"I wanted to share that Early Years is no longer aligning itself with the Reggio Emilia approach."
I was surprised by how I stumbled over the words. Surprised by how difficult it was to make eye contact with my fellow teachers, assembled in a circle around the room. Many of the same teachers who listened to my effusive descriptions of the Reggio Emilia approach; who gave me the floor to discuss the highlights of my study group trip to Italy; who came, over time, to associate me with all things Reggio-inspired within the context of our preschool-to-grade 12 school.
Including, dare I say, this blog.
But the truth is, it wasn't well received.
I tried. I tried really hard. I committed fully, read the books, went to the workshops, engaged in the discussions, shared my vision and excitement, made myself available to answer questions and provide support . But I just couldn't get it off the ground. It took a long time for me to face the truth because I didn't want to admit it. It took a new perspective, a new teaching partner, who was brave enough to ask me last year, "Are we the only ones doing it this way?"
But really, that's not the hardest part. The hardest part is that I feel better now.
I'm back to a curriculum that is teacher-determined. I'm back to planning weeks in advance. I'm back to doing lots of the things that were everyday occurrences before I'd met the Reggio approach. And I think I'm a better teacher for it. I have the mental real estate to attend to needs in a way I didn't before. I'm able to practice and get better with repetition, building my confidence instead of always feeling like I was just doing an ok job. I'm able to tap into rich resources because I have the time and notice to do so.
It's not you, Reggio. It's me.
I'll never be sorry.