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Posts Tagged ‘Educators’

The Goddard School® Honors Top Early Childhood Educators for the Eleventh Annual Teacher of the Year Awards

Five Exceptional Educators Acknowledged during National Teacher Appreciation Week

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, the nation’s premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children six weeks to six years old, announces today that five leading educators from across the nation have been chosen as recipients of the eleventh annual Teacher of the Year award. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place from May 1 to May 5, these extraordinary educators will be presented with a plaque commemorating their passion for teaching, dedication to learning and love for the children, families and local communities. The Goddard School’s Teacher of the Year award honors educators in its preschool system who have developed compelling programs and projects that benefit their classrooms, Schools or communities.

“This year’s award recipients raised the bar with notable, long-term projects that have inspired us, Goddard School students and Goddard School families,” says Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at GSI. “These initiatives, which address healthy friendships and healthy bodies and teach children about journalism and elections, highlight the educators’ unique, nurturing approaches that help develop children into joyful, confident learners.”

The projects from the selected Goddard School educators include Taste It Tuesday, an activity that teaches students the value of a healthy, well-rounded diet; Friendship Curriculum, a program designed to foster emotional development and promote social awareness among peers; Election, a campaign that introduces the election process and governmental functions; and Journalism, a program that lets students explore a variety of career paths while nurturing their curiosity.

GSI honors the following teachers:

Laura Flanagan – Exton, PA

Laura Flanagan, a pre-k teacher at The Goddard School located in Exton, PA, created Taste It Tuesday after noticing that her students were curious about the colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables she brought for lunch. She created the activity hoping that it would encourage and help her students to try unfamiliar healthy foods. During morning circle time, Laura introduced the food they were going to sample and related the food to the letter of the alphabet they were currently studying. During the lesson and before sampling the food, the students made observations and predictions about the food’s texture and taste. While the students were sampling the food, Laura discussed where the food was grown and why it is a healthy choice. She also made cultural connections where applicable. At the end of the lesson, all the students added their names to the Taste It Tuesday graph, which showed who liked or did not like the food they tasted. The project has been such a success that multiple classrooms in the School now hold Taste It Tuesday, and teachers in different classrooms collaborate on it.

Everith Radcliffe and Ashlee Summer – Simpsonville, SC

Everith Radcliffe and Ashlee Summer, junior kindergarten teachers at The Goddard School located in Simpsonville, SC, created the Friendship Curriculum. The teachers developed an initialism, FRES-CLAK, to highlight the necessary components of a healthy friendship: friendship, respect, empathy, sharing – compassion, love, acceptance and kindness. The goal was to help students focus on learning, having fun and building caring relationships while receiving opportunities to develop and practice important social-emotional skills, such as controlling their own feelings, behaving appropriately and getting along with their peers. The teachers focused on helping young children and their families understand the importance of social and emotional well-being and development. The tools included a kindness chain, an I Am Feeling mood dial, the “Good Friend” poem, a bucket fillers pledge and a 100 Days of Kindness chart.

Kerry Allaire – Wayne, PA

Kerry Allaire, a kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Wayne, PA, implemented Election to give her students a deeper understanding of how the election process works. Each November, Kerry introduces the election process to the students and chooses storybook characters as candidates. This year’s candidates were Clifford the Big Red Dog, Madeline and Arthur. Students prepared for Election Day by reading books to learn about each candidate’s platform and by creating buttons and campaign posters. They also cast their votes. Each student had a job to perform. First, students informed the teachers about the candidates and their platforms. Next, students had the teachers sign in before voting, and then the students gave the teachers a ballot to place in the ballot box. The teachers who voted received an ‘I Voted’ button, and once the polls were closed, the votes were tallied to determine the winner. Clifford the Big Red Dog was this year’s winner! The election project doesn’t end in November; an inauguration ceremony was held for Clifford, and students discussed the activities of the day.

