During the procession, the students visit classrooms around the campus to greet students and faculty and deliver sweets.
Leading the procession were the two oldest girls from each first grade class, wearing crowns of evergreen and candles. According to Scandinavian tradition, these girls represent Santa Lucia (or Saint Lucy) herself.
A friend sent me a link to a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sKdDyyanGk) that captures three 2-year-olds debating the outside weather conditions as either “raining” or “sprinkling.” At one point, one of the girls jabs her finger into the little boy’s chest for emphasis, and, sensing that he is losing the argument, with hand over heart, he despondently responds, “You poked my heart!” One of the children realizes the debate has gone too far and comforts the boy. As the author Anne Lamott writes, “It’s better to be kind than to be right.”
The following lyrics, as performed last Saturday by 30 of our elementary children at the UTC’s Westfield Plaza, resonated with the audience. They sang Kevin Ross’ “This Is My Wish,” and the words, coming from young voices, brought us up short:
This is my wish That peace will find its way to every boy and girl Fill the air with joyful noise Ring the bells and raise your voice Let there be peace on earth Let there be peace on earth
I reflect upon the toddler’s sincere declaration “You poked my heart!” and his classmate who eventually stepped in. In dealing with hurts or slights, whether imagined or real, and whether delivered purposefully or unintentionally, it is our ability to respond with kindness, equanimity, and understanding (though maybe not total agreement) that helps us make sense of the world and speaks to our humanity. As our tempers or frustrations may flare, “Let there be peace on earth,” in our hearts and homes.
Head of School
Grade 3 students have been working on coding during their technology time with Mrs. Moore.
Using applications on their iPads, they played interactive coding games to practice their programming skills. After a few fun practice sessions, they took turns using an app called Tickle to remotely control a flying Parrot Drone with code that they had written. If the drone didn’t respond the way they intended, they had to go back to their code to find and correct the line error.
This exercise was a great way for them to connect programming to the physical world.
As a member of this consortium, we will share event hosting duties with other member schools and help to get the word out about these valuable community learning experiences. Please read on for details of this fall’s event and be sure to check the Village Talks website for information on all of the upcoming events for the 2015-16 school year.
Assistant Head of School & Dean of Students
Village Talks Consortium will be hosting a presentation by Dr. Wendy Mogel on Tuesday, October 20 at the Unity Center of San Diego.
Dr. Wendy Mogel is a clinical psychologist, parenting expert, international keynote speaker, and New York Times best-selling author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. Her mission is the protection and promotion of self-reliance, resilience, accountability, and exuberance in children. The Unity Center of San Diego is located at 8999 Activity Rd, San Diego, CA 92126. A social period will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Dr. Mogel’s presentation will start at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $30 each or 2 for $50. All proceeds will benefit the San Diego Rescue Mission, which serves to educate children from homeless families. Tickets will only be available in advance online, and more information is available at www.villagetalks.com.
“Maris, can I have more play dough please?” Ava asked.
“Sure, here you go,” Maris responded.
“Thank you, Maris,” Ava replied.
“Ian? Can I have more play dough please?” Ava asked.
“Here…you can have all of it,” Ian answered.
“Thank you, Ian. I’m making a beautiful dress,” Ava said.
Through play, the children are exposed to a variety of educational opportunities that encourage social skill development, self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.
As we introduce a new year, I introduce new teachers at The Gillispie School. When you see them, please offer them a warm welcome to our family.
Fabiola Amaral has joined Kimberly Abrams in Prekindergarten Willow Room. In addition to holding her Teacher’s Permit and Early Childhood Credential, Fabi has two Bachelors Degrees, one from California State, San Marcos in Human Development and the other in Languages from Ibero Americana de Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has worked for over 15 years in both private and public school settings, and has been a one-to-one advocate.
Libby Grogan is teaming with Laurie Buttaro in Kindergarten, Room 19. For 15 years, she has taught both Prekindergarten and Kindergarten, more recently at St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California and at Avalon Elementary School in Pittsburgh. She has her California Credential and earned her Bachelors Degree from Westminster College. Her daughter Mckynzie is a new Prekindergartner at Gillispie.
Teaching in the Magnolia Room with our youngest students as well as assisting in indoor and outdoor learning for our Early Childhood program is Natalie Hair. With three years of teaching experience, Natalie has worked with preschoolers and second graders. In addition to holding dual certification in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education, she received her Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education from College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Jamie Knudsen joins Gillispie as a Grade 1 teacher. She received both her Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Bachelors Degree in Human Development, Family Studies, and Early Childhood from the University of Utah. With over ten years of teaching Kindergarten and first grade students, Jamie most recently taught at Jefferson Academy, an International Baccalaureate elementary school in San Diego.
Associate Teacher Ashley Ratelle partners Spring Swaney in Grade 2. Ashley received her Masters Degree in Teaching and Multiple Subject Credential from University of San Diego and a Bachelors Degree in Art History from San Diego State University. Her field study and work experience have included teaching at High Tech Elementary North County in San Marcos and at La Jolla Country Day School.
Gillispie is very fortunate to have added such a dedicated, talented, and experienced group of teachers!
Head of School
“Today we wanted to share with you a German tradition. On the first day of first grade, children in Germany receive a “Schultuete” from their parents. It is a big cone-shaped container filled with treats: back-to-school gear, candy, books (and in our case a Cinderella dress). Ella enjoyed her Schultuete a lot, and we thought you might enjoy seeing this tradition displayed in front of your school!” – Susanne F.