Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Starting anew… (summer is almost over…)

The summer break here in Sweden is coming to an end… and the educational year will soon be starting again.

My daughters will leave "foundation school" which is from the age of 7 in year 1 until the leave at the end of year nine. They will be now going onto their next school (non-compulsary) for further studies. One of them will be moving across the country to a small sea town to do a "spetsutbildning" which google translates as top education in marine biology.. there are only two schools in Sweden that offer this kind of education, and the one that suited her best was not the one here in Stockholm, but the one 7 hours away.
So my 15 year old will be leaving home.
I was not quite ready for that… and while I am immensely proud of the fact that she will be studying in the place she really wants to, it feels so strange to admit to myself that she no longer needs me in the same way as she did when she was small.
Lucky for me that her twin sister is staying here in Stockholm… and attending a school not that far away from where we live.
My son still has 4 more years of compulsory school. AND I am so hoping that this is the year when we turn things around… and at the same time I am getting myself prepared to move him if it doesn't work. Sometimes when you have a history at a place then it can be good to free yourself from that history to start anew…

Starting anew is something we can do at the preschool too… at the moment there are only two children needing care… and although most of the staff are off enjoying their summer… there are a few at work… fixing and arranging and preparing for the term to come.

This coming year we will be have a special focus on the pedagogical environment as well as creating a preschool that is inclusive for all… i.e. exploring our norms and values.

A few of the staff came over to my place to watch the film "The Beginning of Life" and one of the points that was lifted was the fact that children should be given more time and space for their OWN imagination.
So in the next few days we will be taking away all the toys/materials from the shelves and leaving out only books, paper and pens (and the art studio… but this will also be thinned down) as well as some blocks, sticks and stones and cardboard boxes and pieces of material.

What will the children make of it?
Next week there will be 12 children at the preschool… they will be the first (of the 40 we usually have once the term gets in full swing) to get a taste of the preschool with space for imagination.

Later this month I will be taking the whole team to Ekudden Preschool in Uppsala to check out their pedagogical environment… to ask questions, to get them thinking about when we start adding things, what will we add and why.

Last year we started the school year with the hope to develop the environment… and while we have looked at it… we did not get far… and this is the first time I will be working as director of Filosofiska from the start of the year… and not taking over mid term… so hopefully there will be a different dynamic… my colleagues become more inspired which adds fuel to how we develop the environment together… this year we will be really giving it a challenge.

(Developing the Third Teacher - the post I wrote last year as we were about to embark a new school year).

So on Friday I will post images of our new empty preschool… and I have full intentions to write a weekly report here on its development… the good, the bad, the ugly, the frustrating and the celebrations of the Third Teacher developing with us and the children!!

one of the things I have noticed about children's play outside that when we have cited spaces that appear "empty" the children have filled it with their play. The play has always then been very socially rich. So I am looking forward to seeing if this is the case when we use this principle indoors

inspiration from Ekudden… where we will visit in a few weeks. I am curious to see what inspiration the teachers will take from the visit.

Boulder Journey School. It was alike a place of illusion. It gave the impression of having space… and yet it was filled with inspiration - the walls, floors and ceilings

this is our art studio a few years ago… there have been a few changes here over the last 24 months…

my visit to Iceland gave me a whole load of food for thought about having VERY few things out for the children… 

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