by Marianne Bockli, Parent & Child Teacher and Aftercare Teacher
Every Tuesday morning at around 8:45, we can hear lighter-than-usual-footsteps entering the early childhood building: Toddlers are coming to their school day!
They know which classroom is theirs, and those who have older siblings or friends in the kindergarten will point out proudly that the other side is not their classroom.
It is such a lovely sight, these young children, so capable and so present, and their smiling parents, entering the class. After only a few weeks, rhythms are familiar and well-developed, and friendships are forged and nurtured. Parents share their wisdom and questions, children share their toys (well, sometimes!) and learn to live in a bigger social circle, emulating the adults in their behaviors and activities.
Each week, I strive to offer simple activities—a circle, a story, a snack—allowing plenty of time for social and outdoor moments. In everything we do, there are opportunities for the children to learn: serving of food, sharing toys, polite address (such as yes, please and no, thank you), new songs with simple gestures at circle time; sitting quietly and learning new vocabulary at story time.
I am continually impressed by the growth of these young children, their ability to adapt and learn new skills, and at their parents nurturing and patience. Every week I see some new development in each one of the them. To think they have been on this earth such a short time!