Thirteen SYC teachers and staff traveled to Manhattan to attend a workshop by Celia Genishi, Professor of Education at Columbia Teachers College. Several SYC teachers had collaborated with Celia to write chapters in two previous books: Ways of Assessing Children and Curriculum: Stories of Early Childhood Practice and Children, Language and Literacy: Diverse Learners in Diverse Times(Teachers College Press) and we were especially interested in her topic for our workshop: Identity and Bi-cultural Language in Early Childhood. At the workshop, we all shared our personal stories about the languages spoken in our family histories and the impact on our own identities as a way to connect with the importance of language identity with the children and families at our school.
Our staff also visited The Blue School, a progressive, independent school in lower Manhattan. The Blue School was inspired and created by the same people who developed The Blue Man Group. Their mission is to develop and share an inquiry-based approach to education that fosters creativity, promotes academic excellence, nurtures human relationships and inspires a growing passion for learning. Our staff spent the morning viewing the classrooms and talking with some of The Blue School teachers and came back inspired with lots of ideas to try.
A real highlight of our trip was getting to see the off-Broadway play \”Bears\” written by Mark Rigney, who is our own Ohio Teacher of the Year, Ann Rigney\’s son. The weekend was a fun combination of bonding on our caravan drive up and back, educational stimulation and lots of delicious food and sight-seeing.
Stephanie Rottmayer, Director