to take the time to not only appreciate our teachers this week but to the parents/families who are at home teaching their children right along with us! Another reason the timing seemed perfect for this quote is because recently a teacher shared with me a message to his 2nd grade families with these very same themes. When I read his message it brought me to tears. I immediately felt that his words deserved an even wider audience and needed to be heard by ALL of our Williston families! He has graciously allowed me to share...enjoy! David Bolger writes, "Dear Parents, I know you have just been asked to turn in your "Placement Cards" so that our folks can consider your thoughts. As we place your child with a new teacher, In a new classroom, with new classmates, in a new grade, in a new school.....what could possibly go wrong? But remember all those little second graders who left us for WCS last June? And the June before? And the June before that? They've all grown, that's what they've done! In ways they didn't even expect. With new best-friends -- met in the first week of school, and a new teacher. So new, that no one had ever seen her before. But it turned out she liked origami, and hedgehogs, and ice fishing. Along with you, we teachers describe to our transition team who your child is, what motivates them, what's hard for them, what lights them up, what do adults and classmates admire in them, how do they help, and what kinds of kids make a difference for them. Your children are beautiful. We feel so lucky that this is our work! But I've been thinking: making sure the world really gets our child isn't enough. Teaching our child to leap...that's the business! Leap on a bed, leap down a step, leap into your lap, leap out of your arms, leap into the pool, leap across the rocks, leap onto school buses. It's time to leap.! To a bigger school, with bigger desks, and more teachers, with bigger kids. Take your child by the hand, turn them towards the road. Tell them how life is about moving and stepping forward from where you were to where you've never been. Look both ways, my dear, but go! Step lightly. The world will get to know you by and by, as you get to know the world. Go!"
Read Previous Submission Below
"It's ok!" It's ok if you aren't on a regimented schedule every single day- this promotes flexibility and a sense of adventure. It's ok if you want to stay in your pajamas and play board games as a family-this helps children learn how to take turns and win/lose a game gracefully. It's ok if you aren't watching the latest headlines on the pandemic-this shields our young ones from having worries that they don't need. It's ok if you don't feel like you can "teach" your children-this allows teachers to support and engage with you in ways that help us stay connected. It's ok if you can't log onto the device your child uses for school-this allows children to watch you be a learner too. It's ok if you decide on a sunny day to go play outside-this allows children to experience science through nature and discovery. It's ok if you feel overwhelmed and need additional support-this allows our community to come together which will only make us stronger in the end! It's all going to be ok as long as we give ourselves permission to do the best we can during these unprecedented times. Be well! Ms. Filion
Allen Brook Teachers are staying connected by learning how to use new digital tools together. It's ALL about staying connected!
Read Previous Submission Below
In my opening letter of this school year I wrote about the power and importance of play. Recently I was fortunate to bring a group of educators from Allen Brook to a day long workshop on play and restorative practices. Through out the day we played various games together as adults. The laughter and joy was both refreshing and infectious. One of the presenters, Howard Moody, reminded us through his mission that "the workplace should be an environment that encourages people to be themselves and function at the highest level of insight, creativity, and teamwork as possible". He has been facilitating workshops for over 25 years and he designs presentations that are engaging and fun and focus on play, mindfulness, social emotional learning, communication, and cooperation. When the school year concludes I have arranged for Howard to come to Allen Brook to do a training with all faculty and staff. He will teach and play games from his book, The Heart of Play. My hope is that we will deepen connections amongst each other and then bring these ideas to our children to broaden their connections. The goal is for us to be fully inspired, creative, and playful! Stay tuned for updates about this upcoming training. Through the spirit of play Allen Brook participated in the 3rd annual Global Play Day on February 5th. What is Global Play day and why would we participate? Play builds creativity, imagination, problem solving skills, communication skills, positive peer relationships, empathy and more... all things our world desperately needs. Global School Play Day is more than just a day of play. It's a day of acknowledgment that play matters, that kids need play, and that our society needs to find the balance with the use of technology/academics/assessments and the value and importance of the child's right and need to play! I leave you with some photos of kids at play across ABS.