Oh, heavens, time is flying! And we’ve had an eventful time since our February newsletter. :)
First (but not that it’s new to you by now, by any stretch!), Rockwood is now the home to two sweet, pudgy, squeaky, adorable guinea pigs! Their names are Cinnamon and Mochi, and the students love them so much. The children have enjoyed the chance to express loving care for other living beings, and the guinea pigs have adjusted very well to their sweet but lively new home. They were even spotted napping during a piano serenade recently! We have enjoyed learning their sounds and what they mean, and we have learned a lot about what makes them feel safe and loved. And, despite the fact that they are prey animals, some students have earned enough of their trust to pet the tops of their little heads!
Another lovely piece of news that probably isn’t new to you is the phenomenal success of the bake sale fundraiser, hosted by Rockwood students to benefit World Central Kitchen in support of Ukraine. Thank you to all who donated baked goods! Students raised a little over $3,000!!
We also enjoyed opening our doors to you during Student Led Tours and classroom observations. The welcome mat is always out for you to come visit; simply make arrangements with the office if you’d like to spend more time with us. The students enjoyed leading you through their work and their world. Come back any time.
April started with some of the events that indicate the start of the “winding down” stages of the school year (can you believe it??). We began with Parent Conferences, and I appreciate the time you committed to come and share time together. Students also started their own “home stretch” by participating in a standardized testing experience, followed (or preceded) by some fun days with their companions hiking, playing in the Pedernales River, eating pizza and a gorgeous fruit platter (thank you, Koneval family!!), and watching a movie together. It was refreshing to let loose together as we rally into our last month.
In preparation for next year, we had some visitors this week: fellow 3rd year students from Mountain Laurel joined us in preparation for building next year’s community, in which we’ll meld both sets of current 3rd years into the typical Beginning Cycle group of Upper Elementary, capped by the usual Mids and Full Cycles. The past two days have shown it’s going to be a fantastic, hardworking, kind group!
Students’ recent works have included a presentation of a months’ long research on vaccines; explorations in square root (determining the root of numbers up to 10 digits long!); creative stories featuring–who else??--guinea pigs!; advanced work in fractions, decimals, and ratios; weaving on a loom (both Navajo weaving and using a shuttle); plays being written; plays being rehearsed; a comic magazine; editing a 100+ page book that’s taken all year to write; writing to pen pals at a Montessori school in Tennessee; constructing a model of the Longues-sur-Mer battery on the beaches of Normandy; and researching the advancements and milestones of women in sports. That’s just to name a few!
✨ Teri’s Corner
One of my favorite things about being the Rockwood Assistant is that, on a daily basis, I get to practice talking with children. Over and over again, I get to try new scripts and strategies for supporting your kids and see how it goes. I also get the gift of hearing Paige as she interacts with the children in Rockwood. This could be a simple encouragement, a request, an invitation, a dialogue at a peace table, a boundary being set. It’s intentional and it is all rooted in respect for the child’s experience. We sit with them in the hard moments and help them figure it out. When it works, it's fulfilling, and when it doesn’t seem to work, we know we will get another chance soon to try again.
Just as you do at the end of the work day, I take off my professional hat and put on my parent hat, and step into a zone where I am still constantly learning! It is different with your own kids. I do get to parlay the skills from the classroom into my time with my own little people, but it can be hard! Especially when it’s MY kid that needs support, that is struggling, that needs me to sit with them in the hard moments and help figure it out. It’s hard to not just swoop in and fix it for them. But it's in the act of sitting with them that builds resilience. It’s not lifting the burden from their shoulders, it’s assuring them that you believe they can do the hard work to carry it.
I want to share with you a resource I have been using that I find immensely helpful and practical in “finding the words” in these parenting moments to support and not fix. The site it’s from is called Big Life Journal and it offers many free printables (yay!) both for parent education and activities to do with your children. Have a look and I encourage you to try out some of these the next time you find you are sitting with your kiddo in a hard moment. See which ones work for your child, and which ones you can tweak to fit them. If one doesn’t work the first time, I know you’ll get another chance to try again. That is the gift of children!
There is NO SCHOOL on Friday, May 6. It’s a Staff Day
3rd Year and 5th Year parents:
You can sign up to meet for about 10 minutes to review–and understand the meaning of–your child’s ITBS scores from the testing done in late April.
Last day of school is a half day on May 27. Get ready!
As summer approaches, I intend to send you an email about summer suggestions so your child can fully enjoy the holiday and stay ready for school next year.
I am so grateful for this community and this time together.
Thank you for being a part of it,