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Recognizing the work of early childhood educators

By Jill Morgan, Senior Director of Impact

MUW and Impact Monadnock, along with the Cheshire Children’s Museum, are partnering on the first annual Monadnock Region Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award. The award ceremony, to be held May 7 at the Cheshire Children’s Museum from 5:30 to 7 p.m., will recognize one winner from a licensed home program and one winner from a center or school-based program.

I started my career as an educator, and I have a deep appreciation for those who commit to teaching young children. What more important job is there than to play a key role in ensuring our community’s youngsters receive nurturing and positive learning experiences?  Research shows that the greater the frequency and consistency of these kind of experiences children receive before they enter kindergarten, the stronger the foundation for later success in school and life. 

At the heart of a quality early childhood education program is its teachers. Quality early childhood teachers embody a wide range of behaviors that are essential to support the best child outcomes. Some of these behaviors, as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, include:

  • Encouraging children through warm, friendly and intentional conversations;
  • Helping children resolve conflicts and solve problems;
  • Providing learning opportunities through play;
  • Modifying strategies and materials to meet the needs of individual children;
  • Assessing child progress regularly;
  • Welcoming and communicating with families regularly;
  • Developing relationships with community organizations to meet the needs of children and families;
  • Engaging in ongoing professional development and learning;
  • And so much more!

Teaching young children requires knowledge, intentionality and skill, along with caring and patience. I invite each of you to share a heartfelt “thank you” to a teacher who has made a difference in your life or in the lives of your children or grandchildren. For as an unknown source has said, “To teach is to touch a life forever.”

For more information on the characteristics of high-quality early childhood programs and teachers, visit https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-naeyc-program-standards.