Classroom 5, has been filled with curiosity and wonder about the school community beyond the walls of their classroom."Who is that?" they ask, pointing to a friendly face at the front desk. "What's their name?" they ask when they see someone in the hallway. These questions set the stage for a more in depth investigation of the individuals at our school who enrich our daily lives outside of our classroom, igniting a fascinating exploration into the roles of people who make up our school community.
The connections formed within the walls of their classroom is often the first insight into the meaning of community that our young learners experience. Exploring each other’s Me-Books and welcoming family members into their classroom to read books and help with projects encourages the children to become more aware of the community outside of their classroom. Seeing other learners in the hallways, Lab Room, gym and art studio is an important part of recognizing the larger community outside of Classroom 5. The children often ask questions about people they see, and ask “who is that person cleaning the bathroom?” or who is the grown up that came to give the teachers a message?”
Wanting to honor the interests of the children, Classroom 5 decided to get to know their WMS community by inviting other members of the WMS community into their classroom to share what role they play at our school and how they contribute to our community. Megan, WMS Health and Wellness Coordinator, joined their class for Hello Meeting to share about her important job of looking at booboos, caring for us when we’re hurt or sick, and reaching out to our grown-ups. Heather, the Duane Street Site Director, who frequently pops in to spend time with them, was invited in to share about how fire drills work and how she helps the teachers and children learn. Jaya, our Duane Street Front Desk Coordinator, told the children about her very important role of pressing the alarm during fire drills (and then quickly turning it off!) and all the parents she emails.
Learning about faculty member’s roles has helped the children develop a deeper understanding of how people in our school community work together to help our school thrive. Beyond their specific roles at school, our young learners were all curious about who these people are as individuals. Jaya shared all about her trip to Teotihuacan, Mexico with her family over the summer. Megan showed a picture of her adorable dog, Shiloh! Classroom 5 has many more community member visits planned for the near future. Eloi, our Facilities Manager, Margarita, our wonderful friend who keeps our school clean, and Douglass, our security agent at Duane Street are already scheduled. Embracing the people of our Washington Market Community means more than learning the names and roles of their classroom visitors. Each person they meet becomes a chapter in the story of our community, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of our young learners. By understanding the diverse roles and stories within our community, they are expanding their knowledge and cultivating empathy, embracing diversity, and nurturing a profound sense of belonging. In celebrating the uniqueness of each individual, we strengthen the bonds that tie us together as one big family to a beautiful mosaic that is our school community.