I was privileged to be one of the educators to take part in the Reggio Emilia study tour last year. It was a trip that changed my life & graced me with tremendous learning. Right now, the second group of educators from SHED Children’s Campus is in Reggio Emilia taking part in the study tour.
I am thinking of them & all they will experience and I can not wait until they return so we can share together.
They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture. They will see first hand the beauty & the simplicity of the schools. They will hear the children’s laughter, singing & interactions with their teachers. Although it will be in a different language, they will still understand the connections being made. They will listen to Reggio educators share their experiences & they will take that in – filling their journals & minds. They will smell the glorious food being prepared with care & mindfulness. They will taste this most wonderful food that the schools share with them & in the restaurants they will have the chance to dine in. They will touch textures & natural elements that are unique to Reggio. They will participate in hands on curriculum that will help them experience how children participate. They will feel the beauty of these Reggio schools in their hearts.
My time in Reggio feels like it was so long ago but I can also conjure the memories & the beauty of that experience just like it was yesterday. Reggio has captured the beauty of childhood. All children are so incredibly capable. Their curiosity & imagination, their questions & their dreaming can – should drive the curriculum.
We need to create & construct curriculum alongside children, from our observations of their play & conversations. That is where the most powerful learning comes from – & it benefits us as well – not just the children.
I can still remember the joy I felt during my visit. There were times that I exclaimed, “Ohhhh” because I was enthralled with what I observed. I was even brought to tears on different occasions. I remember thinking, “All children should feel this way.” I could see in all the observations, visits & lectures that the children of Reggio were in a world where they are respected, challenged in a supportive environment & loved. That is what all children deserve. When we feel respected, safe & loved we are better able to learn and grow.
My hope is that here at SHED Children’s Campus we will continue to strive to bring that same joy to the children we are graced with every day. We will continue to learn, improve & share our experiences so that each child has the childhood they deserve.
We are so lucky at SHED Children’s Campus to be able to take part in this study tour that supports our growth as educators. I look forward to the chance to compare notes with this group & bring more of our learnings to the children & families we serve.
Che fortuna – How lucky…
I feel so lucky to have been a part of this learning & to be able to experience the joy of children in my daily work.