A Message from our Director of the CBI Preschool:
There are many wonderful gifts and challenges associated with early childhood education which educators deal with every day. For the past several weeks we at CBI Preschool have undertaken the most adventurous one yet—the virtual classroom with youngsters under five years old. It is turning out to be an amazing journey!
The beauty of young children is that they are busy, inquisitive and active people. Sitting in front of a ‘screen’ is not exactly their idea of fun but we are trying to keep them engaged. The teachers are holding Zoom classes with their students, inviting them to do projects, listen to stories, sing songs and share conversation as everyone tries to focus on everyone. They reach out through FaceTime a few times a week and send out daily emails with greetings and ideas for activities. Staff members have been delivering craft projects to the kids at home (leaving them at the curb) and some have been mailing packets through the post office. Teachers are reading and posting stories to the CBI Preschool Facebook page which can be accessed at each parent’s convenience. Our Shabbat program on Friday mornings with Cantor Wallach, Rabbi Julie and I bring everyone together at the end of the week with stories, songs, and virtual hugs.
Does this work for everyone? It depends on who you ask. Some children really enjoy seeing their teachers online and interacting with them. Others find it very difficult to ‘see’ their friends and not be able to physically be with them. The teachers are spending endless hours coming up with activities and messages for their students, trying to find ways to keep everyone busy and involved. We hear from parents who appreciate our efforts but find it very hard to take advantage of the offerings while trying to balance their work and life responsibilities.
We all look forward to the day when we can be together in our classrooms, doing and sharing everything that we’ve basically taken for granted before. Until then we’ll keep Zooming and FaceTiming and working together to get through this crazy time!
Be well and be safe,
CBI Preschool Director