December Update

Dear Rainbow Garden Families,
Yesterday, Ms. Martha, Mrs. Hunter, and I interviewed the final candidate for the Rainbow Garden assistant position.  We’ve had some great interviews.  Our candidates have a wealth of life experience that I think will serve well in the classroom.  It will be difficult to make a decision.
There is a good possibility that we will be hiring two different assistants.  The M-T class has a very different dynamic and requires a different gesture than the W-F class.  Although I think one person can offer these two different gestures, the five day position includes an awful lot of hours for a position that is technically part time.  I will keep you posted on the plan.  I am hoping to make a decision this weekend.
We will share with the children in a very simple way on Tuesday and again on Friday that Mrs. Alya will no longer be with us every day.  We will treat it somewhat like a birthday celebration with a special treat for snack and perhaps an opportunity for the children to draw pictures for her.  Because the transition is happening over a long break, I think it will be smooth for most of the children – especially since they will still see Mrs. Alya around the school.  We will all miss her, but it will be exciting to get to know someone new as well.
As I mentioned in the December parent letter, I will be performing in the Shepherd’s Play next Thursday at 8:45am.  The Shepherd’s Play is a tradition in many Waldorf schools around the world and is often a gift from the faculty to the school community.  Our production includes teachers and parents from Tamarack as well as Prairie Hill Waldorf School.  It is a surprise for the children, so don’t tell them I will be in the play!  They may not even recognize me in my costume, though on some level I think they will know it is me.  They will be attending the play, and it would be a great help to Mrs. Alya and Ms. Jo if some of you came and sat with the class.  They usually sit right in the front on the floor.  (It’s in the gym.)  I want to mention again that I understand from a very personal perspective that the nativity story is not part of everyone’s belief system and that not everyone celebrates Christmas.  If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a regular participant in a nativity play, I wouldn’t have believed it.  But, to me, this play is so much more than that.  It is really about these three shepherds who are silly and funny, gruff, and very human, and how they have this really deep spiritual experience and then go back to their regular lives – changed, but not.  The play speaks to me on a really deep level that has nothing to do with Christmas or Christianity, but rather with humanity and our connection to one another. Also, the play is funny, and the children love to see the teachers wear costumes and sing and dance and act silly (almost as much as we love to do it.)  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.  If your child attends school only on Monday and Tuesday, you are more than welcome to bring them to see the play.
On Friday at 1:30 there will be a Holiday Assembly in the gym.  Ms. Jo will be in the Rainbow Garden for nap.  If there are children who are not sleeping, Mrs. Alya may bring them upstairs for part of the assembly.  If you would like to attend the assembly with your child who usually stays for the full day on Friday, please let me know.  It would be best, in that case, if you could pick them up at 12:30 (when the half day children leave) or 1:00 (when I leave.)
The upcoming break will be a welcome one for the whole Tamarack community, I think.  With all the illnesses that seem to make the rounds this time of year, it is good to be apart for a little while to stop the spread of germs.  I am glad that, for the most part, the children in the Rainbow Garden have remained healthy.  I appreciate that you keep them home when they are sick- that has helped prevent further illness.  We also had a lice check in class on Friday and got the all clear.  If your child attends on Monday and Tuesday only, it would be great if you could do a check at home since we have had some cases in the school recently.
I hope this break brings lots of rest, fun, and love for you and your children.   I believe that young children thrive on rhythm and routine, so it is helpful for them to have some type of daily routine during what can be a stressful time of year.  Also remember that it is okay for them to be “bored” sometimes- out of that boredom can come the most imaginative play!
You will find some articles in your parent folder about warmth, being outside in the winter, and media- from a Waldorf perspective.
Enjoy the snowy weekend!
-Mrs. Faith