I have the opportunity to supervise student teachers this school year. I’ve always wanted that assignment. I thought I was well-suited for it since I had numerous student teachers when I was a classroom teacher and I have supervised classroom teachers several times. One of my assignments is a school called The Open Classroom. When I visited for the first time last week, I was thrilled. Talk about using early childhood strategies! The entire school is built around hands-on experiences, working together, parent participation and creating a learning environment throughout the school. It was wonderful to walk into a fourth grade classroom and see tables instead of desks!! There were also several parents as well as the teacher and the student teacher. The school was friendly and inviting. Even the children in the hallway greeted me with a smile and a hello. The principal was just returning from outside where they were making the most of the learning environment while out at recess. The principal told me, “Every situation is a learning opportunity. Whether we are outside, in the hallway, or actually in the classroom. Anywhere the student might be is a teaching moment.”
I’m so excited to visit this school this year. It reflects my personal philosophy about education and educational settings. This is how I ran my kindergarten and first grade classrooms. What a joy to see these basic child development strategies embedded throughout an elementary school. I have always been convinced that a child will always learn more when he enjoys the environment and is met on his developmental level.