The 14th Street Y Way

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It’s been several months since we returned from our wonderful 10-day study tour in Reggio, Italy.

Loris Malaguzzi once stated, “It is urgent for us to underline that children’s intelligence asks adult intelligence to be on the same high level as children’s expectations and potentials.”

During our trip, I was truly impacted as an educator and human after being fully immersed in Reggio’s culture. There are many thoughts I have connected with and wondered about. The work we ALL do as teachers, parents and as a community is never finished. There is no ending to the magic we create together at the 14th Street Y and I so look forward to continuing our journey together.

Being in Reggio and visiting Reggio schools has made me realize how we honor and respect the children with the work we do in our school.

That magic felt at the 14Y has a very similar connection to the town and schools in Reggio. Just like they continue shifting and rethinking their work with children, families and the community, so do we. Did you know that there are 33 Reggio Schools for infants, toddlers, and preschools and that there is only one (one!) K+ Reggio school? It is at the Loris Mallaguzzi International center, where we have been studying all week. The Reggio school community has been in conversations with the city to have their other K+ schools around the town represent the high level of standards that the early years provide. Reggio K+ schools have limited spots, so, similar to our UPK system, not everybody gets in. It’s important to note that this ongoing dialogue in Reggio points out that it isn’t a town of perfection. It isn’t a town that has magical children and families flying around, and they make this very clear. It’s a constant work in progress.

What has really struck me this week is all of this means nothing without having working relationships. Relationships play a large role in “The Reggio Way.” Relationships with one another, relationships with materials and environments, relationships with the community, and relationships with ourselves. That last relationship has touched me deeply. They talked about the importance of knowing our own identity. If we take the time to know who we are as an individual, then we are truly connected to the work we do. The term “passionate educator” is thrown around. We must pause to connect to ourselves; to play with materials and thoughts and then share, interact, and hear other perspectives for growth. Self-identity drives our passions and allows us to connect deeper, not only to ourselves, but to everyone we interact with.

During the week I was gone, I sent pictures to share with the children and teachers so I could share this experience with them. House 307 (2s) shared in their POD an experience they had with a photo I sent of an Italian “Yard.”

Self-identity plays a factor in every aspect of relationships happening in our school, especially in the children who have the right to express themselves in different ways.

They are the holders of their own perceptions and reality. They own their awareness about realities. If you tell children how they have to work, YOU affect their thinking and their identity for what YOU want, not for THEIR full potential. We must grant them the freedom to find out their own solution for creation. Allow them to breathe, allow them to think and rethink moments of play that lead to deeper connections.

We have co-created beautifully this school year and it has been transforming our school’s identity, pushing us to rethink areas so that we in turn can continue to push one another to create the high standard quality of educational care we all strive for.

Thank you for supporting us throughout our adventure. The experience of the Preschool Director and Teacher joining together in studies has deepened our partnership and our identities as educators. It has and will continue to strengthen our school and community.You all were not physically with us in Reggio, yet we have carried you all in our hearts all week long.

Our work together will continue and I continue to thank all of you for being active participants in this educational journey.

Ciao for now and Shabbat Shalom.

 


To hear more from Nili and to learn about our Prelude to Preschool program, join us on Wednesday, August 21 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM for a Prelude to Preschool Info Session.

Prelude to Preschool Info Session
Wednesday, August 21 | 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Come meet our staff and learn about our signature program for children ages 15 – 34 months. Your children will enjoy rooftop playtime, storytime, and a sing-a-long.

Info Session Schedule:

  • 6:00 – 6:30 PM: Rooftop Playtime (weather permitting)
  • 6:30 – 7:00 PM: Playtime in one of the Prelude to Preschool classrooms
  • 7:00 – 7:30 PM: Storytime and sing-a-long with 14Y Staff

Tours of the 14Y will be available at the end of the Info Session.

Wine and snacks will be provided.

RSVP

Hurry, space is limited.

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