The Environment as the Third Teacher

“Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be better than before.”

– Loris Malaguzzi: Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach 

This quote by Malaguzzi came to my mind as I observed the children gathering around Zara (3rd grade) to listen to the story and contemplated the ways that this scene reflects the Core Values of KMS:

The environment in the child-constructed classroom – AKA “Community Literacy Center (whose name was coined by Caroline, 2nd grade) – truly played the role of the “3rd teacher.” That is,  Zara’s personal book-basket where she keeps her favorite books conveniently lived nearby for her to take to a comfy spot; the bean bag served a warm invitation for Zara’s friends to come and enjoy her reading aloud; and the spelling rules on the walls, anchored and designed by the children earlier in the school year, hung ready to to be utilized to help figure out tricky words.

This video clip is but one reflection of our school identity: that we believe in children as competent citizens, that we view our environment as an essential partner in all facets of teaching and learning, and that we honor each other’s relationships through the journey of exploration.

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