Early childhood environments should include a space where children can go to be alone and/or play along side a friend to experience a sense of privacy.  Yes, even busy children get stressed and need a protected place to enjoy moments of solitude to relax.  These spaces can be indoors or outdoors. They can be stationary, planned and/or created spontaneously by students or teachers. It can be as simple as a CD player with headphones and an audio book, or materials intentionally set up for one or two children in an already established interest area such as Art, Writing, Computers or Sand/Water table. Teachers may consider labeled "Quiet Zones" with caution tape, sheet-top or mesh tents with books, earphones and a pillow set up in a large open box to resemble a cave. It could be as simple as a designated piece of carpet or pillow to which an established "no interruption" rule applies.  This space could also be as permanent as a loft space or big comfy chair with books and/or headphones with books nearby.  As long as children can experience a respite from the active and sometimes noisy classroom environment is key.

One of the greatest resources teachers have is each other. Collaboration and sharing has proven to contribute to our success, development and growth.  Such growth can be stunted by isolation and holding onto inhibitors.  Growth depends on having the professional courage to believe and invest in yourself enough to breakthrough a comfort zone while learning newer and better ways of benefiting children as they learn and grow.  Until this happens, the students we care for and teach can only grow as far as we have grown ourselves.  We owe it to ourselves and our students to never stop growing.

Teachers Grow (TM), LLC -  2019

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