What a great beginning for the new year!
I first met this illustrious group of PreK teachers and their supervisors in Colorado Springs on September 3 & 4, 2016. During our two days together, we focused on integrating the 4Cs into their classrooms to inspire Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking with their young children. At the end of the sessions, each teacher made an individual plan to implement new ideas, materials, or integrate the 4Cs into their fall curriculum.
When I returned January 3 & 4, 2017, I was able to listen to the teacher’s plans and celebrate the ways they had enhanced their classrooms with the 4Cs. It was so amazing to hear the creative ways the teachers were extending and enriching their environment for their young children. A few of the incredible possibilities shared were: An Inventor’s Center, Outdoor Art Adventures, Making Music on a Fence, and Loose Parts in Many Centers. In our afternoon session we sang new melodies, moved to music, created visual arts, and shared stories. Through these exercises, we were stretching our thinking and including the arts in an innovative manner.
This professional development, extended over 3 months, allowed the teacher’s time to incubate their ideas, reflect on the results, and make adaptations when needed. In January, teachers thought of ways to extend the original plans into other aspects of the environment and/or curriculum. These planned, sequential sessions, produced amazing results and encouraged teachers to explore new ways to nurture young children’s creative thinking. What a wonderful experience it was for us all! I am exhilarated by this in-depth exploration and the enriched experiences that were created!
As you plan professional development opportunities for your teachers and staff, think about ways to extend and connect training so there is time to be inspired, to implement ideas, and return to reflect on the entire process.
Have a wonderful 2017! I hope your days are filled with creative possibilities that will enrich your life!