November Message from Deb
October 29, 2018
I write this on the heels of hearing of the recent shootings in the synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. Once again our nation is mourning the loss of innocent lives and is again facing the after effects of yet another act of horrific violence against a marginalized group in our society. Once again so many of us are wondering how and if this will ever end.
While many of us may feel powerless in making change in this world, we should not lose sight of the fact that our teaching and parenting has a power like no other. I entered the field of early childhood education because I felt that one the greatest possibilities of making a difference in the world is through working with young children. Many years later, I am even more committed in that belief.
Many children learn about differences for the first time in their child care setting. They may see other children and/or teachers of different races, and they may learn about differences through their classroom friends who practice different religions, celebrate different holidays, speak different languages, live in different family compositions and/or have different physical abilities. Through exposure to diversity, and through friendships with those who are different than themselves, children learn to respect all people. I believe this is an important step in eradicating bias, bigotry, prejudice, and hatred toward other people.
Children learn the alphabet before they learn to read. Likewise, children can developmentally learn the skills of expressing their emotions, taking the perspective of others, and peacefully navigating conflicts. I believe this is an important step in eradicating violence that is so prevalent in our country.
As adults, we can guide children in our care, showing that we value the world we live in and those who share it with us. We can model peaceful conflict resolution skills.
I feel as if I have shared this message of the importance of investing in high quality early childhood programs AND in investing in the people who care and educate our children over and over again.
We still have a long way to go. With the mid-term elections coming up next week, now I urge you to vote for what you believe can make the world a better place, and in what we can do to invest in our children.
To all of our Jewish friends, we grieve with you. To all parents and teachers who are working to build a more peaceful and equitable world for and with our children, know that this work is more important now than ever before.
Thanks you for entrusting your children in our care.
If we are to teach real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children -Ghandi
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has compiled a worthy list of resources on helping families talk with children about violence. Visit https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/coping-with-violence.