Visiting your children's classroom is always exciting. You get a glimpse into their daily world and see what they have been up to. As a teacher, I am probably the snoopiest of parents. I look everywhere! I notice wall displays and table groupings, where resources are stored and how various items are organised. I flip through all the work being done in every folder I can find. I'll confess, I do this in every classroom I go to, whether or not it is my own kid's room!
Returning to work in classrooms across Toronto recently as been fun in so many ways. I love to see what other teachers are up to. I love discovering new ideas and get really inspired by them. It gives me new hope for our kids despite what the general climate in education feels like right now. I've taken a few snaps over the past few months to give others a little peek inside some of the classrooms I've been lucky to visit. Hope you enjoy!
This indoor tower of plants and herbs is impressive on its own. I grilled the students about where it came from and they explained how their teacher applied for funding and secured this amazing machine for them. Even more impressive was how the students cared for these plants during the day. They each had roles which involved testing, pruning, watering and feeding. The feeling in this room was incredible. The plants bring with them a feeling of calm. That piece of the outdoors inside had a very obvious affect classroom environment.
Music teachers are often left to deal with storing a load of resources in a small space. It was apparent when entering this classroom that the teacher had put a lot of care and thought into not just storing the instruments but using them as beautiful display pieces as well. I loved the attention to detail and how this was arranged.
I rarely work in higher income neighbourhoods. When I visited this school which was a public school, the privilege of the students was very apparent. There were various parent volunteers throughout the day and they brought with them some incredible resources. This group was extremely lucky to have a parent experienced in needle punching give them the opportunity to learn and create. It was fascinating to be a part of.
Exploring classroom libraries is probably my favourite part of the day. I'm so impressed by the collections teachers have. By their dedication to provide their students with a wide range of incredible literature. I also love the opportunity to explore longer fiction again, after spending so many of my past few years with picture books. I often sneak in a chapter during my lunch break and then quickly reserve titles at my local library.
Some schools make great use of their hallways and stairwells, covering them with student art. This particular school had inspirational quotations plastered all over. I had to grab a picture of this one (above) for my own kids. My eldest is very hard on himself and wants to be perfect at everything and win every game. What an amazing message to read from a top athlete.
These beautiful flowers were all made with paper and made by the students themselves. It is hard to see the scale of them, but they are extremely large. The kids were preparing decorations for their graduation. They decided together on these because after grad they could all take them home if they wanted and they could also be recycled. I loved their mindset!
Our new shop is up and running! We have been pretty quiet on the blog front because we have been designing away and learning a lot of new things as we move through this new world. This whole venture has quite literally been inspired by my children. We do a lot of arts and crafts and last month we were doodling away. I said to my eldest that his latest drawing would look awesome on a shirt. He loved the idea so went to grab our fabric markers. Unfortunately we didn't have any plain shirts lying around. So that night I lay in bed looking for a small bulk order of plain tees. And you know what it's like when you click here and then click there. Pretty soon the idea that I could design properly and do this for real, hit me!
There are so many ideas floating around my head but I just couldn't wait any longer to share where we are at. We have 7 designs up at the minute and they are all inspired by my dinosaur loving crew. We like a bit of minimalist design and I remember when my boys were younger than I couldn't find very many simple tees for them. There were a lot of loud prints or sporty prints but none that really suited my taste. So now I am making them! As well as baby and kids' tops, our designs are also available on notebooks, tote bags, pillows and loads more!
We are currently selling through Amazon.com for our US customers (click HERE) and through Redbubble for any international customers (click HERE). Please have a look and if you see something you like, pass the word on and help this mama work from home a little bit longer.
We are aiming to keep things bookish of course. Our next load of designs will hopefully satisfy our book loving fans!
All the best,
Hello! I'm Deb,
a book-toting mother of two and an elementary (primary) school teacher. I love making stories engaging and interactive for kids.
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