Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy 2014!

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 -
more present,
more aware,
more compassionate.

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

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