Wow, I haven’t been out here since…new years? Only because now I’m at a stopping point to tell you outside of Academia what we have done, are doing, and thinking about doing.
We have finished our first official school year and we are entering our first summer session, to really even start thinking about our new fall, which will be full for the first time. This has been a tremendous year in terms of learning, teaching and building a school, and all that comes with a school, meeting new friends, neighbors, and community members. With the faith of the parents, their constant support and endearing patience, we have grown from a small classroom with 2 teachers and 4 students, to 2 classrooms, 2 teachers, 2 fulltime teacher assistants, 1 part time floater, and 32 enrolled students in 9 months. In those nine months we’ve learned how to monitor with greater and greater precision, because you absolutely never know…even when you do you don’t. And second, how to better accept that no one will ever be you or me, and that they may never know so you have to tell them so they do know.
We love our school, and during these last months we have had the privilege to meet some of the most interesting and unique minds our city has to offer, and further more these young minds, surely will make a noticeable positive impact through all of their years to come. They have taught us how to engage plan and act around their incredibly fast paced adaptive singular minds. It is a fast passed cat and mouse game where in truth at times it becomes difficult to decipher who is chasing, pressuring, encouraging whom.
I know here at Academia, Pame and I have expressed some ideas regarding a more timed and structured atmosphere for the children, but as time continued to present us with new and individual unique students, it became a frustrating process for all members to maintain a strict curriculum, when our whole motto has been individual attention while growing together. Our play scape became our biggest classroom, and our themes became more of what the children’s interests were. Our objectives became answering and explaining their questions and guiding their investigations, explorations and social curiosity, as well as dealing for the first time with their first time alone away from you, and left with these strangers, one who smells like flowers and who’s voice is like a song, and the other a hyper, loud, smelly dude. My outgoing personality and radiant intensity, although eventually it has always ended up giving me what I’d like to think I’m giving…love, has also made me into an actor, meaning I have to be conscious of my reservation tactics to maintain these little ones from feeling the initial anxiety I naturally carry and they naturally feel those first days, which is all new to me coming from the elementary public system, especially with the idi-bidi ones mostly (remember this news letter is from my eyes, Azgad, there’s Pamela’s, Yudith, 2 others, and then at least 50 more including the kids and parents.).
Academically wise, the kids are learning Spanish. We have been used to being able to talk to parents without the student/child understanding what we are talking about, now, it’s cooler to talk with the students without the parents understanding. Much cooler. My classroom consists of 15 three-five year olds. Although only a handful have been with us from the first trimester, all of our students have a sense of letters and numbers, and that we are teaching them about letters and numbers and meanings in stories that relate to them personally. They have understood that there are rules in our school and therefore in life that as members of a community outside our homes, we should follow or else, we will have to deal with diplomatic discussions about our disagreements, and although all disagreements start serious with the goal to redirect personal options, they have resulted in higher confidence, and greater awareness of oneself and somewhat of others and your relationship with the immediate environment. Struts gets lighter and heads lift higher, and more importantly, reasoning becomes a skill they begin to comprehend.
We don’t want to open a third classroom (although we already have enough students on the waiting list to begin one with), because we want to get comfortable and fluent with the 2 we have now. In order to grow, we must first truly know. We have worked extra everything to fill our school to begin working extra everything again to get the flow down. We continue to give the students the space they need to settle in and accept their new home away from home, and we provide in abundance interactive activities all around the play scape for them to get mentally focused in aside from the interaction with other students and children as well, and continue adding these interactive activities as we speak. I plan on making that plays cape look and feel like a museum of interactive learning, focusing on hand eye coordination and estimating the proper use of physical strength to properly execute a goal intended.
This has been a steady uphill run with few stopping points, but luckily we’ve been blessed with parents who believe in us and have gone far and beyond to service our school community. We have shaded half the plays cape and installed 75 feet worth of mister sprayers. Which reminds me that we are officially calling Fridays wet and wild Fridays, because we will be blatantly getting wet with sprinklers, water slip and slides and kiddie pools (filled about an inch, maybe 2…maybe). We are excited about our coming year. We have formed a fund raising committee, and are looking forward to our first Academia Preescolar fundraiser. If you have not seen the short film Academia Preescolar produced this past 5 de Mayo, please do so, easiest way I believe is through our Facebook page, or somewhere right here through this website. Never the less, we are in the works of our next production, the story of a train conductor and the people he meets in his travels.
Come by and see us in action if you are looking for a place where the students and the staff are growing together and working together. Constantly realizing the options they have and they could explore. I’m sorry I took so long to write one of these, we’ll be back with another one at the end or middle of the summer, just keep checking on us.
Azgad y Pamela at Academia Preescolar.