As I was waiting for the children to arrive on Thursday morning, the day of this special occasion, I had time to peacefully walk around our Early Years spaces and really reflect on how far we have come. The walls were filled with photographs of the children and artifacts and work showing traces of their characters and ways of being; showing their many languages of expression. It hardly seems possible that the children have only been in school six weeks, yet have become such a delightful presence. In these first few weeks the children and adults have transformed from being strangers trying to find a way to navigate the unknown into humans who have already developed a love and respect for each other. We have delighted in getting to know one another; the children with each other, children and teachers, and parents and teachers, such that our daily experiences in the Early Years have become shared experiences which we have common feelings for.
Do I belong here?
Is this place safe for me?
Do you know me?
Will you let me fly?
I often imagine that these are questions that the children are asking me and consider how I might respond. School is a living organism, a place of shared relationships among the children, the teachers, and the parents. The school produces for the adults, but above all, for the children, a feeling of belonging in a world that is alive, welcoming and authentic. It is the right of all children to be part of a school community that respects them as competent individuals who are viewed as contributors to the process of learning. The possibilities of what can happen when we trust and respect the capabilities of children are amazing.
As the children came joyfully through the doors ready to start their day that morning, with awe and wonder, I watched with delight and felt so happy to be in this place in this time.