Glad you’re here, little deer! Hello there, cuddly bear! Who’s at the door, dinosaur?
We had an animal theme for our back to school staff meeting. Fun, right? We had a great time taking care of business, learning about life and teaching from the animals, connecting even more with our co-workers and readying things for the school year! Below you can see some things we can learn from animals.
As for the teaching, did you know meerkats actually bring their babies dead scorpions, and then scorpions with the stingers removed so they can learn to hunt them safely. Finally they bring them live scorpions with the stingers still intact. We do this graduated learning with our kids as well. For instance, while learning to use scissors we introduce them with play dough which is very forgiving for incorrect scissor grip. Next we give strips of paper that are easy to cut across. We also suggest children try fringing the edges before attempting to cut clear through a sheet of paper. I could give examples like this in a variety of skill areas.
The staff also accepted a challenge from me. If one person could complete the animal matching sheet 100% correctly then I would bake everyone a batch of cinnamon rolls. Knowing how important teamwork and cooperation is around here I even allowed them to work together. If, however, no one was able to get the answers all correct then the staff would pull their resources together to purchase the office staff a sonic drink of our choice. 🙂
Let’s just say we’ll be enjoying a refreshing drink someday soon. (Oh, okay, I’ll probably end up making those cinnamon rolls too.) This showed us that even though we feel like we know a lot about animals, we don’t know it all. It is the same with kids and child development. We learn something new daily. We will learn something new when we meet your kids since each one reacts differently and has different needs specific to them. We need to learn their needs and the best strategies to meet those needs.
Of course we played games too – we are preschool teachers anyway. We played Win, Lose or Draw.
This was a wonderful way to bridge to different topics we needed to discuss. One category was safety. We even had a practice tornado drill.
It was a full morning and a wonderful start to our school year. Since then the staff have been busy, busy, busy getting forms, rooms, curriculum, cubbies . . . . all ready for the year to begin. We can’t wait to see your kids beginning tomorrow for our first group of visit days.
I will close in the same way we finished up our staff meeting. We played a rousing game of People Hungry Hungry Hippo. The team that collects the most balls wins. Perhaps this will be a new large motor activity – well, maybe for the older kids anyway.
So for now: Time to scoot, little newt. Gotta go, buffalo. See you soon, raccoon!