Google+ bakers and astronauts: Reflections 1

03 November 2009

Reflections 1

Where to begin? Logistics? Facts? Assumptions? I'm still not sure how to organize my thoughts and ideas about my week in Reggio Emilia. As a result, my reflections here may be scattered and (not surprisingly) a bit rambling. But stick with me - I hope these posts will be a place for more conversation on the topics.

I'll start by saying that there is a part of me that is relieved. I have read about and seen photos of and listened to people speak about the Reggio Approach so many times since I began teaching. And because of what I saw and heard, I began to consider myself "Reggio-Inspired", which is a pretty safe place to be in. I do not work in a school that uses the Reggio Approach - I am fortunate enough to have a flexible curriculum that allows me to create the environment and the general teaching approach.

I am relieved because it is a real place, with real people. Children attend the school who have Disney/Pixar lunchboxes, the kids play Uno sometimes, they have challenges with parents sometimes, children have behavior problems - it is not a utopia. Or does that make it more of one? I'm not sure. There are things that I saw that I wasn't interested in, or wouldn't use in my classroom.

I guess that point is, I'm now able to stop asking myself "Would They Do This in Reggio?" when I'm planning or changing the environment or thinking about next steps in a project. Because I have seen Reggio, I have listened to their teachers, and it comes down to this : passion and knowledge. Know your community and their needs, and love what you do. This was the most inspirational professional development I have ever done - I still consider myself an advocate of the Reggio Approach. But I really noticed that it has so much to do with your community and their values and priorities, and your own passion for advocating a positive image of the child.

to be continued...


  1. Ha, the lunch boxes! I felt so happy when I went to Reggio and saw power ranger dolls in some cubbies -that idea that it is a real place with real families was a relief. It also made me respect the teachers even more, the fact that they could be so good in so many ways, even with the same struggles I face.

  2. Yes, it's not WWRD? (What would Reggio do)
    It's about context, passion, love, the children plus the entire community that you belong to.
    But, it's also about being inspired by a municipality in Italy that is progressive and united in their dedication to ECE. It is a dream vision of what can be created for young children. It is their existence that fuels possibilities around the world. It is their existence that challenges me to do more, ask for more and try to create more. Pretty amazing!
    Marla McLean, Atelierista http//

  3. I also felt relieved for the same ideas. It's liberating when you finally don't feel overwhelmed when you see the schools or read, and can move forward because of it. I guess what I'm saying is, when you feel like a quality educator, that confidence really pushes your work deeper and further.


  4. For me, it is the idea of teacher-researcher, and the commitment to read the great thinkers in education and then actually try to put the theory into practice that I think makes these schools and teachers such agents of change in the world. That's my passion!

  5. I like what you said, Lauren, about being a "quality educator". Seeing the municipal schools made me feel like one. It made me think about the way that I am working in my context, with my population, and I feel confident in my work - that it is appropriate and meaningful for these three- to five-year olds.

    And I returned more inspired than ever - there are a million ideas running around in my head.


Thanks so much for joining the conversation!

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