Unpacking Documentation Through Poetry

Resident Teachers work with Mentor Teachers and Pedagogical Support Faculty, including the Studio Teacher, to deepen practices around Observation, Documentation, and Assessment.

Jacie Engel, Studio Teacher, offers the following verse to explore the children’s experiences while visiting the studio.

The older infants in room 3 recently visited the studio, encountering light projected onto fabric.

To go inside, into, within, 
to cross over and through-
these movements of curiosity plot new points of reference that expand our understanding of self as part of, 
and within the world.
It’s magic, this world. 
Because we find that it includes not just the unknown and the mystery. 
It resonates with this possibility- here, there, and for what’s on “the other side”. 
We find that this world includes me... 
And it includes you. 
We’re here together! 
Let’s play with our togetherness. 
Can we hide ourselves? 
Who is hidden, 
Me or you? 
Or both? 
Let’s find each other, 
and relocate our awarenesses. 
A spontaneous game. 
An improvisation of innate connection. We know how to play it.
We pause…

I can’t see you.
You can’t see me.
But I know you’re there.
I feel you.

And the anticipation…
I’m here, 
you’re there…

Let’s find each other again…

The course, Observation, Documentation, and Assessment is one of the introductory courses offered through both the Residency and Online Master’s Program. To view course descriptions and learn more about applying to join the Teacher Eduction Program, visit the website.

2 thoughts on “Unpacking Documentation Through Poetry”

  1. Thank you for sharing. I attended the NAREA conference last week and one thread running through the presentations was the concept of thresholds… it connected back for me … Alessandra Braglia shared “So sometimes we think of thresholds. Is a threshold, a boundary, a border or perhaps a connector, a place that connects the person on the other side with a person on this side.” (Alessandra Braglia, Pedagogical Coordinator 13th NAREA Winter Conference)
    The poetry makes me think of moments we are invited or inviting new possibilities but have differing points of view. How can we create thresholds? The children cross with joy and curiosity…


    1. This is a lovely reminder to reframe our views on thresholds to be invitations rather than exclusions. It is a mindset that children seem so comfortable with, while many adults forget.


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