What are we doing?

I had to ask myself that question the other day after I attended a training (okay, while I was in the middle of the training). What is our purpose in a preschool classroom?

I completely agree that we are educators. I can agree that part of our job is to get children ready for kindergarten. However, when the presenter said, "Our bottom line is school readiness" I literally did a double take. I thought maybe I had heard wrong; then a few minutes later when we were on to the next section of the trainer, she repeated the exact same line as if she were reading from a script.

That is when I had to go into my brain and think: Is my bottom line for these children school readiness?

The answer is simple: NO! My bottom line is life readiness.

When children leave my classroom and program, I want them to be able to be successful in life. When I am working with teacher's on their technique and practices in the classroom I regularly tell them, "Think about how this would play out with adults in a work environment. What skills does a child need to practice to be successful in the work place?"

When two children are in conflict and we help them solve it, I know that the words I give them will help them while in conflict with their coworkers as adults. When we talk about people being friends vs. peers we talk about respecting all people; we say "we don't all have to be friends, but we all have to respect each other."

Do these same skills make them successful in school? Of course! But, my thought is that if a child in my classroom doesn't learn the skills they need to know in life, I have failed him or her. Sure, I build foundations to learn to read, write, and do math. But the most important thing I teach them is to be social. (Go ahead, hit the link on social, I'm done here for today).

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