For Early Childhood teachers, our fall in-service day was dedicated to intentional teaching in our outdoor environment. Becky Candra and Carol Rossi, former early childhood directors and founders of the San Diego Reggio Roundtable, led us on this journey. Their goal was to inspire and provoke us to move forward with our commitment to a curriculum that is co-constructed with children in our outdoor spaces. Some of the questions posed were:
- What do you view as the purpose of our outdoor environment at Gillispie?
- What do you enjoy most about being on the playground with our children? What are the children drawn to?
- If you could focus on one area of our existing outdoor space, what would it be? What would you change? How would you change it?
After this workshop was completed, our EC teachers spent their weekend planning and implementing esthetic and thoughtful changes to our outdoor space. The intention was to offer meaningful provocations for the children when they arrived back to school on Tuesday. Repurposing some of our materials, framed black and white photographs of the La Jolla community were added to our block area; Monet’s water lily painting was represented with watercolors, quality paper, and a floating floral inspiration in the art center; the reading garden was embellished with seashells, building rocks and nature-based books to entice children into this calming space.
We, the EC teachers at Gillispie, are lifelong learners, and we value opportunities such as this to improve upon our practice, because growth is essential to everyone.
Early Childhood Director