Almost all kindergarten teachers wish there was more time for play. With the pressures of rigorous standards, testing, and benchmarks constantly increasing from The Powers That Be, finding time for our students to be, well kids, can be difficult at best.
Teachers know that play is an integral part of early childhood development. All you have to do is walk around a classroom during play centers to see the language and social skills development happening. It also gives our sprouts some time to take control of their day and learning.
Recently, I stumbled upon an article in the New York Times about a school in Forest Hills, Queens where parents decided enough is enough. Working together, they petitioned administration to change the structure of the day, increase recess, and allow more time for play in kindergarten.
It sounds simple, but it’s a powerful reminder. Parents are partners. Just like us, they genuinely want what’s best for their children. Just like us, they know how essential play is to the development of the whole child. Just like us, many of them are frustrated at the increasing academic stresses placed on such young children.
How do you incorporate play into your day? How does your administration feel about play? How do parents? When teachers and parents work together, amazing things can happen.