I have always taken great pleasure in the first day of school. This year was no exception. Every school year seems to bring a little something different, a new job, new room, and always, new kids. My first impressions this year find me with mixed feelings. Particularly in the area of curriculum development. Being consistently torn between constructivist leanings and allowing the children’s own curiousity to guide the curriculum and being stuck in the rut of traditional scope and sequence. So much of it is about control. Spending my life as a Type A control freak, but so desperately desiring to give kids a break from this control. This type of discovery leads to all the things a Type A might not be able to handle, noise, unanticipated outcomes, and a general sense of uncertainty. What will they think of today? Will we actually get to two part harmony in fourth grade if we spend a significant amount of time in research?
There are many so much stronger than me who already know the answers to these questions and the way to develop meaningful curriculum while at the same time mastering essential concepts. I am thankful that I am blessed with the time and patience of students and colleagues to discover this balance for myself, sort of my own constructivist lesson.
The first week of school is always a new discovery. As it comes to a close, I hope I have taken in the lovely moments, assessed our starting point, and look ahead to 160 more days of learning.