What started out to be a few days off from blogging turned into a couple of months of getting rest and then trying to reorganize my blog. Please accept my apologies for my absence. I am hoping I will be back up and running without any glitches now but technology has a way of getting the best of me lately – so if you should run into any glitches or find my site offline here and there, please be patient with me and please do check back as I am still in the process of fixing and updating my blog so that it will run smoothly going forward.
In the meantime, I realized that some folks don’t actually know what the Teach Preschool blog is all about so please take the time to read the few notes I have made below to help you understand more about my blog…
1. The Teach Preschool Blog is written by me – Deborah. It is primarily a blog about the things we do in my classroom but on occasion, I like to include other types of posts such as guest posts, professional development posts, give-aways or reviews, collaborative posts, round-ups, and anything else that I think would be interesting to share or read or that I think will be of value to you as the reader. I also like to throw in a post here and there about my grandchildren but I try to keep all posts related to the field of early childhood education. I have no editorial staff (or support team) for blogging and social networking but I do have two teaching assistants who pitch in and help me anyway they can.
2. If you follow me by email, please note that I use a free email service at this time so each email is simply a new blog post being redirected to your email. Eventually, I hope to use a more advanced email service but this will have to wait until I have more time to dedicate to the creative writing process. If you are reading this note via your email, then please know that you can always click on the title of the post or the link to Teach Preschool and see the same content on my actual blog. I hope you will actually come to my blog instead of just relying on the emails so that you can scan through all the posts I have written throughout my years of blogging.
3. I am in the process of updating my blog. Some of the updates are technical (behind the scenes) while others are more obvious such as a menu of categories at the top of the blog and if you scroll down to the bottom of my blog, there is more information about me and my preschool.
4. I run a small, privately owned, part time preschool for children ages three to five. My classroom is not in my home but it is located on my home property in a detached building. I have both an indoor classroom and an outdoor classroom. I often switch back and forth between the two when writing my posts – it all depends on what we are currently doing. Sometimes my photos make my classrooms look much larger than they are but let me assure you, my classrooms are small. But even though they are small, we manage to do so many things and I have learned to make the most of my small spaces. I am actually very proud of my classrooms and am always making small changes here and there so the classrooms stay fun for the children.
5. My posts are not always in “real time” which means, I may write about something we did that day or I may write about something we did several months ago. Everything I write is about the real life things we do in my classroom but I choose what I think will be of value to others and will remain respectful of my students and parents. Keep in mind that my parents read my blog too and I would never, ever want them to feel uncomfortable about something I would share. Not ever.
6. My preschool is called The Children’s Studio. I created the studio as a way to study and write about early learning from my own personal, real, hands-on, daily interactions and experiences with teaching young children. My assistant teachers and I take an average of 300 photos every single day of our students engaged in our learning environment. Let me just say that I have a huge archive of photos. I use the photos for blogging as well as for sharing with parents about our day in preschool. I go through the photos every night to reflect on what the children are doing each day and to reflect on what I am learning about teaching or learning about the children.
7. When I started my blog, I had no grandchildren and no preschool of my own – so I definitely had LOTS of free time to write. But since starting the blog, I have three beautiful grandchildren; I have my own preschool and my preschool student numbers have doubled; and I have had to add a day of school to my week (going from three days to four days per week) to meet the needs of all my students. I say this because all the changes have made it much more challenging to write on my blog every single day. As a result, there are times when I can blog every day and times when I will need to miss a day or two. My students and grandchildren will always take priority over anything I do online but hopefully that will make me a better blogger in the end.
8. I blog for several reasons but the biggest reason is because I love connecting with others who enjoy the field of early childhood education as much as I do and I am very proud of my students and teachers and the work we do in our classroom. My goal is not to tell others “how to teach” but simply to inspire others and to show early learning in action through the photos we take. Every classroom or home environment is unique so as you read my blog, I hope you will find something to inspire you or to challenge you but always note that what works well for my class will need modified to work well for your class. In some cases, it may not be right for your classroom which is why you need to always be the expert and decision-maker for what works best in your own classroom.
9. Play is an important part of all that we do in my preschool classroom. I am always observing the children in their play and making decisions based on those observations about what we can do or should do to make the most of their preschool experience. I do not adhere to one philosophy of teaching over another but rather, I read up on different philosophies and then apply what I understand and what works best in our learning environment. I often like to use the phrase “Powered by Play” because I do believe that the best approach to teaching young children is through engaging and meaningful play experiences.
10. Keeping up with all the social networking sites is a challenge in its own but if you haven’t connected with me on any of my social networking sites, you are invited to do so!
Thank you so much for reading along with me and I hope you will continue to join me here on Teach Preschool for many years to come!
Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed
If you have any suggestions for how I can make my blog a positive online experience for you, please do leave a comment below! I will certainly do my best to learn from you!