A preschooler who was having a hard time getting her mittens on to go outside approached me and exclaimed, "This mitten won't focus with me!"
From a Preschooler's Perspective:
For those of you that are new to the preschool program, let me introduce my dear friend Kathleen Foltz. Kathleen was the original teacher/director in the Rivendell Early Childhood Program, which began sixteen years ago with the school district's first preschool classroom located in the Westshire School. Eleven years ago, when I was hired to teach and be the director in the second preschool classroom in the Samuel Morey School, Kathleen and I began a long professional relationship (that finally ended two years ago when Kathleen retired) and an even longer personal friendship (that continues to this day).
So, it was a very special occasion when Kathleen came to visit, and be a guest teacher, in our classroom this past Friday. Kathleen (who arrived with her ukelele) read, sang and played music to the story Abiyoyo. Her performance quickly engaged the preschoolers who were captivated by her storytelling and musical talents, but even more so by her special presence as a teacher.
Kathleen's visit was not only great fun, but it was a bittersweet reminder of how much I enjoyed all of the time that we spent together over the years and how much I miss working with her on a regular basis. Although our teaching styles are different, our aspirations were always exactly the same - to have the Rivendell Early Childhood Program be a "very special place" for children and families as well as to provide a model for what preschools located in the public school system can achieve.
Although we took our jobs (as the first teachers of the children in the Rivendell schools) very seriously, we always had lots of fun together. No matter what we were working on, or the pressures of the moment, we always ended up laughing helplessly out loud - as we did once again when we were eating lunch together following her performance to the preschoolers. And, for that alone (but also for so many other reasons), I think back on our collaborations as one of the very high points of my long career as an educator.
So, in summary, I'd like to say to Kathleen, thank you so much for the fun visit on Friday and for all of the wonderful years that we spent together in the Rivendell Early Childhood Program. We can't wait for your next visit to the preschool!
Kathleen Reading a Piggie & Elephant Story With Preschool Friends
Kathleen and Preschoolers During Her Performance of "Abiyoyo"