I think it is easy for parents, caregivers, and educators to fall into the trap of looking to who their students will become rather than to the individuals in front of them right now. Focusing on the product rather than the process runs the risk creating an inauthentic and potentially frustrating learning environments for children. Particularly, as we consider the needs of children within the context of a post-covid world we must meet children where they are right now. Humans learn from those they trust in spaces that feel safe and containing. My practice of whole body listening comes from the Mosiac Approach by Allison Clark, the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and the pedologoical research of Maxine Greene, Linda Kinight, and Bell Hooks.
I know how increased exposure to new ideas in early childhood creates touchstones for forming connections or potential friendships. At this age, when a child first starts to look outside themselves, my priority is developing a sense of connectedness and belonging, building a repertoire for communication inclusive of non-traditional methods like drawing or music, and fostering a confident sense of identity.
I work in partnership always. Here are three things you will hear me saying when working with children and educators: "teamwork makes the dream work," "I made a mistake, I'm sorry, lets try again together," and "I hear you. Tell me more."
I set for children offer not only a method for assessing and guiding child-centered curriculum but also offer a critical avenue for me to assess my own practice. When children meet these goals, this evidences successful teaching strategies and integrative curriculum respectful of varied learning strategies. Furthermore, meeting of these goals can therefore provide invaluable teacher feedback and teacher assessment.