A few years ago, I witnessed the following.
In the dramatic play area of a pre-kindergarten classroom (the area that looks like a kitchen) we set up the cabinets to depict a grocery store.
We positioned empty containers of various foods (we were mindful as to what to position, so we avoided non-nutritious food, yet included whole-wheat pasta boxes, fruits and vegetables). Using post-it notes and markers, we asked the children to price the goods. One child priced a half-gallon of milk for $1 and a small juice box for $4.
The educator thought, “Is this child blind? Half a gallon for $1 and a tiny juice box for $4?”
The next day, we brought the experience back to the entire group and asked the child to explain why he priced the half-gallon of milk at $1 and the small, lunch-size juice box at $4. Here’s what the child said:
“Milk is healthier than juice. So if it is cheaper, more people would buy the milk than the juice.”
I was the educator that (initially) underestimated the child’s action of pricing the milk for $1 versus $4 for the juice box.
Without going into details, that ambiguity led to a serious discussion within that classroom, which demonstrated a tremendous amount of children’s care and sympathy towards others. This was something that we, the educators, did not anticipate. But we decided it was valuable enough to put our agenda on hold and truly build upon children’s interests.
It was this four-year-old boy that paved the road to one of the pillars in my philosophy of the early years. I believe that children are strong, capable individuals eager to learn, citizens of today. As such, they deserve quality education now, at a very young age.
My name is Zvia Dover and I am delighted to introduce myself as the Early Childhood Director (18 months-Pre-Kindergarten) at Temple Beth Am Day School. I hold a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelors degree from the University of Miami in design, with a background in architecture. I also have studied Harvard University’s Visible Thinking.
My studies in multiple philosophies of Early Childhood Education have allowed me to see the importance of close observation of children in the classroom in order to truly inform the teaching. I aim to take the best of multiple theories and research, and apply this to our program. Our classrooms are everevolving, vibrant and geared to meet and stimulate the interests of each child. Please visit our campus to experience it for yourself.
I am looking forward to meeting you and your children here in Pinecrest and at Temple Beth Am Day School. If you would like more information, go to www.tbam.org/dayschool or call us at 305-665-6228. If you are interested in membership at Temple Beth Am, call membership directr Rita Diaz at 786-364-9434..