Friday, June 1, 2012

Ch ch ch changes....

Many of our classrooms received mail-ordered caterpillars last week. We watched them creep around munching up their strange looking food as we encouraged the curious kids to be gentle with the little friends. The caterpillars began to leave shadowy looking webs in their wake as they inched their way up the side of the cup. Then one day like magic, each one was hanging upside down, spun up tight in its chrysalis. SOOO COOOL! Now the waiting begins. Every once in awhile one of the hanging critters stirs, and we all gasp in delight. Otherwise, the waiting game carries on. We know the painted butterflies are coming, but still the age old process seems shrouded in mystery....and I am not a patient women. Maybe it’s just the timing, or maybe I am feeling particularly nerdy, but this super cool metamorphosis is making me think of saying farewell to my sweet students.

By now, all the class rosters have been posted, and all the kids are slated for their new rooms. Come July 9th, all of our little “caterpillars” will be in new rooms. While it makes me a little weepy to be sending my children forth to new adventures, I know that they are going to *ahem* spread their wings and become beautiful butterflies... ok, now even I am rolling my eyes at myself. Even still, the process can be just as mysterious as those sci-fi looking cocoons. Like most things in life, you know it will be awesome, but it won’t be without effort and maybe a little fretting. How are we going to get there? Allow me to be your cruise director for this super metamorphosis roller coaster (oooh, so many metaphors!)

We began this process a few months back. In some cases it made sense for whole classes to move together. Other rooms had to do more shifting due to ages and stages. This year we set a personal record with THREE pre-kindergarten classes. Mary asked each team to come up with groupings of students that are dynamic duos or terrific trios (fabulous foursomes?) We also gave her a list of our oil and water pairings- kids that would thrive best with some space from one another. As you know, Mary also opened her door (and inbox) to your suggestions and wishes. Once we balanced personalities and energies (between students and teachers alike) Mary presented a rough list to the team leaders where there was even more wiggling and balancing. All in all, this process was jammed packed with a ton of attention and love on many people’s part. What I adore about this process is how much care was taken to create these groups. There was no copy and pasting here.
On the last teacher work day the new teams went from room to room to discuss the ins and outs of their new kids with their current teachers. As I walked around I saw note taking, sharing of portfolios, misty eyes, and even demonstrations of the best ways to pat a child to sleep. It was cute and so infused with TLS style tenderness. It made me love our teachers all over again.  

Now three months later, you have the lists! Plans are in place for kids to visit their new rooms and teachers to visit the kids. In the Mighty Me room, we have been talking about becoming beautiful butterflies migrating to new classes. We know that transitions can be just as hard on the parents as on the kids. We also know our kids can sniff out every emotion we have. Just remember, one of the biggest supports you can give them (and us) is staying strong and consistent! On Wednesday June 6th, we will host an informal meet and greet at 6:30. This will be a time for you to put names to faces and check out your kid’s new cocoons... I mean rooms. Ok, I’ll admit I’ve taken the butterfly thing too far.

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