An evening of dialogue among preschool and kindergarten teachers was held Monday, Feb. 22, at First United Methodist Church. Jointly sponsored by Smart Start of Transylvania County and The Family Place, the forum for discussion between the county’s preschool and kindergarten communities focused on the skills that young children need for success in kindergarten.
“What a wonderful opportunity for early childhood educators of Transylvania County to get together and strategize how to help each other and the county’s youngest students succeed,” said Sterling Woodruff, a New Adventure Learning Center preschool teacher.
The evening of conversation kicked off a Preschool to Kindergarten Readiness workshop series for preschool teachers.
The training idea arose after the Transylvania County Early Childhood Initiative Report cited Transylvania County Schools’ finding that 78 percent of children entering public kindergarten in the county are below the standard for kindergarten entry.
Anna McCall, preschool teacher at Brevard Davidson-River Presbyterian Preschool, was excited about the evening.
“Monday evening was an exciting opportunity to discuss with kindergarten teachers what we can do right now in our preschool classrooms to improve a child’s chance at kindergarten success,” said McCall. “We are all working towards the common goal of making the early learning years a time of positive growth and development and giving children in this county a strong foundation that will carry them through the rest of their educational career.”
Preschool to Kindergarten workshops will be held in the weeks following the kickoff.
Workshop presenters will be Nan Lee, early educator trainer, and Heather McCracken, N.C. Pre-K teacher.
The evening of conversation begins an informal dialogue that may positively impact school readiness. Tina Leopard of Mountain Sun Community School, observed, “I enjoyed meeting so many of the educators of our Brevard community. I discovered we all have similar challenges and successes educating our young children. I heard many expressing that while the academics are important, there is the desire to help the children grow in all aspects of their being.”
Kindergarten teachers talked about the skills children need upon kindergarten entry, including the ability to listen, have self-control, follow one and two step directions, getting along with others, and being familiar with books and stories. The emphasis was on the variety of experiences that help children become ready for learning literacy and math concepts in the school setting.
Preschool teachers and directors shared information and asked questions about facilitation of learning through play within the preschool setting.
Teachers of 3-and 4-year-old children are encouraged to register for the workshop series on the three consecutive Monday nights beginning today. Workshop registration is required through Smart Start of Transylvania County by calling (828) 877-3025.
The training is focused on supporting executive function, literacy and math concepts for preschool children.
Kindergarten teachers may also attend. Participants will receive training credit through DHHS/Division of Child Development. Training also counts toward B-K teacher license renewal credit.