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March 06, 2008

Making It Known

I have never been one to “toot my own horn.” I have always tried to do my job to the best of my ability, knowing that what I do is important, relevant and impacts my community. However, as we approach a new political season and potential changes in the classes we offer, I have decided that doing my best is not enough!

I know what you are thinking – “She is going to blog about who to vote for or the most effective ways to contact your local officials.” You are wrong! I merely want to encourage readers to become aware of the opportunities that pre-k classes offer our communities.

Thanks to my director, the programs at our school are becoming strong advocates for ourselves and the families we serve. Just this week, I had the pleasure of hosting two administrators, a community member and several parents in my classroom. Through their observations and interactions they have a better understanding of what it is we actually DO in school.

The administrators were encouraged to see the connections I have made to align with the elementary schools. We use Responsive Classroom techniques (circle time, sharing, logical consequences, “take a break chair,” etc.).  To build language skills, I  incorporated similar pre-literacy components including phonemic awareness, print awareness and building vocabulary. The community member was intrigued that there are so many different languages spoken in an area that used to be all English speaking. The parents were thrilled to see their children using appropriate language to deal with conflicts and hadn’t realized just how mature, funny or capable their child is!

There are great things happening in pre-k classrooms all over the country.   Take the time to tell someone about it! If you are a teacher, invite people into your classroom so these experiences and opportunities can become real to them. If you are a parent, administrator, advocate, or policymaker: ask questions, develop relationships and invest in our children. Think about the future and what our world will be.

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