Marianne Bockli, Early Childhood Teacher

On a still warm September evening, early enough for daylight, one parent for each early childhood student, joined in an in-person parent evening. We sat outside under the canopy with some distance between each chair and shared children’s names, their places of birth, and why we are all here at Ashwood. The parents were led through the building and its vicinity, with explanations of how each area is being used. The morning rhythm was presented as well as a picture of the developing social life among of the class. Ms. Michele (Beckstrom) gave a picture of the extended day, and Mr. Clough brought the administrative details pertaining to EC. It was lovely to see so many parents meeting in our outdoor class space! We ended as darkness enveloped us all.

Meanwhile, the children’s mornings have been filled with play in the yard, snack preparation, taking care of our outdoor space and lots of exploring! The creek bed, although waterless, has kept enough moisture for newts and frogs to live there. Many stones have been upturned by the children in the hopes of finding some of the amphibians, like a well-hidden treasure. Their imagination and discoveries have been fed by stories about some of the amphibians and other animals still visible in our woods.

On the side of the path, we have a mailbox in which we have found some messages, drawn by Ms. Doshi’s students as well as some treasures collected from nature. There is much anticipation as we near the box, on our daily walk, to see if something has been delivered to it. We also pass a mailbox in which we put occasional picture messages, for Ms. Doshi’s class.

The last few days of wind and rain have tested our outdoor classroom, and I am happy to report that the canopy did not budge on windy days and has protected us well from the rain.