For the first few weeks of school, our focus is on building a sense of community amongst the children and the key adults they will be working with. The quote below is from “Starting the School Year Right” by Thomas Guskey in The School Administrator, August 2011 (Vol. 7, #68, p. 44)
“The first two weeks are the most important time in the school year for all children … What happens during this critical period pretty much determines how the rest of the year will go.”
It is important that the children have time to get to know their new classmates and to explore and develop relationships. The children need to feel safe in their new environment in order to learn. They need to trust and respect the members of their learning community so that they can develop as risk takers and experimenters. Throughout the year they will learn with and from each other as they conduct their individual and group inquiries. Time spent now building a strong learning community and developing a culture of collaboration will stand us all in good stead as the the year progresses.