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Bear Friends Join the Preschool

 

Guided by BFS Head of Preschool Maura Eden’s exceptional vision and connection to its growth, the Preschool is partnering with Bank Street College’s Lesley Koplow, Director of Emotionally Responsive Practice (ERP). Emotionally Responsive Practice, or ERP, has been a foundation supporting the growth of our Preschool students and colleagues for the past four years. A deeply held concept of both ERP and the Preschool is that play is the language through which young children explore and understand their world.

Using this concept and her own stuffed bear, Fuzzy, Preschool Developmental Specialist Jane Davidson created a thoughtful and playful way to help our youngest children explore and understand their feelings when school closed last March.

This year, Jane and Fuzzy have expanded this conversation with the kids in a monthly community time zoom with a focus on exploring different feelings. There are a lot of feelings in Preschool – little and big and sometimes many all at once – and the kids are happy to be able to talk about them!

Having this developmentally appropriate way of communicating with the children was very helpful before they had their COVID tests last week. On Monday, Jane and Fuzzy had a special zoom to talk about it! Maura shared with the children that everyone was going to have a “nose test” and why. Fuzzy joined in, talking about her nose test and explaining exactly what would happen. She talked about how it might feel just a little bit uncomfortable, or maybe tickle a little!

At the end, some of the children even shared their own experiences with the “nose test!” Parents said that it was very helpful that their children knew what was going to happen after having the shared experience of our discussion.

The Preschool commitment to Emotionally Responsive Practice is ongoing. In the weeks leading up to the Winter Break, each child will be receiving their own small wooden bear to keep in the classroom. Through these beloved bears the children will explore feelings, relationships, and connections. We are so excited to watch this process unfold!

The Purple Room introduced the children to their bears this week. Click here to watch a short video of this introduction (thank you to Purple Room teachers Kirsten, Vanessa and Jackie!).