Hilltop's BlogBuilding on the Wonders of Childhood
Recently Hilltop Educators used our annual Day of Advocacy to support several organizations addressing social justice issues with diverse populations. One group partnered with Solid Ground, an organization working to fight poverty and undo the effects of institutionalized racism.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but the meat of reflective practice is asking yourself questions. If that doesn’t feel quite natural to you, imagine a three-year old living in your brain constantly asking “Why?”. Implementing a reflective practice means that everything is up for questioning.
How can we create classrooms and schools that offer an authentic childhood to the children who are spending their days with us? The children in our care only live their childhood once, and we are humbled by that responsibility.
What can we do to welcome new educators to our community, and to share our values, traditions, and expectations? How do we go beyond “here’s where we keep the bleach bottle” and engage new educators in thinking about our pedagogical beliefs and practices?
Working on your PD plans for next year? The Hilltop Discussion Series offers opportunities for interactive and engaging early learning training that is meant to be as practical, as it is inspiring and uplifting! With 8 events throughout the school year, including two full-day trainings with nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the field.
Guiding children through conflict helps them cultivate ideas about fairness and equity, and deepens their feelings around identity, empathy, and emotional intelligence. We can all agree that there is huge value in this endeavor for children and adults alike. The big question that comes up is how and when to step in to help solve a conflict.
Sarah Felstiner has been thinking back on a few of the strongest memories that jump to mind in her 20 years at Hilltop, and reflecting on how much Hilltop has changed, in a very gradual way, from a traditional neighborhood preschool to an internationally recognized school of inquiry.
Children are naturally playful, and naturally curious. As educators, we want to nurture and encourage this capacity for playful inquiry, and even engage in playful inquiry ourselves. But just wanting to have a program rich in exploration and deep investigation doesn’t seem to do the trick!