Our Preschool Program's Philosophy
My teaching philosophy for the children is an open ended style of teaching that is developmentally appropriate, and allows each child an opportunity to experience different ways of learning. The program for a child care environment requires a high level of skill on the part of the staff. Our program must be carefully planned to allow flexibility for the children, which is an essential element of a good program. It should be structured to meet the child's growth needs. Therefore the equipment placed within it must challenge the development of physical, social, language, and cognitive skills. Equipment should be placed where children can easily obtain it. This allows the children to be self-initiating. They can decide what to do and when with a minimum of teacher assistance. This fosters the growth of independence. Young children learn primarily through direct experience with the people and materials in their environment. They do not have the cognitive abilities to understand abstract concepts. They are in the process of constructing their own view of the world and profit little from direct instruction. The program must accommodate appropriate learning materials.
We as teachers must also recognize that children grow and learn at different rates, therefore providing learning materials and experiences that challenge the development of a wide range of skills is necessary. Our materials of varying complexity are available to the children and they are allowed to use them, as they feel comfortable. Children must be given permission to develop at their own rate without pushing them into experiences in which they have little chance of coping or succeeding. It is also apparent that children have different learning styles. Some children learn best exploring by themselves. Others may learn best with a teacher or another child. Still others learn most effectively in a small group situation. Thus, the program must accommodate all of these learning styles. The children can then define what's most effective for them.
Our Inclusion program means, that our doors are open to all children regardless of race, religion, gender or those with special needs or special rights. We feel that all children should be given the opportunity to be in a safe, loving, secure environment where their self-esteem is lifted-up, and they are treated with the utmost respect and are seen as a child first and their special right or special need last. Inclusion is a sense of belonging and being a part of the class instead of being separated students and left alone.
Structure is an important part of our program. We provide it by preparing a stable environment, by ordering the events of the day within a predictable sequence, and by consistently interacting with children in prescribed ways. This predictability gives the children confidence and the freedom to explore and experiment.
The role of a teacher in this kind of program is a complex one. The teacher must have the ability to assess and respond to the children's needs. The role will vary depending on the skills and development of the individual child. It is important for the teacher to be objective and not set unrealistic expectations. A teacherâ€™s view of the child in the light of his/her own accomplishments rather than comparing that child's skills to another. Teachers must be able to show the children who they are as people. They must be honest in expressing their feelings. Such openness facilitates the development of trust between teacher and child. I provide a variety of spontaneous activities inside and outside to create a stimulating environment. Children learn through personal experiences, therefore; our program allows them time to choose for themselves what they want to do. A safe environment with careful supervision is a must. We let children to try and solve their own problems, with guidance and assistance.
I have meetings with the families to go over the progress of their children daily if needed, and use the State of California Desired Results Developmental Profile to chart the progress of each child. Our children develop and learn best in a supportive environment in which parents are included as much as possible. We are sensitive to the cultural differences and needs of all children and their families. Respecting an individual is important. I welcome any insight from the families to better serve them and their children.
Karen Byers Preschool
8:00 am Children are arriving, Wash hands upon entering school. All Learning areas open and set out: Art, table games, block and manipulative areas. Play music for about Â½ an hour. Breakfast.
9:00 am Circle time-Cover the monthly calendar, constant & vowel sounds, shapes, colors, count to 100, cover 5 senses, manners chart, sing childâ€™s favorite song, a clock chart to schedule and plan the rest of their day. (Share Day Wednesdays)
9:30am Childrenâ€™s choice: Inside or Outside Learning areas, Music, Reading, Art & Writing, Dramatic play, Block areas, and Sensory tables. Outdoor play - all of the above materials go outside weather permitting.
10:30am Wash up - Group reading time. Provider offers an activity, or game to do with the children. Invite them to join in. This might be a cooking project covering math & science, or language development activity.
11:00 am Wash hands, Lunch served.
11:30 am Childrenâ€™s choice: Inside or Outside Learning areas, music, reading, writing, art, dramatic play, block areas, science. Outdoor play - all of the above can go outside weather permitting.
12:00 pm Dismissal for session I
12:30 pm Session II arrives and we repeat schedule above.
Our program has an extensive variety of learning materials to choose from that will enhance your childâ€™s learning styles and capabilities necessary before entering Kindergarten. This is an example of what we try to do in a given day. We need to be flexible to everyone; therefore we may change our program during the day. Your children will have a foundation that is balanced academically as well as socially and emotionally. Educators have learned that if a child has a strong foundation socially and emotionally then they will be able to focus in a classroom setting and learn faster academically. We strive to have a school where children will develop friendships with other children and develop secure attachments with their teachers. We also provide an educational environment full of choices that help them get ready for Kindergarten.