Topics in Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A New Year

Here we are poised to begin another new year. There is always much talk about resolutions and what we want to change about ourselves for the coming year. I have tried to make at least one resolution each year. That resolution is to contribute one important thing to the early childhood community. I hope to publish something in 2009 and hope that it will be helpful to teachers and caregivers. Here's to 2009 and everything we an accomplish between now and 2010. Good Luck.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I was out breaking the ice on our pond (winter has arrived!) so that the turtles hibernating in the bottom will have oxygen. While breaking the ice I was thinking about the discussion that happens every year at this time about saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." It all boils down to validation. Human beings want to validated in their beliefs and cultural surroundings. I sometimes think that I should just say, "Merry Everybody and Everything." Actually, I think that is a good idea. As teachers we accept (or should accept) any child that crosses the threshold into our classroom. However, sometimes we adults forget to do that to each other. We are so busy trying to prove we are right, we think the only way to do so is to prove everyone else is wrong. I often think of Dr. Seuss's book, "The Sneetches," when it says..."that day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches and no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches." Validation is the oxygen we need and I want to spend my time breaking the ice.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I am in the middle of interviewing students from my Introduction to Teaching courses at the university. I am so excited about the number of students who are forging ahead with the teaching programs. We know all of the negatives about teaching, such as lower salaries, behavior problems with students and lack of support from home. However, I think the biggest negative of all is poor teaching, whether it is the cynical-nothing works teacher or the instructor who lacks teaching skills. Both of those groups give all teachers and education a bad name. I have tried to relay to my students that it does not have to be that way. You can be a successful, organized and efficient teacher without being mean or constantly in survival mode. I believe it takes just as much effort to be a lousy teacher as it does to be a good teacher. I'm hoping this new crop of teachers will be the latter. We so desperately need more GOOD teachers. It makes me want to go back and teach kindergarten again...which I will do at least one more time before I least I hope. :-)