Posted on April 29, 2012
One thing I know for sure: teaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach in our preschool and elementary classrooms. Every student receives individualized attention. When I observe teachers or talk with them about their students, it's apparent that they know each child very well. While some teachers might scramble for their grade books if asked, "How's my child doing in class?," our teachers can speak directly about each child's abilities, strengths, dispositions, and challenges from memory. That's how attentive and attuned they are to each student, much like parents would be able to extemporaneously speak about their child. Though we are fast-approaching end-of-year assessments and conferences with parents in the latter part of May, learning in all content areas is still very much in process. Much too soon to wind down! Teachers and students have been selecting pieces for digital portfolios and writing (or speaking) reflections on their learning.
Another aspect of a student's learning has to do with performance (in the most literal sense of the word) in front of an audience. I'm referring to the May Day performance this Friday, May 4, 12:30pm. Students have been practicing during music class, understanding that discipline and focus are necessary for a successful performance. To know your lines, words, movements, and cues in one fluid performance is quite an amazing accomplishment. We have seen every year the confidence and stage presence our students demonstrate in front of hundreds of people. There is also performance in front of peers when they do presentations in the classroom or even speak aloud in large groups. I think about every monthly assembly when students from different grade levels speak or perform in front of the student body, faculty, and parents. Do you remember having to do the same or as frequently as our students do when you were in elementary school?
One more comment about May Day: heartfelt appreciation to all parents who have been volunteering their time during the week and on weekends to sew the costumes you'll see worn on May Day. These costumes are beautiful! The students' performance, combined with the staging and costumes, will create quite an impressive effect. I advise you to come early for a good seat in Mills Gymnasium. The program will begin at 12:30pm. After the performance, all students will be walked back to their respective classrooms to change out of costume. You may pick up your child at the classroom, if you wish. Otherwise, students will be dismissed at the regular time and go to autoline or the afterschool program.
I can already smell the fragrance of plumeria lei. It's May Day!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey