We just finished our spring conferences with portfolios — collections of student work, photos and quotes that we have been gathering all year. I expected that parents would enjoy these keepsakes and that the conferences would flow easily, structured around celebrating the year’s progress. And this did happen!
However, I didn’t realize how much each of us would connect with the children whose work we were assembling. Looking closely at the artwork and photos in my own students’ portfolios, I was reminded of each child’s specific strengths and challenges and how they have been progressing in, and overcoming these. And the overall sense was one of joy in discovery, hands-on experience and mastery.
It was also wonderful to see the staff’s pleasure in celebrating the accomplishments of each child. Teachers spent time together working, talking, comparing, consulting. There was laughter, excitement, and delight in the children, along with bittersweet memories of those moving on to kindergarten or to new homes next year.
The process of making the portfolios was a wonderful reminder to all of us of why we do what we do — and of the delight of nurturing joyful discovery!