Hello, First, let me say again how much fun I had visiting with your program. I’ve worked in education before, but it had been a long time since I had been in a classroom and I had never worked with children so young. I can honestly say that my experience last semester helped to validate my decision to go into early childhood ed. so thank you again for the opportunity.
Now that the project is officially done, I thought it would be cool to share a few of my favorite stories with you guys. Just for some background info, my project was to conduct a case study with a single child over the course of the semester and take examples in a number of different development areas (physical, social, emotional, etc.). I was working primarily with —- and he is referred to as simply J in my paper for anonymity’s sake.
I started off with a general overview of the program, and I thought this pretty much summed it up.
“The overwhelming sense I received of the program upon entering the building and meeting the children is one of community. Before I had taken five steps into the room on my first day I was greeted warmly by several children. They were curious and asked me questions, but more importantly, they introduced themselves to me. When I explained to them that I was a student and I was visiting so I could learn to play there was a nearly universal sense of concern for me. They didn’t simply want to play, then wanted to explain to me what they were doing, leading me by the hand to various stations. This shows a great deal of confidence in themselves and their environment which I believe to be the most impressive aspect of the Crayon College as a whole.”
This was from my social development section.
“On April 6th the class had a visiting student, N, who was a visiting child from the Mt. Pleasant school in Plymouth. N was the brother of one of the girls in class and was visiting with them for the day because of his school’s closing due to the holiday (Good Friday). Throughout the day N displayed behavior consistent with autism (I never asked, so this is really only my best guess) and played by himself, seemingly without any interest in the other children. At around the half-way point in the day, as most of the children were working on an arts and crafts project, J and N were the only two children playing in the centers. N was playing with small plastic animals and J with trucks.
With no coaxing or intervention from adults or peers, J first began to play near N and then to explain to N what he was doing. He showed him how he was playing with the trucks and gave N a truck of his own. N quickly began to follow J’s example and the two raced their trucks around the room. I was extremely impressed. To that point, N had had very little communication with anyone in the room, yet in less than thirty seconds J had approached him, engaged him, and the two had begun structured associative play.”
And then this last piece is probably my favorite moment. It’s taken from my section on emergent literacy.
“Following lunch on March 9th, J took a large picture book from the reading center and began to look through the pages. He was talking to himself about the story, “reading” the book. Eventually he got up to choose another and brought it to me on his way back. He asked if I would read to him and I said that I would, but I asked him if he wanted to help me. His face lit up as he took the book from me and began to tell me all about what was going on in the pictures. While he was reading, a new girl in the class, M, took and interest in what we were doing and came over to us. J, without missing a beat, began showing her the pictures as well, modeling what he had seen his instructors do dozens of times.”
There were a lot more stories but in the interest of keeping this email from running too long I think I’ll leave it at that. Again, I had a great time and please pass my thanks along to Angela and Shane for their help. I believe that the only praise which really matters to a good school comes in the form of the conduct and achievements of their students, and with this in mind I think your kids more than speak for themselves.
I’m not’s sure what you’re summer program looks like, but if you ever need any volunteers or extras, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
Thanks again, Elijah