Remember America’s Funniest Home Videos? I’m talking about the old school, nineties version that was hosted by Bob Saget (Full House aficionados will remember him as “Danny Tanner”). America lovedthat show; I loved that show. An early precursor to YouTube, AFV was a show that collected and shared authentic home videos ranging from the “warm and fuzzy” to the “just plain silly.” As we review classroom video here at Teachstone, I’m reminded of AFV every once in a while as we stumble upon short clips that make us smile, giggle, and sometimes even tear up.
More than simply providing a bit of nineties nostalgia, these videos remind us that kids are awesome—and if you work in education, they are probably the reason you do what you do every day! As one teacher recently told me, “I teach because kids are more fun than adults!” Here’s a short clip to remind you why kids are great!
The video features a pre-K teacher reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar during whole group. Just watch how the children react when the caterpillar becomes a butterfly—you can’t buy that kind of genuine enthusiasm! Kudos to this teacher and these kids for reminding us how much fun learning can be!
The time has come for hard conversations.
That’s the feedback we have been receiving from educators across the country. There are plenty of tough conversations educators are trained, taught, or feel equipped to handle with children and families - gently bringing up a developmental concern, facilitating a disagreement between students, or explaining what happened with the classroom goldfish are all part of a day in the life. But in the last year, since the killing of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police, educators are increasingly asking for help in communicating more comfortably with young children about diversity and difference.
I was supposed to be an architect, instead I was a teacher of young children; it felt like my calling.
When I started my coursework, they tasked me with visiting multiple classrooms. It overwhelmed me when in some classrooms, children were crying, teachers were frustrated, and no one seemed to enjoy the day. I thought I had made a mistake. Thankfully, I had a professor who inspired me to continue. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the behaviors I observed in both children and teachers, the professor charged me to uncover the root of those behaviors.
And so, my journey to support social-emotional development began.
This past year of hybrid and virtual learning due to the pandemic highlighted the gaps in learning and the inequities that we already knew existed. It is apparent, now more than ever, that there needs to be a narrow focus on bridging the divides (e.g., digital) that exist and meeting students where they are in order to promote growth and put less emphasis on standardized testing. This would allow teachers to concentrate on curriculum with greater impact, differentiate their instruction, and utilize effective strategies that they know make a difference for children’s outcomes.
At Teachstone, our driving vision is to ensure every child experiences life-changing teaching. This mission is why we’re making a commitment to restabilize and improve education for every child, and every educator. And, we know that bringing this commitment to life requires providing education leaders with the support they need to not only face the current challenges, but that will propel towards the future of quality and equity.