Twos: A Perfect Fit in Our Preschool
It’s been a great start to the year at Preschool, as we have been happily embracing the emergence from strict COVID guidelines and enjoying new freedoms. One of the pleasures has been the opportunity to mix age groups on the rooftop playground, during Sing, and in our BFX extended-day classes.
This year has been full of rich new experiences and amongst the most fulfilling has been expanding our program to encompass the two-year-olds on the second floor. Transitioning from what had been the Family Center, Twos are a bundle of learning and fun, who now share space in Pearl Street with our Threes and Fours. The spectacular Twos teachers, headed by Erika Garcia and Chantel Cleckly—along with Bina Vora and Jackie Ortiz, have been a marvel to work with and to behold.
In the short time since Twos families and children have arrived the best part for me has been seeing them become a cohesive Blue Room Class. Twos are constantly on the MOVE! At first gathering to have a snack, attend a meeting or hear a story together was quite the challenge. Every child has their own impulse to follow their interest for moments at a time and coming together for group time is a true feat. Imagine my surprise when shortly after “Phase In” that the children were all sitting at the table together eating and enjoying their meals.
This can seem like magic, but takes the deft support of teachers who—with patience and continued reinforcement of routines—have laid the groundwork for all of the wonderful experiences and opportunity for growth. Be it literacy and language related, Twos develop increased levels of autonomy and often exclaim, “I can do it myself.” They are consistently learning how to play in an increasingly socially interactive manner.
“One of the biggest things that brought me to Brooklyn Friends was the respect for children that I witnessed in the former Family Center. That has translated into what I see and hear in the Pearl Street building in Preschool,” said Chantel, who is the Associate Teacher in the Blue Room. “The Twos autonomy and capabilities as humans are respected. They are not considered just cute, but independent and capable children. I also love that some of the children are now in the same building with their siblings.”
To name a few special moments witnessed—having the children show me their favorite books that they love to read again and again, seeing them engage in Meditation Time, cooking special dishes as a part of their yearlong study of culture about community and bread, and seeing how they love to play on the roof with their Threes Friends.
It has also been wonderful to see the mixed age group in our Preschool BFX (extended day) playing all together. “The Twos are bonding and playing together with Three and Fours, exploring and having fun with lots of excitement!” said Blue Room teachers, Bina and Jackie.
Preschool is growing and changing along with the re-introduction of Twos to our Preschool program. We are a mighty bunch powered by Twos along with our Threes and Fours classes. Sooner than later, here we come to Lower School and I already know that our Fours will be ready and eager to move into the next phase of learning, joy and development.
One thing that is for certain is that all Preschool Colleagues are passionate about Child Development. How wonderful for all of us to live and learn from each other as we see the growth and development from Twos to Threes to Fours. We engage in rich conversations during Preschool Colleague meetings and seeing and hearing our Twos Teachers interact with Threes and Fours makes the Early Childhood Development conversations all the richer.
In the words of Erika, who is the Blue Room Head Teacher, “It’s the Community that brought me here and keeps me here. I love that the Twos show us that they are ready for the world, and I love being here in the Pearl Street building with the whole community too!”
Maura Eden is the Head of Preschool at BFS.
This story originally appeared in The Light—Brooklyn Friends School Magazine. You can view the entire issue of The Light online.