Tasia Johnson frm CCNY English 210
I work for Union Settlement’s Head Start Program at Franklin Plaza. Our organization services low income families with free daycare and also tries and help the parents by offering English second language counseling, assisting in job searches and volunteering. Even though we help the parents with finding jobs and learning another language, a lot of them still consider teachers as just “babysitters”. There have been times when a parent will disregard when a child brings home a dog made of clay or transitioned from coloring all over the paper to coloring and making a shape. Some parents only want to make sure that there is someone to watch their child for them.
I, personally, want parents to understand how the arts can help educate preschoolers and that we teachers are not just glorified babysitters. When we explain to a parent that their child worked with Play-Doh, they usually respond saying, “That’s nice” or “Oh, Okay”. As teachers, we try to explain how this act is very important in a child’s development. Since Union Settlement services East Harlem, most of our children have parents who did not go to college and some who have not even gone to high school. Helping their children learn about the arts and introducing them to reading and writing will give them a good “head start” before entering kindergarten. Besides learning colors shapes and numbers, children will learn gross and fine motor skills as well as be open to critical and logical thinking.
Hopefully our children will enjoy and become excited when it comes to school work and learning due to their experiences in preschool. I have only been there for less than a year but I know that I have a job that is important and worthwhile. I want my parents to understand that every activity that their child does, no matter how big or small, will help their child to become a better student in the long run.