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Archive for the ‘Social-emotional development’ Category

 

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Lesley Byrne, and I work as a pre-K teacher in the Lowell Public Schools. I had worked in early childhood education for seven years when, in 1993, the Lowell initiated the first pre-K programs in its schools. I knew this was where I wanted to be, as I have always believed that providing a positive, first-school experience for families can lead to future school success. I was excited to work toward offering these experiences for children and families. 

For a few years, I was involved in The Family Literacy Program, a collaboration between the Lowell Adult Education program and the Early Childhood Education program. Imagine you’re a parent who is new to this country. You don’t understand English or American culture. Now imagine sending your child to a “foreign” school! The Family Literacy Program aimed to support these families. The program offered classes in English as a Second Language to parents of pre-K children. As one of the pre-K teachers at this time, I got to use my skills not only to educate and support the children in my class, but also to work with parents on how to support their child’s learning at home. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my teaching career.  (more…)

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Mary Frances Kroyak and her sons.

 

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Mary Frances Kroyak. The children call me Miss Fran. I work for Cape Cod Child Development in West Yarmouth, Mass. I have been teaching for three years.

As a teacher, I know that children’s brains develop at the fastest rate from birth to age five. Because of this, children not only need to learn ABC’s and 1-2-3’s, but also what their feelings are and how to deal with them. Children need to learn how to socialize and react when working and playing with their peers in a group. Learning these lessons early will help them throughout their lives.

Professionally, I am most proud of the relationships I develop with the children. I love when they come up to me and tell me about their day or something they found amazing that they have learned. One of my favorite things to do is sit at circle time and ask them what they learned this week. For instance, I was doing a unit on crabs. This one little boy drew a blue crab. I told him it looked like an Atlantic blue crab. I showed him pictures of them online. I also asked him if he knew where the Atlantic Ocean is. He said “No.” I asked hm if he knew where the beach he went to with mommy was (we live on Cape Cod). He told me, Yes, he remembered. I told him that was the Atlantic Ocean. He smiled with an expression of surprise and exclaimed “No Way! I swam with the blue crabs? Cool!!” (more…)

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Shamica Dade

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Shamica Dade. I am the lead teacher/director at Square One in the Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) Program on Main Street in Springfield, Mass. I have been in this field for almost 20 years.

Early education and care is the foundation for all future learning. At this stage in life children learn to trust their educators and make connections with peers in a safe and secure setting. It is very important for me to make the children and families in my classroom feel that we are a family, and that we support and lean on each other. That connection and bond allows the parents to feel empowered, which is a skill they will need throughout the education of their child. Children feel loved and important and that they matter. These feelings will help to shape how they see themselves and their role in their education.

For me, every child should feel in charge of their learning, and every parent should feel that they are in a partnership with their children’s teachers. These are the skills and feelings I try to develop in every family that I work with. I learn just as much from each family as they learn from me. (more…)

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“Leading the Way,” is a series featuring the next generation of leaders in the field of early education and care.

Tatiana Roll

Tatiana Roll started her career in education early, teaching her sister and her stuffed animals when she was still a girl.

Teaching, she says, “was just something that was always a part of me.”

At Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Roll majored in elementary education with a concentration in early education. She went on to Boston College where she earned a master’s degree in early education.

“I knew in my heart that it’s where I was meant to be. And I just felt so much passion and love for what I was doing every single day. I knew that this was just what I was meant to do,” Roll says.

She taught in pre-K and kindergarten classrooms in New Jersey and Washington, D.C., even teaching in the preschool she attended as a child, the Sundance School in Plainfield N.J.

For Roll, teaching in urban schools has yielded career-shaping insights:

“I knew where in the world I wanted to be, not just geographically but demographically. I knew that being a teacher is so much more than teaching kids to be what they want to be in the world and giving them the tools. Teaching is also a social justice position.” (more…)

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This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Sheri Rios and I am the Preschool Director for the Elizabeth Peabody House (EPH) preschool in Somerville, Mass. I have worked for EPH for 18 years.

I have always felt a connection with children, “I get them and they get me.” My very first job, when I was 14, was babysitting, and I have been on that path ever since. I did two years of early childhood education at Somerville High School, and I worked as an assistant at EPH’s Peabody Ames Preschool. I returned to EPH a few years later after I had my first child. I worked my way up from preschool teacher, to lead teacher, and then director.

My childhood was tumultuous, and I lived in foster homes for two years as a teenager because of abuse and neglect. I feel that time in my life has molded me into the parent, educator and director I am today. I was blessed to have my Nana in my life becasue for every horrible thing that would happen, she would make up for it with love and affirmation. I realized that every child needs at least one person in their life who loves them unconditionally. (more…)

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Once again this year, the city of New Bedford welcomed children and parents to a back-to-school, kick-off event at the city’s Buttonwood Park Zoo.

The third annual — “Smooth Sailing into Kindergarten” — was a chance to see animals, explore the zoo, and meet principals, teachers, and community partners. This mix of fun and school-readiness activities creates an upbeat start to the academic year.

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This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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Stacey Reese

My name is Stacey Reese and I am currently a lead teacher for Cape Cod Child Development. I have been a preschool teacher for a little over 5 ½ years but have had my hand in educating young children for over 18 years.

So many people spend their whole lives trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do, but I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a teacher. Being a Head Start teacher is no easy feat. It requires patience, diligence, heart and dedication.

My primary goal as the lead teacher is not only to implement daily curriculums and activities, but to provide a safe, fun, caring learning environment for all my students. Head Start provides comprehensive early education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low income families. The program is inclusive and helps those who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunities to succeed. Being part of such a wonderful program helps me to be more focused on my own goals.

I learned that being a good teacher means connecting with children on their own level. I have learned to recognize exactly what motivates a child, how to hold their interest, and most importantly, how to make learning fun, which is so important in a Head Start classroom. This takes perseverance, determination, and a huge commitment to my passion.  (more…)

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