One Sunflower

Thanksgiving dinner/PreK- grade 3 alignment – say what?

on December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful – something I hardly ever say.  I’m not very fond of the way this holiday is usually celebrated in my family – because I don’t like to cook, I don’t like being in crowded places making small talk while we wait for the big event, and I don’t like a tv being on during family gatherings – unless it is the reason for being together.

But this year my family came together in the evening of the day so I had plenty of time to cook my contribution to the meal.  Most of the family was together but not all, so the table wasn’t too unwieldy. Even though the tv was on, people were focused on conversations with each other.

My jump back into my job began on Monday with a seminar focused on PreK to 3rd grade alignment. I know it seems a bit odd to draw parallels between this ambitious work and a holiday dinner that comes and goes each year but these are my thoughts:

Thanksgiving began with an important idea and to commemorate collaboration.

PreK-grade 3 alignment is also important and demands collaboration.  It really isn’t new, it’s just been forgotten as classrooms and grade levels became more and more isolated from each other.  Bringing people to the table is necessary to reaffirm common goals.

Like my own turkey dinner, having members bring contributions of successful recipes is also similar to what schools are asking administrators and teachers to do: bring the best ideas and the loftiest targets, bring committment to the seriousness of this endeavor.

There’s a reason why families ask for favorite foods – we’ve all tasted the wonderful combinations of flavors that work, foods that can be found in local stores and created in our kitchens.

Our classrooms are our kitchens; teachers need support to gather the best that’s available to cook up and serve the best to their students.

My successful Thanksgiving reminded me about the importance of pace and expectations.  The day worked for me because it progressed with a pace that accommodated my needs for time in my own space, cooking with the tools I need (because it is not a favorite activity,) and then coming together with family in a way that supported real connections.

Alignment will happen given the right pace and expectations –  administrators and teachers learning collaboratively, and always with the goal for creating a new reality for our students.

I’m not sure my next holiday gathering will be as nice as this past one, but I am going to try to remember what I said about pace and expectations – and keeping it real.


One response to “Thanksgiving dinner/PreK- grade 3 alignment – say what?

  1. Katy says:

    In reading what you wrote, I felt so compelled to write and say, “thanks” someone who was willing, like myself to admit that cooking was just not always the easiest of things to accomplish! I too, find the rush of the Thanksgiving holiday hard and I appreciate what you wrote. So glad you had the time to enjoy your holiday. I also enjoyed your analogy when writing about the grade level alignments. It is all so true!
    Happy December to you!

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