Happy New Year! We enjoyed welcoming everyone back to school this week, and it was such fun to see so many smiling, happy faces coming through the doors at Paddington! We hope you enjoyed a restful and relaxing holiday break and had the opportunity to spend lots of time with family and friends. It is always nice to take some time to slow down and move at a different pace.
The faculty and staff at Paddington returned to school a day in advance of the children and spent some time cleaning and reorganizing classrooms, changing art on bulletin boards, setting up new and exciting dramatic play areas, and planning engaging curriculum units for the coming weeks.
We also gathered together as a staff for a presentation on social and emotional development from Anne Mairs, who in addition to teaching in the Benjamin Bunny classroom, serves as Paddington’s Social and Emotional Curriculum Writer. Anne has spent a great deal of time this year studying various theorists and reading the work of authors on early childhood social and emotional development. She has also attended many workshops and trainings in the Denver area on this important topic.
In addition, Anne has met with teachers in our monthly age level meetings to gather feedback, exchange ideas, and share classroom strategies for supporting the social and development of children at Paddington. Through Anne’s work and via staff collaboration, we plan to create our own social and emotional curriculum that will be implemented school-wide to support children in our classrooms. We greatly value the importance of providing strategies to help children identify feelings, regulate powerful emotions, problem solve, navigate a variety of social situations, and make friends.
Anne shared the following with us on Monday:
"What behaviors lead to friendship? Several discrete behaviors that young children engage in during play with each other are directly related to having friends (Tremblay, Strain, Hendrickson & Shores, 1981). That is, children who do more of these behaviors are more likely to have friends."
We look forward to observing the continued growth and development of your wonderful children over the next few months, and encouraging new friendships. We are grateful for the support of the Paddington community as we work together to instill a love of learning through play in children.