Fred Rogers urged early childhood professionals to “…love what you do in front of the children…to share your special interests with them.”   When children know that you care about them…and they see that you care about somethingthey want to care about that something, too!  

What can you love in front of the children?




This comment comes from Brene Brown in her TedTalk,”The Power of Vulnerability“.

“…Let me tell you what we think about children. They’re hardwired for struggle when they get here. And when you hold those perfect little babies in your hand, our job is not to say, ‘Look at her, she’s perfect. My job is just to keep her perfect — make sure she makes the tennis team by fifth grade and Yale by seventh grade.’ That’s not our job. Our job is to look and say, ‘You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.’ That’s our job. Show me a generation of kids raised like that, and we’ll end the problems I think that we see today.”

How many of us try to take struggles out of education?  I’m not talking about struggles like memorizing facts for a test.  I’m talking about struggling with problem solving, or struggling to complete a difficult physical act such as writing letters for the first time.  It seems that children are wired for struggle AND they enjoy facing challenging questions, feats, and social situations.  Instead of shying away from these struggles, or glossing over them, or worse- solving problems for children- maybe we should be looking at them as true learning!  What do you think?images (2)


















As part of Project Infinity, a collaboration of 7 Reggio Inspired Schools, the school I work at has taken up the challenge of crafting story for and with children.  This was based on the experience of Reggionarra held in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  Through this study, it has opened new ways of working with children in addition to giving us a focus on stories, found all around us.  I found the following website, which highlights incredible stories of incredible people.  I hope that you find it inspiring and can find a way to use that inspiration in your work with children!

Blind/Sight, Conversations with the Visually Impaired, is a collection of photographs of people with vision loss, a biography of each person, a description of their vision (both in audio format as well as print), and an illustration of what they see. Created by photographer Billy Howard and illustrator Laurie Shock, whose lives and work are both collaborations, Blind/Sight premiered at the VSA Arts of Georgia gallery and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta


Blind Sight – Welcome.

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One of my favorite  things is getting daily emails from Exchange.  They are  always  thought provoking…

From Exchange:

Betsy Evans is a great resource to the field on conflict resolution at all levels. On her website she shared this story about talking with her children about war and peace:

“One day during snack the children’s conversation turned to words and their definitions. It began with the word war and what it meant. The children quickly offered definitions: ‘It’s when people kill each other.’ ‘It’s a lot of fighting.’ ‘It’s people shooting.’ ‘People get dead in war.’ There seemed to be considerable awareness of war and I became concerned to know if they understood the word peace as clearly. In anticipation of their possible responses, I took paper and a marker from a nearby shelf, and asked, ‘So what is peace?’

“Three 4-year-old boys, Thad, Ryan, and Ezra, were very interested in the question. Their answers came slowly, thoughtfully, their inspiration extending from one boy to the next, as their ideas became a spontaneous poem. Although at first the boys’ words did not come as rapidly as the words that had defined war, as they talked they became more and more specific and increasingly pleased with their vision of peace.  As they munched on carrot sticks, this is what they said:

Peace is not shooting.
Is quiet.
Is not killing anything.
Is not throwing litter.
Peace is eating healthy stuff.
Is being silly.
Is not breaking glass.
Is not walking in the house with muddy boots.
Peace is not stealing money.
Is not pulling somebody’s hair out.
Is giving someone a present.
Is giving someone something to eat if they are homeless.
Is playing peaceful and sharing toys and something real tasty.
Peace is playing outside together.

“As they finished with the last contribution to the list, it reminded all of us that it was, in fact, time to go outside. I thought this was the end of the discussion so I hung up our extemporaneous peace poem by the table and we went out.  As the boys were running to the playground, one of them shouted, ‘Let’s find a peaceful place!’ They found a shallow dip in the yard, a little grassy crater that fit all three of them cozily.  They lay on their backs in this little hollow, watching the clouds float by. ‘This is peace,’ I heard one of them say.”

ExchangeEveryDay is a free service of Exchange Magazine. View this article online  

Audio/Video: Teachers | Aspen Ideas Festival.

Interesting video addresses younger children and older.  Can Character be Taught?  What are your thoughts on this?  One of the panelists states that the younger you begin the better. What role do educators of very young child play in character development? What role does language, teacher’s language, play in this development?  Do we use this language on a daily basis?  If not, what strategies could you develop to support this growth?


The Art and Science of Play | Psychology Today.

If we know that play is children’s work, how do we make that visible to others?  In making it visible, does it give play the “respect” it deserves?  Do parents understand how important this is?  Do they see the connection to further learning? If not, what can you do about it?


It would be hard to trust gardening advice from someone whose own garden was an overgrown weed patch,” observes Nancy Rosenow in the opening of the newest book in the Exchange Store, Heart-Centered Teaching Inspired by Nature.  Rosenow continues…

How can we help children see the world is a place of goodness and unlimited possibilities if we experience it as dreary and stifling?  How can children trust us about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise if they don’t choose to practice what we preach?  How will we help children learn the difficult art of conflict resolution if bitter conflicts in our own relationships remain unresolved?  How can we help children discover nature’s gifts of joy and wonder if we rarely delight in those gifts ourselves?  And perhaps the hardest question of all:  How will we help children experience themselves as unconditionally loved and loving beings if we don’t feel unconditionally loving toward ourselves?”