Oh The Possibilities
Do you remember what your teachers said about you when you were young? My report cards always went something like this: "Christi is bright and creative but needs to stop visiting so much with her peers." They knew me well! And I have to say I haven't changed much. Sure, visiting with my peers may not have been an endearing quality to my teachers because I was usually talking when I should have been listening. However my social skills helped me get where I am today. I just needed to be taught the appropriate times to be the social butterfly.
At ABC Head Start, now is the time of year where our classroom teams are preparing Individual Program Plans (IPP's) for children. The team meets with the parents and together they decide what goals should make up the IPP's. It is a chance for the ABC Head Start staff to hear from the experts, the parents, those who know the children best. And it's a chance for the parents to hear how their child is doing in their first "school" setting.
What I love most about these meetings is how the team always finds a way to tell parents the potential they see in the children. ABC Head Start staff are great at recognizing how even the less endearing qualities of a child will make them successful one day. I have often heard staff telling parents “I know a strong-willed child can be difficult but you will appreciate this trait when she is an effective decision maker!” We never look at what is "wrong" with the child, but rather what can we do to make this child successful, how can we adapt the environment, what can WE learn? And most importantly we celebrate the children for who they are.
Children are one third of our population and all of our future. - Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981