Topics in Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was asking my 'brand new second grader' granddaughter the other day how things were going in second grade. "Good," was her response. I asked what she had been doing the past week in her new class. "Well, we made visors the first day, with our names on them." I inquired about the rest of the week. She shrugged and said, "I don't know. Stuff." Somehow, there was only one stand-out memory from the week. I began to think about how time seems to pass much quicker for me than it did when I was younger. It becomes a challenge to create memories that stand out while time is whizzing by rapidly.
I also recently had dinner with a former kindergarten student, who is an adult now. I was taken back by what he remembered from my kindergarten class. He recalled our hillbilly band, learning how to read (yeah!) and the one time he got into trouble for talking too much. I don't even remember ever talking to him about behavior. He was a wonderful student. I think I was shocked that one of his first memories was one isolated time he was corrected.
Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Time" picture always makes me feel that we need to be more effective with our time, before it melts away. Particularly, when we work with small children whose brains are building life-long skills and memories. I'm committed to making myself create more positive memories for myself and those around me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beauty in Getting Along

I just finished watching my grandchildren for several days while their parents were out of town. I guess I had more energy when I was younger. :-) Caring for young children takes a lot of energy. I remember the comedian, Bill Cosby, once said, "People with only one child aren't real parents. They never had to hear, 'She's looking at me.' or 'He touched me.'" It takes effort to keep the peace when you have small children or are in charge of young children. Several years ago I was involved with a grant that concentrated on using social emotional strategies to avoid negative behaviors in the preschool classroom. It was great to watch teachers set up their classrooms and organize the day in ways that encouraged positive behaviors. I am so lucky that my grandchildren are well-behaved. However, I tried one strategy with them while they were staying at my house. I made a visual schedule for the day. It was funny how that seemed to please the kids and help them understand how the day was going to progress. even worked at home. As my granddaughter said about the flowers in our yard, "It is beautiful when everything in a plant gets along." It is beautiful when a group of children get along.