Many of us here at Teachstone are parents, or enjoy nieces, nephews, godchildren, and “little friends.” It’s wonderful to welcome new additions to our staff family (the latest arrived just last week!) and to connect with the youngest children.
Not that caring for children is easy! It’s the hardest, most important work ever, filled with exhaustion and doubt and the constant concern of whether we’re doing it “right.” With my own children, I seemed to bounce between poles of absolute certitude (no to “Ferberizing” my babies) and enormous doubt (but she’s almost three and still waking up five to seven times a night!). In the classroom, I wanted so much to help my students grow, but their needs were so enormous (hunger, difficult home lives, substance abuse) that the curriculum and “learning” seemed almost irrelevant.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is celebrating the Week of the Young Child™ April 6-13. It’s a great time to remind ourselves that “children's opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.”
In other words, we’re all in this together, and together, we can help children thrive. As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers, teachers, and friends, we help children find their place in this world, nurture their talents, and embrace their imperfect and wonderful selves. I thank all of you—and especially my daughters’ first teacher—for your efforts on behalf of children. You make such an enormous difference in their lives!
In the wake of the widespread civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the national conversation about the inequities in the educational opportunities provided white students and students of color has been amplified. Due to racial and socioeconomic segregation, Black students, and other students of color, are more likely to attend poorly funded schools. EdBuild, a non-profit focused on fair and equitable school funding, reports that high poverty school districts that predominantly enroll children of color receive on average, $1,600 less per student than the national average. By their calculations, there is a $23,000,000,000 gap between funding for schools that primarily serve high poverty Black students and those that predominantly serve white students. Schools that predominantly serve high poverty white students, only receive $1440 less per student (EdBuild, 2019).
I recognize and admit to having a chip on my shoulder about the field of early childhood education - and, at times, disbelief that others may not see that period of time as the power-packed years in our developmental timeline which can lay the groundwork and set the course for much of the rest of our lives.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.