So, nerdy me wrote to Lisa Murphy:
I just wanted to thank you for all your energy at the Bellevue NAEYC Conference – I literally cried through “What If Today Was Their Only Day” thinking about all the kids out there not getting what they need. Our small school in Seattle strives to be as ooey gooey as possible. We’ve been a preschool up until this September when I started our K-2 program after teaching preschool at our school for two years (some of my kids I could possibly have for five years.) It is a challenge keeping the freedom going in the elementary years (due to outside pressures) but I’m doing it and keeping the parents informed just exactly as you said – by posting the WA standards and then posting how I’m meeting them in my own real life learning way.
I keep an online journal of our classroom for the parents but it’s turned into something beyond what I ever expected. Teacher’s from all over the country constantly contact me wanting to know how I keep my K-2 so fun. I have also published an article in Natural Learning Magazine talking about this very same issue (you can also find this on my online journal) and an entire school in Michigan has taken my article to their director demanding to know what this type of teaching is and why they aren’t learning it.
It has been one of the most exciting years of my life and it was so wonderful to spend the weekend listening to someone who agrees and has even more ideas for my science area (I skipped all my other workshops – thank goddess – everything else was just pissing me off!!!)
You can find my online journal at www.thelivingclassroom.wordpress.com (you can also find my article there “We Make the Road by Walking” A Lifelong Journey – Building a K-2 Learning Environment.) Our school website is www.communityschoolwestseattle.org
Again, thank you for your work – I hope it started people thinking in a different way.
All my best,
“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.”
~Henry David Thoreau
And she wrote back:
wow – you are doing amazing work… I was/am so impressed with your online class journal. the children and families at the school are blessed to have you as a part of their young lives. I can fully understand (and visualize) a bunch of MI teachers walking into their principal’s office with pages printed off your site – WHY AREN’T WE MORE LIKE THIS??!! my god I can just see it! starting little fires – all over – before we know it we will make the whole thing a little bit brighter.
keep up the great work
thank you for sharing the links.
glad to have shared some of this past weekend with you.
PS I think that your Thoreau quote (re: fools and rules) in your signature line is quite timely with some of the issues facing teachers in many many states.
all my best,
the ooey gooey lady™
Ooey Gooey® is a registered trademark of Ooey Gooey Inc. All rights reserved.
“children cannot wrap their brains around the abstract until they wrap their hands around the concrete”