Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Set Is Now Struck

Last week I showed you a few pictures of what was left behind at Woodland Park after the first stage of our move to the center of the universe.

Yesterday, we more or less completed the move, but in between we had our final week of school. Speaking strictly from the perspective of classroom management, it was a piece of cake. We'd left behind just what we needed. My curriculum supplies for the week fit on one small table.

It was easy because there were no decisions to make. No bells or whistles to add. Several times I went into my former storage room for a piece of string or an extra container, only to be reminded that I was essentially working on a preschool set with nothing behind the facades.

Maybe it's because this was the week of our incredible Pre-K play, in which the children were, frankly, triumphant, but I wasn't the only one feeling last week as a kind of performance. Charlotte's mom Amanda, the dynamic leader of our move, told me last night as we wrestled the last few items from the truck into our new digs, "I kept telling everyone we were striking the set."

I suppose if you haven't spent the last 9 years coming to this place, these pictures mean little to you, but Woodland Park was a rather echo-y place with much of it's sound absorbing shelving gone.

Our magnificent sensory table had already made the trip down the hill, but we had Old Bessie, the milking cow as a capable stand-in.

Her udders were full on some days with mere water, although on others she gave colored "milk" with which we painted the paper on the floor.

The art table too was gone, but we still had our easels, which work just fine with tempera and watercolors.

And instead of play dough we used a mound of floam in our toy kitchen, which is a nice change of pace, even though it will never replace the "good stuff" on a day to day basis.

It's taken all year, but the boys in our 3-5's class have finally stopped spontaneously wrestling on our blue rug, but right on cue, the newly minted 3-year-olds in our Pre-3 class have discovered the joy of wrangling one another's bodies.

In other words, we played on this set just as we had in the "real" preschool. "Playing stories" . . .

. . . .and building castles with blocks.

Yesterday our rooms in Fremont were stacked to the ceiling with our stuff.

As our families worked most of the day up on Phinney Ridge, I spent my time at this end, as I will all next week, organizing, clearing out spaces, putting furniture where I thought it ought to go, only to have the next wave of stuff show up and re-fill the voids. That's okay, I know the way moving works, you're never done until you're done. 

Lachlan and Katherine showed up with their parents for a time, as did Peter. I tried to sell them on this place as the new school, but I could tell they really weren't buying it. Yes, they saw all the familiar stuff, the things with which they've spent 3 years of their lives, but I could tell they didn't buy it. As much work and effort as we've been putting into the sets and props, they know that it won't be preschool again until the actors are back on the stage.

What a lot of work we've done. What a lot of work ahead of us. What a lot of fun we've had. What a lot of fun to come. The set is now struck. The show is on the road. A week from Monday, the lights go on and actors once more take the stage.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts . . .
                                      ~William Shakespeare

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