Megan Brady – Fanwood, NJ

Megan Brady, a kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Fanwood, NJ, created a program called Journalism to help her students investigate a variety of careers. Each month, Megan invited two visitors to the classroom, each with a career related to a specific theme. The children met a flight attendant, a lawyer, an editor, a photographer, an animal protection provider, a publisher and a nutritionist. Before each visit, the children prepared questions for the guest interview, and during each visit, the responses were logged. These tasks mirror the responsibilities of journalists. The students learned about open-ended and close-ended questions and about occupations in the journalism field. The students often mimicked these interesting roles. The culmination of the project is a video montage of the broadcasts the children created that will be shown on graduation day. The broadcast will feature the children as news anchors, and they will discuss all the relevant Goddard news from the year.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit http://www.goddardschool.com/educators/teachers.


Educators Honored in National Teacher of the Year Competition The Goddard School® Announces Awards During National Teacher Appreciation Week

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School, held its fifth annual “Teacher of the Year” competition in conjunction with national Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2nd – 6th, and has selected four outstanding early childhood educators for recognition.

“These four educators represent our best resources in early childhood education. GSI is proud of their accomplishments,” said Sue Adair, GSI Director of Education.

GSI received “Teacher of the Year Award” nominations from all across the country, including those from Goddard School owners and education directors as well as recommendations from parents, peers and, in some cases, children.  In addition to the recognition, the teachers received a cash prize and a gift package from GSI.

The Goddard School “Teacher of the Year” honorees each initiated ongoing projects that benefit their classrooms, schools and communities. The following teachers were honored:

  • Michelle Boudreau created an original program for the children of The Goddard School located in Auburn, Massachusetts, stemming from a simple weekly theme of “Bridges.” A map of the United States was added to her “circle time” area—generating a lot of excitement and questions from the children. Photographs of various bridges were placed around the area, and the children used string to connect each photo of a bridge to its corresponding state. Boudreau, inspired by the children’s enthusiasm, carried the theme of “Bridges” throughout the curriculum, finding innovative ways to incorporate it in math lessons, social studies, literacy, music, Spanish—even as yoga poses! The children discovered all about various types of bridges, beginning in their home state with the Memorial Bridge (arch bridge) in nearby Springfield, and continuing the learning experience in California (suspension bridge), Illinois (moveable bridge) and Vermont (covered bridge).
  • JoAnn Davenport developed a creative social skills program entitled Preschoolers for Pets. She introduced “Henry the Hotdog” (similar to Flat Stanley) to the children of The Goddard School located in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Each child was given the opportunity to take “Henry” home for a weekend—and the children loved caring for “Henry”! Davenport created a newsletter for the families to share Henry’s visits to each child’s home. Together, they collected items for a local animal shelter, prepared homemade dog biscuits and made dog and cat toys. The families were invited to join in with the presentation of all the goodies to the shelter.
  • Jen Grinberg of The Goddard School located in Wayne, New Jersey implemented an imaginative program focusing on building community through universal compassion, daily kindness and caring—both in and out of the classroom. This program was inspired by Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, by Carol McCloud. This program not only encourages children to reach out and express love, respect and appreciation for others but also helps them to express their feelings in a positive manner, to establish an atmosphere against bullying and encourages more positive school and home environments. Grinberg read the book to her class, and each child decorated a bucket. The children were then encouraged to fill the buckets with kind words and compliments.
  • Charlotte O’Toole instituted a literacy program that not only teaches children to read, but also fosters a lifelong love of reading at The Goddard School located at 8866 Columbia 100 Parkway in Columbia, Maryland. O’Toole developed Running the Bases to Reading—an annual literacy campaign. The ‘team’ of children, along with their ‘coaches’ (parents), work towards a goal of each reading 100 books by the 100th day of school. A monthly record of books read is maintained as an innovative, interactive wall display and the ‘team’ watches the ‘player’ run the bases, tracking their progress. This year, the ‘team’ read a total of 1,570 books—well surpassing their goal of 1,300!