So, the orchestra teacher, a science teacher, and I all piled into the assistant principal's car (because I had taken the bus to work and the two other personal vehicles were both coincidentally loaded with mattresses). We made our way to the next town over from school. There, we met a beaming sixth-grader and her mother. New to our learning community, they had several questions about which they were curious, and we could see the girl's shoulders visibly ease as a clearer picture of what her school future might look like began to develop. We learned about her, too, in an informal, relaxed way that even the best classroom icebreakers would never quite match.
Back at school after an hour, we compared experiences with colleagues, trading observations that might be useful to others in the teaching team and also stepping back to reflect on this new step interacting with our community. While this was a first, the positive outcomes left me feeling confident it's an event that deserves to be repeated.