Many of our Teachstone staff members 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. Many others are former teachers and educators, who still keep track of their students’ accomplishments.
That’s what makes the work we do so personal. Yes, in the abstract, we all know that every child deserves a great teacher - it’s a moral imperative. But it is something really special to see great teachers interact with your own children, and to connect with other adults who are sincerely invested in the incredible, beautiful, unique child in your life. We celebrate those educators each day, and this week, we celebrate the young children they work with.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is celebrating the Week of the Young Child™ April 12-16, 2021. 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.”
So, this week, let’s raise our voices to recognize the uniqueness and joy of young children. Let’s think about how we support their growth and development. Let’s make plans to build awareness in our communities about what young children need. And then, when this week’s up, let’s continue this conversation because our children deserve it.
From coast to coast and around the globe, there’s a common thread that unites teachers: wanting to be better for their students.
Even when things are tough in education, educators are striving to be their best. Their dedication to equitable, ongoing development is what inspires Teachstone’s work. It will take a systematic, data-driven approach to reach the day when all children are afforded excellent education and care. And, we are enthusiastic partners in getting to that goal.
By the end of every summer, the education world erupts with talk about back-to-school. This year was no different. The air was full of optimism. Vaccines had rolled out, many of us took our first vacation in a year and a half, and my inbox was full of the “best back to school” sales. Sadly, as quickly as many schools welcomed children back into the classroom with open arms, they were forced to close again due to increases in COVID-19 infections.
Admins, teachers, students, and families alike may be feeling concerned, cautiously optimistic, pessimistic, or confused. If you’re like me, you might feel all of the above all at once. But, I am taking comfort in knowing that this year, we are armed with more data.
Teachstone applauds the removal of three Confederate statues in Charlottesville, VA. Our organization is headquartered in this Southern city and we have seen first-hand the visceral reaction evoked by these tributes to figureheads of the Lost Cause movement. While the cause of the Confederacy in the Civil War has been lost, the war on racism has not yet been won.
Every state, every district, every school, every teacher faced decisions that they had never anticipated in the last academic year. As the end of the 2020-2021 school year approaches, it’s time to reflect on those decisions, learn from others, and prepare for the fall ahead.