Shaping our Classroom Community
As we settle into the new school year and get accustomed to our routines in preschool, we begin shaping the culture of our classroom community. We utilize a variety of tools to establish a safe, nurturing, and caring community to learn and grow together.
One of the activities we use to get to know each other is through family photo books. Parents help choose photos of family members and other significant events to put into a small photo book. The book is kept in the preschool for sharing with peers and teachers. Preschool teachers also create their own photo books. Preschoolers and teachers take great pride in sharing what happens beyond the walls of their classroom. We get to know one another on a deeper level through this activity.
Another tool we use in the classroom to convey empathy is the “Wish You Well” heart. Every child and teacher has a small photo that is used throughout the day for various activities like checking in and out as children and teachers arrive and depart. These photos are also used on the “Wish You Well” heart to recognize when there is an absence or a need to recognize a person that might be going through a hard time. Our mantra when recognizing someone on the heart goes like this:
“We wish you well, We wish you well. The whole day through, we wish you well.” It is always a delight to see a child return from an absence and notice their picture on the heart. Every person in our classroom family is important and this is just one of the ways we communicate and model that we are a caring classroom.
Lastly, as the children take ownership of the space they play and work in each day, jobs are being developed with input from everyone. Each week, children are encouraged to choose and follow through with tasks that keep our classroom gears turning. These jobs empower the children while exercising respect, responsibility and pride in our classroom.