I love this article!

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” – Deepak Chopra

If you haven’t read the New York Times’ article on the play movement, you should and can do it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/garden/06play.html?_r=2

Play is so vital for children (and I think for adults as well)! In special education, we use it to help children work on their IEP goals and objectives. Intervention models such as Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime (http://www.icdl.com/dirFloortime/overview/index.shtml) are play-based. If you have never witnessed a child truly in the midst of a meaningful, purposeful play experience, it is magical!

I can still vividly remember games that my brothers and I made up when we were younger. Games that involved forts, imagination, scavenger hunts, balloons, and cardboard boxes. Sure I remember the Atari and Nintendo games we played, but the memories of our play are much more vivid. Actually, I can still remember experiences from when I myself was in preschool 20 some years ago. I remember the balance beams, going on nature walks by the pond, when the zoo brought a snake in (that seemed so large, we all sat in a line and held him), the way the snake felt, snack, the block area, and the boat that could also be a bridge.

What I do not remember from my preschool years is pressure to write my name, know my colors, read, or count. I am sure my teachers embedded those things into play experiences and the environment when I was READY for them, but they did not force them down my throat. Guess what? I still learned them and I think I turned out okay  even though I did not have the “kindergarten readiness” drill routines. Believe it or not, I was in National Honors Society in high school, went to an outstanding private college, earned a 4.0 in graduate school, and passed my Masters comprehensive examination “With Distinction”.

To this day, I still have kids who come up to me and remember things they did 4 years ago in my classroom when they were in preschool. There have been a lot of teachers and experiences between when they were my student (though I always think of them as my students, even after they have gone to a different grade) and now, but SOMETHING they did in my room still stands out. The beauty of it is that it is different for each child. You never know what day or experience will be a memory that they keep with them, what experience will form a building block for the rest of their life; which is why it is vital that EVERY DAY and all of the little things that make up that day, COUNT!

Until the next time…

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About theearlychildhoodteacher

I am a 30-something public school teacher who has taught all grades from preschool through second. I hold my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and my Masters Degree in Special Education. Throughout my career (as a both a general education and special education teacher), I have taught in public, private, Montessori and charter schools, which have been set in urban, suburban, and rural communities. This blend of experiences has given me a unique philosophy of teaching. Every day is an adventure and my students are constantly teaching me things as well! I have been involved in the world of ECE for 12 years, being a full time teacher for 9 years. As I approach the 10 year mark as a full time teacher, I can honestly see how people get tired or burnt out, but I refuse to! Each year's group of students is just as important and exciting as the first group of students that I had almost 11 years ago. I think sometimes teachers need to remind themselves of that! :)
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One Response to I love this article!

  1. Shannon says:

    Great article. Thanks for sharing. I totally agree with you about how important play is. It’s sad how much the early schooling years of our children have so drastically changed in the last 10 years.

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