I’ve had the pleasure of working with Rosie, Diana and our teachers these past seven days getting ready for the 2015-16 school year, which starts in a week on Tuesday September 8. It’s both gratifying and enlightening to see just how much goes on "backstage." I’ve watched dismantled classrooms start to quickly come alive in a matter of days. Our teachers love their work and care for each other; we have a strong veteran teaching team at La Escuelita and we benefit greatly from that. The teachers return from home visits excited about meeting their new families and children and there is genuine love apparent. I used to wonder if the teachers really loved my Isabella as much as they appeared to love her. I’m happy to report that question has been settled for me.

And on top of classroom preparation and lesson planning, our teachers are continually refining their craft. Paola Trigoli visited yesterday to host an all-day workshop on using various methods of documentation to help extend children’s learning in the classroom. Jennifer Woodruff came in last Thursday to discuss how to best extend children’s learning through interactions in their play. And three of our teachers are currently going to school in the evenings to extend their own learning. I was humbled to sit next to Rosie and our teachers in their breakout sessions and brainstorm ways to facilitate children’s gathering and processing of knowledge.

We don’t just provide a strong and early foundation in Spanish; we provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

I hope you will join us at the JCC this fall when we go "onstage" to host three talks and panels on early acquired bilingualism and the importance of play based early childhood education.

Thursday October 1

Dr. Ellen Bialystok: Why is early bilingualism a benefit?

Thursday October 8

Panel discussion: Practical tips for reinforcing early bilingualism

Thursday October 15

Panel discussion: What to look for in a good preschool- the importance of play

All talks run from 7PM-9PM.

We’re looking forward to everyone learning more about what makes La Escuelita truly special.