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The Emergent Community

September 20, 2009

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The first few weeks (and even months) of school seem disorganized and chaotic.  Some students have never been a part of an organized group before, and others may find difficulty coping with the discrepancies between home responsibilities and school responsibilities.  Some students aren’t required to put away their toys or sit when eating at home, and find it difficult to muster the motivation to do so at school.  In addition to these personal adaptations, students come to class as individuals, but eventually will form a community of learners.  Each child must find his or her dynamic place in the classroom community.  When children start to see that working as a group leads to a greater body of knowledge and ideas than working alone, and that the community can be more powerful than the individual, the class begins to form one body, learning together, rather than 22 bodies learning apart.

Ask any early childhood teacher, and they can all speak to the adjustment period needed at the beginning of the school year; some say a few weeks, but a teacher I was interning with in college told me she devoted the entire first three months of school to learning the routines and rules of working together.  Because no class of students is the same, the time it takes to really settle into the community differs.

After two weeks of general we-don’t-know-the-routine-yet bedlam and mild anarchy, I am happy to say that the students of KG1B are settling in and forming friendships.  By last Friday, students were bouncing confidently into the room with their snacks in hand and excitement in their eyes, ready to greet their teachers and classmates.  As students continue to search for a comfortable place in our class, I am confident that a coherent community will begin to appear, and the benefits of working together in this community are soon to follow.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Robin permalink
    October 15, 2009 5:31 am

    Remember there is order in chaos.

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