Today has been a long day of travel. We left Hotel San Marco at 3:30 am to depart for the Bologna airport. Our flight schedule today was Bologna to Rome to Chicago to Birmingham. We will have been traveling well over 24 hours by the time we arrive back in Bama! (We got McDonald’s in Chicago, wooo!)
Reflecting on the past few days, my brain is so overwhelmed, in a good way! I have so many new thoughts and ideas that I have to think about for the future of my career as a teacher, for the students that I will meet and teach in the coming years, and the future of education in America as a whole. I love the contrast that Malaguzzi makes between school and the game of billiards. Billiards is predictable and controllable. Schooling and students are not at all predictable – or at least they shouldn’t be. We as teachers and adults who are interacting with children have to be adaptable to every situation.
Another interesting point the Malaguzzi makes is that teachers have to enjoy working together. The Reggio Emilia Approach to education puts a huge emphasis on community. The parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders that surround the school all have to be able to make decisions together in order for the school to function properly. I think this is important for us to remember her in America. I want the parents of my students to play an active role in my classroom and feel as if they are welcomed to help or observe at anytime. I also want to include community leaders in my projects. For example, I would love to partner with a local business that could help provide materials for projects or volunteers to work with my students. Finally, I hope that my relationship with my colleagues will be as positive and beneficial as the relationships within the Reggio Emilia schools are. The difference is evident among the students and their progress.
Something that I will be working to improve is my ability to wait for children to ask their own questions and solve their own problems. My personality leads me to have a tendency to make quick fixes and give quick answers as soon as they are asked. Malaguzzi says that the child will benefit more from discovering these things themselves. I definitely agree with this theory and want to use it better in my practices as a future teacher.