Topics in Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Good People!

I have had the opportunity to give workshops at a number of AEYC conferences the past few months. One thing is always evident. Early Childhood teachers sincerely want to do what is best for the children in their care. I presented at the California AEYC this past weekend and I was thrilled by the sincere nurturing atmosphere of the conference. It is always a pleasure to work with teachers and caregivers that want to be the best. California is presently working on a proposal for universal PreK. I hope the government of that state recognizes the caliber of early childhood teachers that are in that state.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"He's afraid of kids, right?"

I recently acquired several cats at my home. My four year-old granddaughter came to visit and pet the cats. One of our cats does not like children. I told my granddaughter, who needs regular reassurance in new situations (like petting cats), that "Gus" is afraid of children. It would be better for her to pet the other cats. During the 1 1/2 hours she was at my house she kept reassuring herself by saying, "He's afraid of kids, right?" This incident made me think of the number of times we must reassure children that they are successful in their activities. If a child doesn't have constant support in learning a new skill, the skill will not be mastered and the child's responses will be sporadic. I am continually amazed at the number of teachers who say, "He knew that letter yesterday and now today he can't remember." It takes lots of reassurance and support to master a skill. That way the child may not need to continually ask, "He's afraid of kids, right?"

Monday, April 10, 2006

That time of year...

This is the time of year when teachers begin to madly assess children in order to report to each parent about their child's progress. I do think that teachers who have an organized way to monitor progress are not stressed at this time of year. That teacher has monitored on a regular basis and used the information for planning. The teacher can report progress at any time during the year. I worry about the teachers that do not have an organized way for tracking progress. They must be in a panic right now. Are there other factors that make it difficult to assess progress regularly?