Find The Right Preschool
Some Dr. Seuss Quotes to Help Find the Right Preschool
It’s started, it’s time, it’s finally here!
The time to find the right preschool is distressingly near.
Where to look where to go, there’s so many choices!
There’s friends and grandparents and so many voices.
How to find the right spot for little Johnny or Sue?
How to find the right spot for the whole family too?
There’s cost and distance, as factors to weigh,
And there’s learning and teachers and don’t forget play.
But we’re here to help so don’t worry or fear,
Dr. Seuss has it all and we’ve put it right here.
We have five simple quotes to keep fresh in your mind
So the very best preschool will be easy to find…
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss
Though, in the case of finding the right preschool for your child, are we sure that the great Doctor is right? We can concede that the questions are, indeed, complicated. What’s the pricing structure and payment process? When is drop-off? When is pick-up? How do those work? What’s your allergy policy? Are programs teacher-lead or student-driven? How do you handle discipline? Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, or Bank Street?
Endless questions with answers that must be checked against your finances, your commute, your schedule, and all the millions of other details to be coordinated on any given day. But at the heart of this incredibly complicated, draining search process is a single question that can be used to evaluate each new program you visit: is this a place where my child can flourish and grow into who he or she is meant to be?
Yes? Perfect! No? Then let’s keep looking.
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who
Even preschoolers. And, perhaps, especially preschoolers. Every preschool needs to recognize that these students are taking their first steps in the journey towards becoming who they are meant to be. Students should be treated as human beings, worthy of respect with the capacity to contribute to and change the world.
Are the teachers at the preschools you’re looking at treating students with respect? Are they encouraging students to participate in the conversation and take ownership of their space? Or are the students merely there to be shepherded from activity to activity with, hopefully, as little difficulty as possible? Do the teachers ask the students questions and engage them in conversation? Or, do they mostly just try to keep the students from pestering them with curious inquiries?
When you go for a visit, make sure the students in the classroom are being treated as people, no matter how small they might be, so that you can ensure your own small person will be treated with respect, care, and compassion.
“It is better to know how to learn than to know.” - Dr. Seuss
Psychologist Carol Dweck has pioneered the concept of “Growth Mindset.” In her book MindSet, she writes: “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work... This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
The cultivation of a growth mindset begins at the outset of one’s educational journey. Students need to develop the resiliency and responsiveness to know how engage with new material, make mistakes, and persevere through it all. They need to develop the dynamic capacity to ask the right questions and use mistakes as learning opportunities, instead of taking whatever is given to them or being discouraged when things don’t work out perfectly.
The same attitude that keeps a preschool student practicing their letters to get it just right will keep that student writing drafts and drafts of their Master’s Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation until it is just right. Don’t settle for a program that only wants to cram facts, numbers, and processes into the mind of your preschooler. Look for a program that helps your child develop the mindset needed to be a successful learner. Search for a preschool that helps students understand how to work on new math concepts, how to approach new handwriting assignments, and how to stick with it until it all makes sense.
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” – Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!
In all of this educational instruction, teacher interactions, and programming, no single child is just like any other. Your son or daughter is unique, one of a kind, the only he or she that ever could be. But, does the preschool recognize this? What happens when your child is excelling above and beyond what the other students are doing? Is your child encouraged to keep going, learn more, and forge ahead? Or does she twiddle her thumbs while everyone else finishes the project she just completed 15 minutes ago. And what about when your child needs some extra support on a project? How are the curriculum, activities, projects, and processes designed to help students become the best possible versions of themselves?
Preschool students need to explore, engage, and discover who they are and who they might become. Students cannot be forced into a single cookie-cutter mold of “Perfect Student.” And, students need to be especially affirmed and encouraged in their own unique cultural and ethnic heritage. Diversity should be recognized and celebrated, and students should feel that their history, heritage, and skin color are recognized and valued. Each student brings to the classroom a unique set of gifts, talents, characteristics, and dreams that need to be nurtured in a way that fosters true growth and development.
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go!
Once you sift through all the questions and answers to find the right spot, you’re off! Your child is ready to be loved, nurtured, and encouraged. The world will provide an endless supply of challenges and opportunities as your child grows and develops, so make sure that she receives the foundation necessary to meet these challenges head on.
Partner with a preschool program that will help you give her the right tools and skills needed to move mountains and change the world. And, if you put in the work to find the absolute right preschool program, will she succeed? Why yes, she will indeed, 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.