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Childswork Learning Center

Education Director Fall 2016

October is such a lovely time of the year for so many reasons. There is the colorfulness of the leaves and more frequent rainbows, the cool air is invigorating, and there is a community feel growing in the hallways at school.

October also feels like the time of the year when individual classes have come together and teachers begin to get solid ideas of what direction they might take. Emergent curriculum relies on teachers learning about, observing, and reflecting on their class each year to identify not only what this class is interested in and wants to learn, but also what this class needs, emotionally and cognitively, to learn through the year. And so begins the dance. Teachers work together to continuously assess and reassess the interests and needs of their class and to continually adapt their curriculum to match.

This dance, this back and forth, has many layers. More than just what children want and need and how teachers meet that, but also what parents want and need and expect for their children. Teachers incorporate the real time feedback from their students, feedback from parents, and feedback from their colleagues as they move through their year.

This parent feedback is an important part of our work. We have two days set aside for conferences coming up in October/November and will have two more in late Spring. We want parents and families to be our partners in education. For many parents, this is their first time entering this kind of partnership. For some parents and all of our teachers, parent/teacher partnerships are familiar territory. But this child, this year, in this class is unique. Like any experience that is new (or different enough to be new!), this partnership takes practice.

You will have questions and comments on what you are noticing and wondering about. Your teachers will have questions for you and will share things they notice and wonder about. I join several conferences throughout the school and may have things I notice and wonder about. In all of this, the message is, "we are in this together and want to work with you throughout the whole year to support your child through their preschool experience."

I would like to add that one of the best parts of this team approach is sharing in the joys and successes of early childhood. Sometimes it seems too important to focus on the challenges. There are and will be challenges for every individual and there needs to be clear, supportive communication around them, but remember to share the highlights, the things that work, and the joys of development. Honestly, it can often be focusing on the things that work that helps us support and guide children most effectively.

As always, I look forward to working with you and your teachers on this team. Feel free to stop by to chat, send an email, or give a call.

Posted on October 6, 2016.
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About Childswork

Childswork Learning Center is a non-profit early childhood education school located in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Since 1984, our school has served a diverse population of children and families, focusing on the development of the whole child with respect and compassion.

Childswork is a safe place for children to explore, take chances, make messes and learn through play. At Childswork we nurture wonder, we embrace joy, and we foster discovery.

Rights of Participation

No person shall be denied the services or facilities of this organization or be excluded from participation or services because of race, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed, religion, handicap, or national origin; discrimination of any kind is expressly prohibited.