Early Childhood Gathering

by Beginners Teacher Carin Walden
On Friday mornings, each classroom in the Thacher building winds its way to the center of the piazza to form a large community circle that we call Gathering. This time and place is intentionally set aside once each week for connection and sharing; a space for children to sing a song, demonstrate a fingerplay, or deliver news from the classroom or news from home.
 A space for the voice of the child to be heard, understood and appreciated. As a group, the children stand alongside each other as their voices come together to sing in harmony or chant rhythmically. Individually, the child stands in the center of our community circle, confidently holding onto the microphone as their voice resonates back to them. The child speaks spontaneously, occasionally pausing, needing a breath or a prompting question from a supportive adult. Sometimes the message is brief, often it generates points of connection from the surrounding circle, and it is always genuine and reflective of the child’s priorities. This is the beginning of the child’s knowledge of their own voice, how their words convey a message and how that message can have meaningful connection to others. It is the powerful recognition of how their voices can come together to make music and how their voices can stand alone and inspire others. There is room for both in this safe, accepting, welcoming circle. These moments are the foundation for the thread of public speaking opportunities that weave their way through the fabric of the Country School experience.
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.