Change all summer long
written by Fireflies teacher Michael Roach.
All summer long, the composition of PIC classrooms has changed. Many students transitioned to new classes, which means that they had to navigate new environments, learn new routines, catch up on established rules and get to know lots of new people. This is certainly a lot for preschoolers to experience! Some friends adjust quickly and after a week it seems like they have been with us forever; however for other friends, the transition can be tough and they need to be gently eased in.
Luckily, each classroom is a vibrant community, and there are many people around to help with these changes. In the Firefly classroom, we spend lots of time and energy making sure that our new community members become comfortable in their new surroundings and that they are familiar with the expectations of the classroom.
One of the most beautiful parts about this time is that veteran Fireflies develop their leadership skills. They are the "experts" on how the classroom functions, and so these veterans explain how things are done, they demonstrate how to perform certain activities, and they help the newer Fireflies locate toys, materials and areas.
Morning meeting is an important time in the Fireflies classroom. During morning meeting sometimes we talk about a current study, sometimes we read a book or sing a song, sometimes we read poems, and so on. Since Fireflies often choose their own activities and play in small groups, this gathering time is so important because it re-establishes the group and lets everyone come together.
New Fireflies take in so much information that it can be hard to remember it all. That is also why we talk about the “process” of learning and how when people are learning something new, it can take some time. Examples of these can be found everywhere, and we encourage our friends to help each other out as much as possible.
Little things can go a long way, like holding a cup for someone learning to pour their own milk and helping show people how to set up the sheets independently on their nap cot. These little moments of kindness help the Fireflies display their leadership skills and show that the tasks can be accomplished by kids independently. It also helps them forge stronger friendships and become closer to one another.