This week was all about connections. Ms. Kathleen’s mindfulness lesson began with a story about mushrooms and how they connect trees. Fungi can link a whole group of trees through their root systems, creating a 'wood wide web' called the Mycorrhizal Network. Using this network, trees can pass nutrients, chemical and electrical signals to each other, raising the alarm when attacked.
After she finished the story, she used a ball of yarn to connect the children, using a concrete example to show how we are all intertwined.
We continued with this theme over the week as we read ‘The invisible String’ and discussed ways that we are all connected throughout the world even when we are not together.
We also discussed ways to help us make deeper connections with each other through kindness, mindfulness, and the art of being present in the moment. Ideas for inclusiveness and kindness were expressed, some were really on point, and some were not. This can translate in the form of a child waiting with impatience to contribute their ‘idea’ to the conversation and the ‘idea’ turns out to be that they have a ‘unicorn’ at home. The connection while not on topic is still being made through participation, understanding, and inclusion.
We explored ideas of how we can be mindful. Being aware of how our friends are feeling, our tone of voice, and again inclusion. How can we be present? When we speak to each other we make eye contact, our bodies are facing the friend we are talking to, and we stay the course and wait for them to finish.
As teachers the moments of deep connection are golden. Some of those are when we see academic success. This can be in the form of a child's connection between concrete and abstract, or even a simple understanding of cause and effect. We discussed mindful eating also taking the time to taste and appreciate your food and think about where it came from and who was involved in getting it to you .
But the deepest connections are the moments of raw and pure understanding…a child who needs to light the candle in the morning first thing because that makes them feel safe and secure…repetition. A child whose hand finds its way around your shoulder during a story, a child who holds your hand and walks you to the playground and finds their way onto your lap because they need a moment of nurturing. These are the deepest connective moments for teachers when they feel like they are meeting the child where they are in that moment.
Throughout DGS the children are connected through freedom of movement throughout the school. The older children move throughout the grounds during recess connecting with the little ones as they move about. Kindergarten connects with Lower El and other teachers during specials. This helps them next year when they move up and are once again in the same space with children they began their DGS journey with and with many of the materials that are already familiar to them.
The teachers and administrators at DGS are connected through a common goal of meeting each child where they are and feeding their hunger for learning, connection, and inclusion. The parents and teachers at DGS are connected through the gift of their children while they are with us.
Hope everyone had a chance to feel connected this weekend!
The Primary Team