It's Friday morning, our quietest day at school with only the Oldest group of children (1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders). All of the younger children have had their first week, and now we are somewhat settled down for Friday. It's great to see the older kids using the space of our one-room schoolhouse with glee!
In our fourth year, we have surely figured some things out, some with the help of friends, some by reading and research, and many (nay, most), by making mistakes. This is the very heart of the experiential learning Wellspring is all about-- sometimes the joy of discovery, and sometimes the ouch of stubbing one's (proverbial) toe. We are getting very good at taking five, washing it off and bandaging it up (so it doesn't get worse), and coming back to the table having learned (in a memorable, physical, feeling way) something new.
We have two terrific new facilitators (Wellspring-speak for teachers) this year (Eddie for Grades 1-3, and Darcy as an all-school aide) and now in her second full year with us, the incomparable Anne (Nursery and Kindergarten). It's still September, and our rhythms have only just begun to emerge. A one-room schoolhouse is like a large family living in tight quarters: though the room itself is large, and we have some separated spaces for quiet work, there is still the feeling of always being together. All of us, not just the adults, or the older children, have to be conscious and respectful of each other's needs, and work together to make for the most harmonious use of our space and time. And like a family, we have our squabbles and discontents, but every single one of us comes back to the table with at least a semi- smile, Band Aids and all.