As with anything in life, change is inevitable. Major changes began in the fall of 2017 for our little school. For many years now we have had the same staff, fitting comfortably together like a well-worn puzzle. Our days were filled with ideas and conversations that we had discussed as a collective group of early childhood educators over and over again. Always finding something new in our old ideas. We were comfortable, like a family. Then the inevitable happened. A lead teacher, dear to our hearts, moved away. This seemed to set in motion a flurry of change that felt at the time more like a hurricane! We also said goodbye to 2 devoted young ladies who had worked with us, aiding and substituting since they were teenagers, young ladies who had been raised by early childhood educator mothers, who taught them well. They both moved on to pursue their own young lives. This too was not easy. Even though I want the best for both of them as if they were my own. The new task at hand was a daunting one, of job postings, interviews and decisions.
As the weeks progressed, it was easy to see that the replacement for our lead teacher fit nicely in with our current staff and families, bringing with her new ideas and conversations. It took a few tries to find new young ladies to work aiding classroom teachers, young ladies who understood what we were trying to accomplish with the children. As with most early childhood programs, I am sure this is a struggle. We are located in a more rural area, and so we are challenged to find those who are “just right” for us. I have found over the years that the children themselves are the best indicator as to which support staff will work out or not. Children have a special sense when it comes to these things.
As the calendar moved forward into the fall of the year, it seemed that our lead teacher replacement was working out nicely. She fit in with our other teachers. The children and families really had adjusted well to our new staff and the changes happening all around. Even though things felt different, there was an air of newness and excitement in the classrooms.
I have been reflecting during the holiday break, over the changes of the past several months, giving thought to our style of teaching, emergent, a project-based approach, and have realized that since we teach our children to problem solve, to love learning, to try new things and welcome everyone who enters our school that the children did not seem troubled by the changes happening around them, and that possibly this ease with which the children approached each day, taught us to relax and accept the changes before us. To find joy in each day, and to share that joy with our friends, classmates as well as co-workers. So as we enter into 2018, I hope that each of you can embrace the potential that all change has to bring us new experiences and new learning. Happy New Year!