"In Partnership:" The Parent-Teacher Relationship

Outside, the sunflowers at the Child's Garden hang low with heavy, dark heads. Petals still golden, curl at the edges. Children pluck them to put into pots of soup and bowls of salad at their restaurant underneath the bare, sheltering branches of the lilacs and honeysuckle. Inside the classroom hangs a felt and fabric sunflower. This sunflower hardly displays the perfection of the natural world. Its lettering, "Child's Garden," is somewhat a-kilter, the petals a bit floppy. Even over time its colors never fade. Like nature's sunflower, however, this sunflower speaks of growth and transformation. Just as magical as the burnished disk of the sunflower drying to show its meaty seeds, the interior Child's Garden sunflower holds the wishes and hopes of parents for the children.
Teachers at our school speak about the parent-teacher relationship in different ways, because we each are unique in personality, temperament, and biography. Early childhood teachers may talk about building the bridge between school and home. We share with parents verses to greet the morning, bless our meals, and shepherd to sweet slumber. We may sign our letters, "in partnership," to signify that children - and their individual child - will thrive most deeply when surrounded by the loving embrace of teacher and parent together.
Our Child's Garden sunflower tells this story. We want the same for the children, our children. We want them to "create strong friendships." We want to create for them a world that is good, beautiful, and true. Our children then will be free for "cheerful discovery," "love and laughter," and "infinite joy." With parent and teacher "in partnership" and striving to be models of imitation, our children then develop their capacities for empathy, kindness, and compassion.
Bless the sunflower. Bless our work together, on behalf of our children. ~ Child's Garden Director and Lead Teacher Stephanie Hoelscher