Word on the Street About . . . Preschool

Fannie GreerWhen I started working at Head Start--and I retired from there after 38 years--we were supposed to teach everything through play. We couldn't even have the alphabet up on the wall. We said, "Hand me that blue ball," instead of teaching the colors. They learned naturally, you know. Now I'm working at a private nonprofit preschool, and there's so much pressure on the kids. We're teaching them to read, which some can do fine with but not all of them. If you want to get into a good public school . . . there's just a lot of pressure that there didn't used to be.

Fannie Greer, Preschool teacher
Chicago, Illinois

Comments (2)

  • And, Fannie, I spent significant time in your classroom, supporting you as you supported the inclusion of a youngster with special needs and deeply admired your professional practice. You are one heck of a teacher. You have stated sincerely and succinctly the early childhood conundrum.
    Mary Wonderlick
    ECSE/EC consultant
    Chicago, IL

    Oct 20, 2008
  • Fannie has a legitimate concern that childhood play is being adversely supplanted with the rigors of academics. Does this set our children up for failure? I believe it does.
    Learning through play fosters independent thinking because it allows children opportunities to explore, create, and test their ideas in safe environments. The positive experiences and lessons learned by young children are taken with them into adolescence and adulthood when it is too late to be figuring out the consequences of childlike thinking!
    Patricia Zindler, Executive Director
    Orlando Day Nursery Association, Inc.
    Orlando, FL

    Jan 17, 2009

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