Sunday, September 15, 2013

Starting with Gratitude

Sometimes you blink and three months goes by.  That's what seems to have happened this summer.  I had a great experience with Judy Helm at her Deepening Project Work Institute in June and a fantastic summer camp....more on that later...but with being sidelined with a few injuries and lots of mothering of three teenagers-one of whom is searching for the right college for her... the blog was left neglected.

As we start our new school year I am finally able to breathe and am re-inspired to share some of our playful experiences.

As I was preparing my classroom for the start of school I was reminded of the special-ness of being part of a cooperative nursery school.  Our school, Community Cooperative Nursery School,  has one major fundraiser, our annual art show.  It is a showcase of artists from across the country and has a large following. To prepare for this show we remove every piece of furniture, every crayon, every block, every doll...and pack it all into boxes to store in a large container. The school then becomes a salon style art gallery for an entire month.


And then we need to put it all back-every year.  In many ways it is a fresh start each year-just like moving in to a new house.  In many ways, it is sooo much work-just like moving in to a new house.  It can be overwhelming.

And then the magic happens.  The parents converge on the school for various working hours and as a team we put our school back together.  The parents who want their children to have a lovely, nurturing, engaging place to play come back to our school to clean cubbies, hang bulletin boards, unpack boxes, label shelves, scrub easels, wipe down bikes and remove cobwebs and weeds.  As we work we reconnect with returning families and get to know those who just joined and our building becomes the little red school house once again.

And despite new furniture that doesn't arrive on time,  and other challenges...on that first day of school, we are ready with smiling faces and beautiful classrooms full of engaging places to play.  Our teammates, the parents, arrive with their little ones proud of the school that they helped set up.  They know, first hand, the difference that they have already made partnering with the staff.

When I was feeling a little overwhelmed the week before school, I just needed to remind myself, that we are a co op.  It always come together-we-always come together and get it done- and we did!

So I wanted my first post this year to be one of gratitude.  I am proud to be surrounded by the children of parents who chose to be part of a co op nursery school. The first lesson your children will learn is that you value learning through play so much, that it is worth more than money- it is worth your time.

I am looking forward to being a team with you.

Let the playing begin!


  1. ...And thank you Dana for giving us and our children an inventive, creative and fun place to play!

  2. Would you please come to Texas and help this first year teacher set up her room? :) LOVE LOVE LOVE your blocks - where do you find them???