The Storyteller, April 2017
Reflecting on Children’s Growth: Honoring the role of the teacher
“We need a teacher who is sometimes the director, sometimes the set designer, sometimes the curtain and the backdrop, and sometimes the prompter. A teacher who is both sweet and stern, who is the electrician, who dispenses the paints, and who is even the audience—the audience who watches, sometimes claps, sometimes remains silent, full of emotion, who sometimes judges with skepticism, and at other times applauds with enthusiasm” (Malaguzzi).
Dear Families and Friends,
In this season of growth and new beginnings, it is important to find joy in the present—and also valuable to reflect upon the past and how our journey together began. In our preschool context, I am remembering Fall, 2016. So much development and learning have taken place! What an amazing collaboration between parents, teachers, children– and nature!
While we are certain that a myriad of interdependent moments have occurred over the past several months to bring us to this season of growth, I would like to express my own appreciation for the role of our teachers in this miraculous process. We are fortunate to have with us at Palisades Preschool a group of teachers who are very special as individuals and, also, as a community of teachers and learners. As Malaguzzi suggested, there is no one role for the teacher—but many. Our teachers shift roles numerous times throughout their day with the children and with one another: offering care and support, giving direct instruction, scaffolding learning with questions and materials, remaining silent as children solve problems independently, preparing environments, documenting children’s experiences, reflecting with colleagues to create the curriculum, engaging in professional development, and communicating with parents. All of these roles—and more– are played on any given day.
The work of the teacher is both demanding and uplifting—particularly for teachers working in Reggio inspired settings such as our own. The work requires a commitment to caring and thinking deeply—and requires a significant amount of time and energy beyond the moments spent with children.
We thank parents in each class for honoring teachers with Teacher Appreciation Weeks for each classroom team and we thank the Teacher Appreciation Committee for organizing the lovely lunch planned for early June. It is wonderful to be recognized—and for outstanding efforts to be acknowledged.
Teaching: a job for not thinking small (Malaguzzi).
We are very happy to share the fantastic news that children from our school were accepted to many fine private schools in our area, including: PS1, Wildwood, Crossroads, The Willows, Seven Arrows, Carlthorp, John Thomas Dye, Village School, Mirman, UCLA Lab School (TK), and Edison’s bilingual immersion program (TK). We are fortunate to have wonderful private, public, and charter schools in our area and many of our graduates will head to these great schools in the fall. Congratulations to children and to their families!
Spring Egg Hunts
As part of our celebration of Spring, we will hold our annual PPS Egg Hunts on Wednesday, April 5. We will ask parents on the Spring Egg Hunt Committee to hide the eggs on our play yard for the 9:15 Cherry Blossom/Rosemary egg hunt and for the 11:30 egg hunt for the Sunflower and Lavender classes. Special snacks provided by parents can also be a part of the celebrations. (We need a parent to put on our bunny costume and become the Spring Bunny!)
Breakfast with Loved Ones
We invite our PPS Dads or other Special Loved Ones to join teachers and children for a simple continental breakfast in classrooms and on the play yard on Friday, April 21, from 8:45 to 9:30. This annual event initiates our celebration of NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child this year (see below). (We will honor PPS Moms on May 12 for Lunch with Loved Ones.)
Week of the Young Child:
Celebrating Our Youngest Learners
We have once more chosen the sub-theme, Celebrating Families, as part of our recognition of NAEYC’s 2017 Week of the Young Child. Beginning on Monday, April 24, our community will have the opportunity to support Upward Bound House, a local nonprofit organization providing transitional housing to homeless families with minor children. Outreach Committee members will be in communication with UBH and let us know what items they are requesting this year. We will have a place in the hallway or in Karen’s office for your donations between April 24 and May 3. Outreach Committee members will provide a flyer with more information soon.
On Wednesday, April 26, we invite parents to join children and teachers in our annual PPS WOYC Family Parade around our neighborhood. Children can wear their PPS t-shirts. (Please see Karen if you do not have one.) We also invite families to create simple Family Flags to carry in the parade. We will gather in front of the school at about 9:15 and proceed to parade around the block, giving visibility to young children within the community and to our preschool. All family members are welcome!
As an appropriate conclusion to Week of the Young Child, the preschool will close on Friday, April 29, so that we can engage in spring conferences with our families. The teachers will share documentation of children’s learning over the past few months and we look forward to talking with you about your child’s many strengths—as well as areas of development that may need some support at home and at school. We will offer childcare for the time of your conference. We realize that sometimes 30 minutes is not enough time to fully discuss all aspects of your child’s growth and learning. If you believe that you will need more than 30 minutes, please consult with teachers to set an alternate conference time on May 1 or May 2. Thank you.
- Tuesday, April 4—Tandy Parks mindful parenting meeting in Library at 9:15
- Wednesday, April 5—Egg Hunts (CB/R at 9:15 and Sun/Lav at 11:30)—Early Dismissal (12, 12:15, 12:30, 12:40)
- Thursday, April 6—Preschool closed for Spring Break
- Wednesday, April 19—Preschool open
- Thursday, April 20—Parent Tours
- Friday, April 21—Breakfast with Loved Ones from 8:45 to 9:30—starting Week of the Young Child activities
- Monday, April 24—Collection for Upward Bound House starts
- Wednesday, April 26—Family Parade around the neighborhood from 9:15 to 9:45
- Thursday, April 27—Preschool closed for Conference preparation
- Friday, April 28—Preschool closed for Parent-Teacher Conferences (child care provided for conference time)
- Week of May 1—Sunflower Teacher Appreciation Week
- Wednesday, May 3—Collection for Upward Bound House ends
- Thursday, May 11—Ounce of Prevention meeting in Library with Pattie Fitzgerald at 9:15 (rsvp to Karen)
- Friday, May 12—Lunch with Loved Ones-Moms and grandmothers honored-(CB-R: 11:30 to 12:15/Sun-Lav: 12:30-1:15)
- Week of May 14—Rosemary Teacher Appreciation Week
- Wednesday, May 24—Hundred Languages Open House for all PPS preschool families—5 to 7 p.m.
- Monday, May 29—Preschool closed for Memorial Day holiday
Pictures from School Events
The Role of the Teacher
Sunflower Field Trip