Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great day

Camp Chingachgook is always fun, no matter what. But when the weather is beautiful, ahhh...

I go up on the middle day to check on everyone and to play team building games with the teachers. "Where's my chicken?" wasn't so hard. Getting from chocolate island to peanut butter island by stepping on floating marshmallows was challenging but we did it. But turning our magic carpet upside down while standing on it - that was tough!

Many 4th through 8th graders are a bit nervous as the buses set out. It can be cold. Maybe they're kind of homesick, or worried about the food. The ropes course looked really high last year - scary! The magic of Chingachgook is that everyone has a challenge to conquer - and they do it. The staff, the teachers, and the parent chaperons are enthusiastic and the encouragement the kids give each other is really amazing. There is lots of freedom and many adventures. And the food turns out to be mac n'cheese and jello - yes!

No one is new when the buses return everyone to school. It is a great way to start to the year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Freedom to explore

There are so many images of the first full week of school. It has been beautiful - all the classes have been going outside. What a wonderful group of kids and teachers - I love the excitement they bring to learning!

From the vantage point of my desk, I see lots of big initiatives in the works. The sustainable energy and environmental science at Parker has spread into summer camp and all throughout the curriculum. Hudson River projects are in the works with 2-3's joining in a photo "Snapshot of the Hudson" day. All the classes will be adopting sections of our newly cleared trails to name, mark, map, and maintain.

We are so fortunate to have our 77 acre property and the enthusiasm of our faculty for the unlimited possibilities it brings for children. In a world where parents are reluctant to let children roam, we have the freedom to give them a taste of running and exploring in nature. It gives our students confidence and enthusiasm that is a rare by-product of most elementary schooling.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Learning all the new names

On Sunday we had a community Work Day. Many families and teachers came to mulch the playground, pull weeds, wash windows, organize and rearrange the After Care room, and trailblaze. We pulled some downed trees from the woods to be split for bridges over the creeks. I so appreciate everyone's efforts - taking time from a beautiful day to work at school is giving indeed!

Today the preschoolers arrived for their first full day at school. They look very excited to explore and play with friends. Climber Goldie Cutie, the hamster, is back and subject of much scrutiny. I love this picture of two carpenters - one being Snow White. I heard one little girl ask politely for a friend to move so she could get through. "My Mother told me to use my manners, so I did."

I heard gales of giggles coming from the music room. K-1's were learning a name song accompanied by our new music teacher on guitar. 8th graders in Spanish class tried to trick the new teacher by switching names. Some things in middle school never change!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The beginning

School has started! Everyone is getting oriented to the newness of a new year. It has been an exciting day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School starts tomorrow! At the beginning of another school year I find myself full of nostalgia. No matter what we do to hold on time races by - kids grow up. One of the things I love about my job is the gift of being with growing children. Watching their discoveries, their delight. The teachers, the school philosophy, our school property all foster this.

Recording it in a blog is my attempt to hold on to the precious moments as they fly by. I look forward to all the new fun in the coming year!