Wednesday, March 5, 2014


This post is to inform you of my decision to retire at the end of this school year.

I have enjoyed teaching young children since 1981 here at Dunham. I am grateful for having had the chance to experiment and innovate the kindergarten curriculum. I have tried out new approaches to teaching kindergarten, rediscovered old ones, and I’ve come up with a few original ideas too. 

My work has been meaningful. Developing and refining the Soundabet has been particularly meaningful and important to me because my work extended far beyond my own classroom. 
We’ve had an uncommon core curriculum in kindergarten, a program attractive enough to bring in many students from outside the District. I have long felt that Dunham School is special because of its particularities and uniquenesses. 

I am grateful for the support I have received from Dunham’s parents. Many of my best ideas have come from kindergarten parents and from the children they’ve entrusted to my care. Parent volunteers learn firsthand how challenging and rewarding teaching kindergarten can be. 

I am especially grateful for working with Mrs. Zell this year. Although this is her first year as the kindergarten teaching assistant, she has fulfilled and exceeded every expectation. Truth be told, she has become much more than an assistant; she feels more like a valued colleague. One of the hardest parts about deciding to retire this year was the idea that we would work together for only one year. She’s made this last year of my career especially enjoyable.


Change is in the air. This fall the District will open new classrooms for Kindergarten, Transitional Kindergarten and a playground to go with them. I am glad to see the District invest in kindergarten infrastructure. Inside the new buildings there will be new teachers who will bring new enthusiasm for kindergarten. 

In retirement I look forward to outdoor recreation, travel, reading, making music, volunteering in the community, and fondly remembering my years teaching kindergarten at Dunham.

Meanwhile, we've got about 1/3 of the kindergarten year left to go. I intend to savor each and every moment from here to June 6.


nellyp said...

Congratulations Mr. Gurney!!! Although I would have LOVED for Jack to be in your class, I am beyond thankful that William was lucky enough to have you! You truly are "Mr. Kindergarten". This is bittersweet (for us!) yet wonderful news!!

Brooke Tester said...

Congratulation Mr. Gurney! Happy happy retirement - you deserve it!
Now who is Andy going to play music with on Tuesday mornings?

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Brooke. If there's a time I enjoy in teaching kindergarten it's singing with the kids with Andy beside me. I'll miss those moments to be sure.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, Janelle.