I am so pleased to have the opportunity to share my thoughts regarding the renovation/re-design of our playgrounds and exterior learning environments at Baker.
As I think about this project, three words come to mind: thrilling, resourceful, and inspirational. Let me explain.
As a life-long Progressive Educator it is thrilling to see our community come together, once again, to meet the needs of our children. As we design these spaces, we are looking at children today. We are looking at the complete range of development- early childhood to middle school. We are looking at creating the context that invites the widest and most creative range of response on the part of our children. We are looking at materials that are sustainable and long lasting so we can both use resources wisely and set a wonderful model for our children and generations to come. Legacy is an important part of any educational schoolhouse….at Baker it is our core.
We are a resourceful community of teachers and parents. We truly are the “Little school house that could.” Knowing that our children need the time and space to learn life-long skills of negotiation, flexibility, self-management, planning, social interaction, and decision making… we are educators who use every inch of our space both inside and outside. Our children create whole environments with little or no materials. This leads me to my next word…
It is inspiring to think of the possibility of what our children will do with these new outdoor spaces. In these new learning environments, I can imagine young children creating and re-creating new worlds in their play. When we do our unit on monarch butterflies, we can practice our migration outside in nature, as real butterflies. I see our six to ten year olds developing biomes and games that require collaboration and focus. When our middle school learns about archaeology, they can do a real “dig” exploration outside. I imagine these children working together in a natural environment, growing strong of mind and body.
What an exciting time for our children, families and faculty. I am truly honored to be a part of this change. It will change lives. What else is there?
Division Coordinator, Early Childhood and Primary