Uh oh! It's THAT time again! Zip up! Bundle Up! Rake those leaves! Turn on the heat! Return sleeveless shirts, sandals, funky hats and tie dye shorts back into the summer closet! Autumn! Plunged back into reality after the sunny season of outdoors, walks, campfires, festivals, car trips, picnics...the fun of summer!
Back to tighter schedules, benchmarks, parent conferences, curriculum guidelines, assignment deadlines, staff meetings...add to the list of stressful events and times, federal, state, local legislation (often passed by folks who rarely see young children) that impacts all our lives
(example: Ohio's new law just passed calling for holding back all third graders who do not read up to third grade level by the end of their third grade.)
How on earth do those of us spending our waking hours with our youngest students keep our beliefs, faith, courage, strength and spirit with the bombardment of pressures from all directions heavy on our little shoulders?
|Happiest Face Painting from Happy Child|
It is a miracle that our profession -- that I describe as a 'sacred calling' -- is rich with awesome individuals who know that our time with our youngest students is precious and vitally important. Thank you research for supporting the importance of early childhood education . Folks like you who create environments of welcome: colorful and creative, safe and loving, are where our children learn to love learning! No matter what is going on outside of our 'world' with the children, you stand strong in your belief about enriched, imaginative, playful, delightful education that directly connects to all curriculum strands. Our children, with you, are learning important lessons by heart!
Our Debbie, Rainbow Girl, takes her songs, books, laughter, fun to teachers and children in ALL seasons! Wherever SHE is, her spirit brightens all who share time with her. People like Dr. Gay Ward at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and her fabulous colleagues are planning a
beautiful conference titled, 'The Joyful Journey- Teaching In the Key Of Life.' I'm honored to be part of that delightful event that will strengthen participants in their committment to keeping the promise of playful, joyful learning experiences for their children.
We are all on a 'joyful journey' and when we forget that path, we break trust with those who need our steadfastness and affirmation the most. This autumn and in the winter months that follow, I hope each and every' one of you keeps the lights of wonder, curiosity, adventure, courage, creativity alive and well no matter the other 'weather' happening around us.
AS long as you and the children stay on the 'joyful journey' together, they will fall in love with learning....and with YOU. Good luck!
Peace and Love, Mimi
books: Teaching In The 'Key of Life'
Teaching By Heart
Celebrating Young Children and Their Teachers
Creative Experiences For Young Children