Monday, December 03, 2007
Someone Else Got it Right
Funny, with how much I enjoy sharing products, ideas, funnies and treasures with friends and family, I'm always at a loss when it comes to recommending PEOPLE to others, especially when those people promote themselves as a business. I'm not très comfortable *endorsing* what Mentor-Bev called "canned programs," because I've not found any cure-all, be-all, end-all definitive answers out there for early childhood education, but in looking over Nellie Edge's website, I found her "Kindergarten Teaching Philosophy," and let me tell you, this lady got it RIGHT.
"I believe that the kindergarten experience must nurture social-emotional skills in each child and create joyful school memories. Kindergarten is a magical journey and one of my jobs is to develop the imagination and create memorable rituals, traditions and celebrations that honor childhood. I value dramatic play, block building, dance and movement, and the many forms of literacy play. I want children to be active learners and disciplined, creative thinkers; to learn to make good choices and to work cooperatively; and to be kind and responsible.
I believe that young children deserve a multisensory and differentiated literacy program within a joyful, caring community of learners — a child’s garden. Their lives must be valued, celebrated and incorporated into the literacy curriculum so they care about school and develop a love of learning. Authentic, meaningful learning always elicits a SMILE."
If you're an administrator confused, frightened or clueless about kindergarten students, a teacher on a kindergarten curriculum writing/review committee, or if you're a new-hire kindergarten teacher, please please please, read Nellie's philosophy. Print it out, think it over, and let it guide you through your daily decision-making. I'll spend some more time looking over her site and list of seminar subjects and recommendations, but her philosophy is something I just had to share NOW, especially considering all of the kindergarten horror stories I've been hearing lately.
Come to think of it, if you're a parent of a child stuck in a kindergarten nightmare, print out the philosophy, take it to your child's teacher and give a copy to the principal. Some people don't know what "right" is until it's stuck to their desks or computer monitors.