Installing our concrete pavers
Tomorrow morning I'm hopping a plane for Halifax, England where I will be taking part in the Earlyarts International UnConference on Tuesday, November 9.
I'll be running a workshop called Parents As Partners In Their Children's Learning as well as serving on a discussion panel later in the day.
Earlyarts is England's largest professional development network for people working creatively with children and families in the arts, cultural and early years sectors, providing resources with an eye toward helping develop skills to be employed in building creative learning environments and to embed a playful learning culture. Needless to say I'm honored to have been asked to take part, and particularly excited to meet colleagues from England and around the world, not to mention the keynote address from Sir Ken Robinson (who makes regular "appearances" on this blog, including both here and here) a patron of Earlyarts.
We decided to paint our giant glue collage gold
I'll be staying for the entire week and my hosts have organized a full itinerary for me. I'll be visiting early learning centers, schools, and other institutions that work with young children, where I'm sure I'll learn a lot while hopefully sharing some little piece of what I've learned about working with young children and their parents with my colleagues in England.
What will Woodland Park do without me for a week? What all cooperative preschools do. Our parent-teachers will be running their own school. I've left detailed instructions, but I've also encouraged my 5 official teacher assistants to work with their own child in figuring out what they want to do on the days I'm away. These days and weeks when I'm absent from class are probably the most child centered, child generated days they get all year. Our families could not be in better hands -- their own.
Perhaps the biggest news (at least as it impacts the readers of this blog) is that I'm not taking my laptop with me. I've written over 500 posts in the past 16 months, putting something up nearly every day, and I'm looking at this as an opportunity to take a little break and recharge a bit. And man what a way to recharge, to be surrounded by early childhood professionals, parents and creativity experts!
That said, I will of course have access to the internet while I'm away so it's possible I won't be able to keep my fingers off the keyboard . . .