About Me

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Early childhood education has been my life for over 30 years. I have taught all age groups from infants to 5-year-olds. I was a director for five years in the 1980s, but I returned to the classroom 22 years ago. My passion is watching the ways children explore and discover their world. In the classroom, everything starts with the reciprocal relationships between adults and children and between the children themselves. With that in mind, I plan and set up activities. But that is just the beginning. What actually happens is a flow that includes my efforts to invite, respond and support children's interface with those activities and with others in the room. Oh yeh, and along the way, the children change the activities to suit their own inventiveness and creativity. Now the processes become reciprocal with the children doing the inviting, responding and supporting. Young children are the best learners and teachers. I am truly fortunate to be a part of their journey.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thanks a million

According to google analytics, my blog reached one million page views on Thursday.

How did that happen?  I am not sure, but there are a few people I need to thank that helped to make that happen.

The first person I need to thank is Lani Shapiro, a colleague and a mentor.  I remember the very first time I showed Lani a video I had taken of children playing at the sensory table.  I just thought it was a cool video.  When I showed it to her, she also thought it was a cool video.  But then she started to point out all the things that were going in the short video such as the three-year-olds actually taking turns and how they were experimenting with hydraulic flow and that they were doing all this without any teacher direction.   From that moment on, I kept showing her videos and she kept helping me understand truly how capable young children are in directing their own learning.

The second person I need to thank is Juliet Robertson, an early years trainer in the UK of some renown for her work in outdoor education.  Juliet was an early follower of my blog and does an excellent job of taking some of the foundational ideas from the blog and applying them to outdoor settings  Three years ago when I floated the idea of doing presentations and workshops in the UK, she encouraged me and helped me get enough gigs.  For that, I am eternally grateful.  Juliet has a blog of her own and I encourage you to check it out: http://creativestarlearning.co.uk/blog/

The third and fourth people I need to thank are also from the UK.  Natalie Adamson was also an early follower of mine and was one of the first people to actually send me a picture of an apparatus that one of her teachers built that she said was inspired by my blog.  Gaenor Nokes and Natalie invited me to do a workshop at their new school.  They were so proud to show me a room they called the "tomsensori" room.  They said my work was their inspiration.  That have since really taken sensory play to a whole new level.  Make sure you check out their Facebook page because they are doing some amazing work: https://www.facebook.com/OdstockDayNursery/

The last person I want to thank is Alec Duncan from Australia.  Alec wrote to me to tell me that I should do a sand and water Facebook page and connect it to my blog.  He said he was giving me this advice because he thought the Facebook page would increase my readership.  He was right and I thank him for that.  Whenever he re-posts a blogpost of mine, I get a get a ton of hits from his followers on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChildsPlayMusicPerth/?pnref=about.overview

There are even more people I could thank like the local people I meet with on a regular basis to talk about early childhood practice or the the people in Ontario with whom I have corresponded with for several years, but I want to leave it at these five because they were most instrumental for my blog reaching one million views.

However, I would be remiss if I did not thank the thousands of children who entered my classroom through the years.  They have taught me everything I know about how children learn.  No two children were alike and they each challenged me to see beyond the t-shirts and the shoes to create a connection and relationship that honored who they were and who they were becoming on any given day.

Thanks a million.


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