I am delighted to be at home this cold, grey, wintry Thursday morning, writing and reflecting. With many schools in my area resuming classes today, I feel particularly lucky to be returning next Monday!
Today begins my fifth year of writing this blog.
Wow. I'm both surprised and amazed at this.
I had no idea when I began writing that I would enjoy this medium so very much. I have loved having this outlet - this safe and benign place - for my musings about teaching preschoolers. I am surprised by how much I have written and how much more I want to say, albeit in a random and unpredictable way. I love reading comments from others...and having my thoughts soar in new directions because of these.
When I began writing this blog, I imagined that I would "say my piece" and that would be that...probably, I would write only for a brief while. (Honestly, I had no expectations, and I wasn't certain about what "my piece" was!) But, I suspected that there was only so much I could say.
Yet, the truth is, the more I write, the more I am aware of
the significance of small moments,
the tremendous importance of our work with young children, and
the essentialness of reflection.
Blogging helps me to be a better teacher -
The simple act of writing regularly on this topic of preschoolers has made me much more confident and clear about what really matters to me.
As I begin this fifth year of writing this blog, I hope these themes will jump out -
- preschoolers learn best through play;
- families and teachers should dare to follow the child's lead;
- allow children to investigate and explore their interests;
- have routines and "ramp them up" with ritual, tradition, magic, and love;
- the best discipline focuses on loving children and building on the positive;
- model the behavior you want to see;
- beginning teachers working alongside experienced teachers is an extraordinarily rich and vibrant teaching environment;
- helping young parents is an essential part of an early childhood teacher's role;
- remember to take care of the caregiver;
- when in doubt - step back, breathe, and watch.
Happy New Year, one and all!
"You can do no great things, only small things with great love."
- Mother Theresa