"First and foremost we aim to create a quality, nurturing experience for all children and their families. In addition, as a lab program we are involved in the ongoing training and supervision of our graduate teaching assistants, student teachers and field workers. By creating a quality early childhood experience for children, we are providing a first-hand example of excellence to our adult-student participants. In addition, a great deal of time is spent providing further training through supervision meetings, team meetings, and workshops/discussions throughout the year. Everyone on our staff takes professional development very seriously. It is one of the benchmarks of excellence in this program. We all take time to further our own training and knowledge through regular participation in staff meetings, on-site workshops, attendance at professional conferences, and on our staff training days.
The inclusion of ongoing professional development keeps us all fresh, open to new ideas, and committed to the highest standards in the fields of early education and child development. Everyone benefits directly from the staffs' continuing education. However, to put this model into action requires days when children are not in attendance, so that extended time can be devoted to inservice training.
Our program reflects a developmental approach to early education. The Head Teachers, all of whom hold master's degrees in early education and have years of teaching experience, create classrooms in which each child can be physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually challenged and engaged in meaningful activity. Through spontaneous, structured, and integrated play opportunities, teachers and children stimulate problem-solving, creativity, and learning. This play milieu encourages children to dynamically interact with materials, their peers, and teachers. These hands-on, constructive explorations nurture and promote children's self-esteem, confidence, sense of wonder, and natural passion for learning.
We are also committed to valuing individual differences and actively include children and families with a wide variety of racial, ethnic, family, religious, economic and cultural orientations, as well as children with a range of special rights. We believe that it is only by providing and supporting diversity within our classroom that we can enable children and adults to value the richness and importance of a multicultural education and world. Opportunities for exploring the similarities and variation between the children are an integral and important part of the curriculum. Our goal is to take an active stand against any type of bias, and to instill a genuine appreciation and acceptance of one another.
Many of the same materials and activity areas are incorporated within each of our classrooms. These materials and activities may include unit blocks, hollow blocks, small manipulatives like Legos, puzzles, hands-on math materials, painting, clay, crafts, woodworking, dramatic play, sand and water, children's literature, writing, drawing, scrounge materials, music making/listening, movement, physical and natural science exploration, and computers (K-2nd grade). There are plenty of opportunities for playing and working alone and with other children and teachers, as well as several times a day for playing outside. In general, the level of complexity, problem-solving, and the role of the teachers will vary depending upon the developmental needs of the children.
Excerpted from the preschool's website