“I was drawn into teaching at a young age. I enjoyed playing school with my younger brother. Lucky for me he would play along even when I assigned him book reports! I come from a very large extended family with too many cousins to count. I was always with my younger cousins and siblings playing games, sports, reading books etc. Some of my proudest moments include teaching my younger brother to play a song on the piano and helping my younger sister learn to read; both at a very young age.
Children learn so quickly and watching them have that “Ah Ha” moment is amazing. I love the questions my son asks. He seems to do his greatest thinking in the car and he has stumped me many times with his profound thoughts. Young children can absorb an enormous amount of information in every day experiences. I stayed home with my son for 2 years, and it was my goal to provide a preschool like environment for him. We had shapes and colors on the dining room walls. We loved creating things with different art materials. We used word and number vocabulary as often as possible. My son has a love for science, so I used science to interest him in other areas that were not his favorite. We made every day an opportunity to learn.
It is hard work to create an environment that is fun and educational. Sometimes teachers have to really “sell it” in order for the children to be excited about it as well. Children need choices with safe boundaries, and structure with flexibility. We can provide those things and meet the needs of the whole child by simply changing the way we speak to children. Asking questions with a higher level of thinking is a great way to allow the child to use knowledge and creativity in their answers.
Preschoolers do not need numerous worksheets to be ready for kindergarten. They need a chance to experience learning through play. And the teacher is responsible for creating opportunities for meaningful play that will enhance the occasions the child will have to discover, create, and learn on his/her own.”