This I Believe

Tara - Hobe Sound, Florida
Entered on April 22, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that the primary purpose of my life is to be an early childhood educator. I believe that I have had and continue to hold an obligation to educate myself so that I may create a classroom that promotes optimal development of the young child. I believe that children aged three to six years are amazing people and are grossly misunderstood and underestimated by most adults. After completing a masters degree in early childhood education, I pursued the course work to become a Montessori teacher. At one time, I thought that “I was done with formal education. Now, I just implement all of this theory.” Now, I think very differently. I continue to learn, change, shape and refine my beliefs about good teaching. This is what I believe about early childhood education:

Young children are incredibly capable childen and they learn best in an environment which provides stimulation but also the freedom to pursue their own interests.

I believe that young children construct their own knowledge and simply need materials and environments in which to do so.

I believe that adults should guide or facilitate learning rather than disseminate information.

I believe that childen know what they need and their interests are the foundation for their education.

I beleive that young children deserve uninterrupted time blocks to pursue their own interests versus adhering to an adult – driver schedule.

I believe that young children are fair and democratic; thus, they don’t need a lot of “rules” but rather guidelines.

I believe that peace education begins at this stage and the best form of education is a peaceful classroom with a calm, peaceful teacher.

I believe that young children are highly spiritual beings.

I believe that “premature literacy” and early academics are developmentally inappropriate and neurologically damaging.

I don’t believe that there is “one way” to teach young children; we have a responsibility to pull together all that we know about human development, neuroscience and historical scientists. There is not a “recipe.”

I believe that categorizing or classifying young children is very dangerous.

I believe that young chidren deserve time to work within the artistic realm using their own ideas.

I believe that a product oriented educational system is very limited; children are all about the process.

I believe that I am incredibly lucky to spend the majority of my life with this phenomenal age cohort.

I believe that I must continue to be a diligent learner as a teacher; it is a very dynamic science.