from Anna Padgett - 4/5's Teacher and Community Meeting Leader
Community meeting is one of my favorite whole-school rituals; this will come as no surprise to people who have known me the past few years! Even for a committed anti-morning person such as myself, the practice of children, teachers, and families gathering to start their week together in song and movement is one I love. The counterpoint of structure and freedom is both grounding and freeing: we sit in the same location, we start at the same time, we mostly follow the same rules. We hold one another accountable for paying attention, listening, and respecting each other’s presence and contributions.
Within that consistent shape, we have the physical, emotional and creative space to tell our most ridiculous jokes, share our most sincere gratitudes and present our proudest work. Having worked in a variety of school settings, I am particularly aware of how lucky Blue School children are to have the weekly opportunity to get on the microphone and share their ideas and humor with a playful and accepting audience of friends, teachers, caregivers. It is one I am so glad my daughter had as a younger Blue Schooler and one I so wish I had had as a child!
In preparation for a new year of Monday Community Meetings, second graders, as the oldest and (for the longtime Blue Schoolers) most experienced meeting-goers, have worked with me to brainstorm norms that they will share with us this coming Monday. These will help us work together to have the best Community Meetings possible. On Monday, we will also meet and greet all the 4/5s through second grade teachers, both new and returning. We will start to build our repertoire of songs -- starting with some familiar favorites and, in the coming weeks, moving to some new material. As the weeks progress we will share poetry with one another, join with 3rd through 7th grade for our beloved Joke Day tradition, create opportunities for individual classes and specialist teachers to lead and try out some exciting new structures. Details coming soon!
See you Monday. Come ready to sing.