Please share your top ideas for your preschool or early elementary classes. Are you looking forward to the beauty of Easter colors and bunny frills? Or are you focusing on the way of the cross? Or are you celebrating the power of the Resurrection? Please share with us how you are communicating that to your children? What are you best, interactive ideas for teaching in this important time?
What does it take to be a great educator? Better formal training? Natural talent? A love for children? Kindness? Moral excellence in order to think of the children’s needs and the family’s needs and the center’s needs before one’s own? Or faith for a child to achieve academic excellence? Or what? How do you rate these?
Here is another article, also urging play over kill-and-drill for preschoolers.
I am for hands-on, but I want to be clear that play is not aimless. I would not urge aimless, non education during school.
“Drill and kill” may be correctly labeled. Early childhood educators should be well aware of the importance of play. However, we might make a little balance or clarity by leaving room for directed play. Huh? Okay, what I mean is like in the Montessori Method, the children choose their work, but the environment is prepared. So the children have the delight of play, while they also tend to cover the “learning objectives” that educators might want. And similarly in “emergent curricula” sometimes we have a list of learning objectives promulgated for instance by the state government. So when it is raining, and the children make damns, we might see that as an opportunity to talk about hydoelectric damns. So we are NOT talking about “dry 2D boring stuff” nor are we talking about play as in “go amuse yourself on the tarmac.” Play doesn’t have to be aimless. In good preschools, we do have directed play.
Of course, there should be time for children to really play, really manage their own time, really occassionally be not directed. This is vital and so rare these days.
Depending upon where you are located, you may have parents who are overly concerned about academic achievment. Pushing two year olds! Spreadsheets for acheivement for children! Bragging on worksheet! OH MY!
Here is an article I thought you might find helpful, if you are in that neighborhood! http://www.braininsightsonline.com/
How I wish I could convey to all concerned that “playing” with red rods teaches so much more about quantity, and thus math, than a million worksheets! If we only “allowed” our youngsters the right kind of “play” we would not have droves of remedial math classes in every community college.
A balanced view would be so much healthier than either push or neglect. Playing in an enriched environment makes cognitive development child’s play.