Welcome to my Blog!

Greetings and welcome to my page. My name is Rebbecca, I am a mom of two and a preschool teacher in southwestern Virginia. I have had the blessing of working in a Reggio Emilia inspired center for nearly 10 years, with the Greenies (my students) for 7 of the last 10 years. Our emergent curriculum and play based learning approach has changed the way I think about working with children. I am looking forward to sharing my inspirations, reflections and stories with you. So glad you're here!

“If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” Shel Silverstein

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Sad Truth- Teacher Tom: The Worst Education Money Can Buy

Working at a Reggio inspired school we value play as THE source of learning. Just the other day I had a parent who has worked here longer than I have suggest we start to find ways to meet these growing expectations placed on incoming kindergarteners- top of her list from her experiences as a mom of a kindergartener- how to sit at one choice for an extended amount of time, ie- less freedom of exploration. I hate to see these cracks being created in our foundation. We are shifting from being viewed as the source of kindergarten readiness to being the problem because we want our kids to explore and engage in meaningful learning- not expect them to sit at an activity whether they enjoy it or not. It makes me sad. Thanks for bringing this up, Teacher Tom!
Teacher Tom: The Worst Education Money Can Buy


  1. Hi Rebbecca- a great teacher can almost always get 5-yr-olds to sit for an extended period, by engaging them. It's about the way they teach, the amount of energy and enthusiasm they project and their grip on the appropriateness of the activity.

    Unless the child has some sort of real impediment to stillness, such as ADHD or some forms of autism, it's about the way they're being taught if they can't sit still. Good intentional teaching will engage a child to the point where they WANT to engage with the activity being presented. And a good teacher has good timing, and knows when that teaching moment has 'expired' and they're flogging a dead horse.

    A child should never be FORCED to sit still at an activity, whether they're 5 or 15, because forcing them means they actually aren't learning anything!!

  2. (NB this is not to say that a 5-yr-old shouldn't be introduced to some routines during the day where sitting is the norm- that's why we have mat time- but it should never be forced.)

  3. Well said, Annie! I have worked with a number of children who may have a few extra ants in their pants, it is important to look at each child as an individual, even if you are trying to gather them as a whole. I try to plan ahead for these friends and make sure that a reasonable alternative is offered- reading books quietly, working with small manipulatives at a table or even with the group. I went to a state conference earlier this year and saw a great presentation by Dr. Becky Baily (Love Rituals.) During a slideshow she directly addressed how to plan for those friends who just cant sit still. She gave an example with photos of a boy they offered a laundry basket to sit in so he would have a defined space during group time. It worked great for them, he would pull his basket over for group time, get out when they would do a movement activity, then get back in it, all of his own accord. I gave it a try with a friend in my classroom and it worked like a charm! A few months in he does not need it anymore but knows it is an option if he feels he needs it.

    Thanks for your comments!