It seems appropriate for me to write something about the massive snowstorm that crippled our area this past week. After all, I have spent the past week mostly at home, watching my children climb up snow mountains, dig out snow forts, throw snowballs at each other, and most amusing perhaps, watching my little dog navigate his new unfamiliar backyard terrain.
I love snow days. The gift of the extra day to sleep in, catch up on home projects, catch up on work projects, watch some t.v…a snow day, to me, is akin to finding a $20 bill in my pocket. But, enough is enough. After three consecutive snow days, my internal clock was completely out of whack, my children’s schedules had been completely unraveled, and husband and I really started to get on each other’s nerves. As much as I love snow days, there is something to be said about consistency and continuity of schedule.
At The Harbor School, particularly via our Responsive Classroom (RC) social curriculum, we set schedules and expectations to build consistency and continuity. Children are more able to succeed when they have clear guidelines. Have you heard a teacher say, “Use walking feet!” to a child running by? Ever wonder why we don’t say, “Don’t run!”? In order to promote children’s self-discipline, we remind them what to do, rather than what not to do.
The structure of the day is of utmost importance to children’s success. Each class begins each day with a morning meeting. Teachers across the school use the same positive language, guided discovery, and classroom organization to promote creativity and independence. Most children benefit greatly from knowing what is to come. Teachers post the daily schedule, even for our youngest students, and prepare the children for the day's activities during morning meeting and the morning message. The unknown can be unsettling, and we aim to provide a safe and secure environment for our students.
As much as I loved the mini-vacation gifted to me by Winter Storm Jonas, my mind and body have felt much more settled being back at Harbor! We certainly enjoyed welcoming your children back to school today…and I think they were happy to be back, too!