George E. Forman, Ph.D.
Our school community sought the guidance of Pam Okenwright to establish a stronger, more visible Reggio practice in our four-year-young school. In the past and always present, Pam makes herself accessible to us as a mentor and inspiration for the Reggio philosophy. Specifically, we required the tangible means to create and share the stories of the children’s learning process. Pam’s teaching style is true to Reggio: she is aware of our personalities, learning styles, our joy, our challenges, and even our fears. Pam is a delightful story-teller, patient and mindful of our attention, understanding and inquiries. She shared four fleeting hours with us and left us with immediate, real intentions and tools to implement both student portfolios and a school blog. Pam is selfless with her wisdom. We are so grateful to have her as our mentor.
Faculty And Staff
This came up on my FB feed today. I thought it was timely after my first week back. Though you were only in my class for a short bit this week, one of my huge take-a-ways from you is the art of listening. You can read it in a textbook, but watching you in action left a huge impression on me that will not only benefit me, but most importantly, my kids! Thank you is not enough for what you have showed me and shared with me.
My co-teacher and I are experienced teachers who feel confident about most aspects of our practice, and we have considered our program Reggio-inspired for many years. But when I heard Pam speak at a conference about the joys and challenges of teaching in a Reggio inspired way, I was humbled, moved and challenged, reminded in a healthy way of how much I have yet to learn. So, we asked Pam for help in a very specific way. We wanted her to invest time and energy in understanding our school as it already is, and then lay out for us exactly what we would need to change in order to co-construct long-term investigations with children. We didn’t want Pam to tell us what TO do; we wanted her to help us understand what we COULD do, so that we could make a clear-eyed choice about what we were willing and able to do. Pam did exactly that – with both sensitivity to our feelings and uncompromising intellectual clarity – and with her companionship and guidance, we have chosen to make some changes, small but significant “shifts in lens” that have led to some of the most satisfying teaching moments of our careers. We have been working with Pam for over a year now, and in that time, we have grown as teachers in a deep way, making a shift both more immediate and more significant than any we’ve ever made after a class or conference or study tour. And one last thing – maybe the most important thing – our children have enjoyed and benefitted from Pam’s presence immensely. The question after one of her visit is always, “When is Pam coming back?”Donna King
If you know my work, won’t you please leave a testimonial? Thank you!