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A Visit from Marta Donahoe

A Visit from Marta Donahoe By Heather Gray   Teacher preparation, training, accreditation and continued professional development for the educator are at the foundation of

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Normalization occurs when the children’s unconscious energies are allowed to develop freely without obstacles. In approximately six to eight weeks, the children will be able to work in their environment free of deviations, such as missing home or feeling unsure in a new environment with a different routine. When this occurs, their minds and bodies are engaged. They will find themselves deep in work for long periods of time, and when finished they will feel excited and refreshed! This independent and self-driven work is what they crave as individuals growing up in an adult world!

Our expectations are that the children arrive to the classroom every morning ready to choose work, respect each other and the materials, and strive to maintain a calm body while inside and an active body while outside. This is a work in progress. They are 3, 4, 5, and 6 yr. olds! But as guides within their environment, we help the children navigate through this learning process on a daily basis. We are consistent in our guidance, because we know they are all passionate and competent individuals with their own strengths and accomplishments.

Our primary classrooms are deep in the beginning stages of normalizing within their environments. A peek into the classrooms would display your children in various stages of work. You’d see children observing a friend’s work, learning a new lesson, or working on mastering ones they’ve worked on previously. We are establishing our routines and the children are starting to look forward to their favorite parts. Statements and questions we often hear are:

  • “Can I have a lesson on that?”
  • “When are we going outside?”
  • “Today we are eating my favorite food for lunch!”
  • “Can I go to the outdoor classroom?”
  • “I’m going to do this lesson again tomorrow.”

When you reunite with your child each day, ask them about their day. However, don’t worry if they say very little or nothing. Verbally discussing their day is “big work” for primary students. Maybe their biggest work was observation? Or maybe they’re still mastering a lesson and will share when they’re confident. Model this skill by verbally reviewing your own day with your child.  This will help to familiarize your child with the concept of sharing daily work.

As we reach normalization, we will begin to see a classroom that has longer periods of calm independent work, with children who are happy and motivated to choose their own lessons due to an increase in self-confidence. This confidence is strengthened as they are able to make their own choices, achieve success with the materials through repetition, and by feeling socially connected within the environment. In the end, the children are able to become masters within their own world.


Enjoying the journey,

Primary Teachers

(Ms. Megan, Ms. Azusa, Ms. Jamie)