Thursday, August 2, 2012

'Ms. Joanna and Preschool' Guest Post by Luis Rodriguez

Today's guest post comes from children's book author Luis Rodriguez. In addition to writing his books, he is the director of a child care center. This is a story about some of the children and their beloved teacher, Ms. Joanna. Those of us who work with young children will be able to relate.

Ms. Joanna and Preschool

As the director of a preschool, I decided to have a discussion with the kids that are being promoted to kindergarten, and to pick their brains about this important milestone in their young lives.
As soon as we all sat around an imaginary round table in the playground, I asked, ”Would you like to leave this year or stay a little longer?”
I would like to stay here forever,” said Isabel.
How about you, Henry?”
I’d like to stay here another year plus two hundred more years,” answered Henry. Everybody laughed.
Me too,” said James.
What is it that you are going to miss the most?” I asked.
Ms. Joanna," said all of them almost at the same time.
And why is that?” I asked.
Because she teaches us,” said Richard. ”And we have a lot of fun,” added Samantha.
I think that is the essence of an ideal preschool program. To blend learning and fun. This will invariably lead to love for learning. And that is the best seed we can plant in a young mind: To love learning.
Ms. Joanna is simply a natural teacher. Yes, she went to college and gathered all the academic credentials that certify her as a teacher, but she has this natural ability to connect with children that I respect and admire so much, and that is not taught at any school. It is a gift.
It is just her love for kids. Her love for teaching. Her love for all the aspects of this so noble profession. You see this everyday when she adheres to her routines, when she imparts gentle discipline, when she corrects grammar and manners, when she praises the kids' efforts, and encourages continuous growth... When she enthusiastically organizes carnivals, and farm events, or arranges trips to the zoo or a nearby park; and that weekly journey to the library to pick the best reads for the theme of the week.
And that is a blessing that all kids and parents in the world should be so lucky to have. To have someone like Ms. Joanna in their preschool experience.
Thanks, Ms. Joanna.

Luis Rodriguez wrote and co-illustrated The Klampie Mystery. He is the  director of a child care center in New Jersey, where he enjoys watching children and their imagination at play. The Klampie Mystery is the result of such
observations and his love for writing. Now he looks forward to sharing this story with many more children. Born in Bogota, Colombia, Luis Rodriguez is now an
American citizen and lives in New Jersey.

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