Dear BCS Kindergarten & Preschool Parents and Carers,
We as your kindergarten heads will be writing to you all each week to share an update during this closing time. Our update will be sharing two aspects of what is occurring at this time during the closing period. We will share information about what our teachers are currently doing to support you as families as well as what our teachers are currently doing for professional development to grow professionally during their working hours, which will of course enhance the quality of their work for you as families during this closing period as well as when your children are indeed able to return.
At this time, we especially wish to honor and support the extraordinary efforts of our team of educators across the BCS Kindergarten & Preschool Community who are working tirelessly to assure the continuing availability of comfort and care for “our” children and families.
Coming from two very different areas of research, the most highly relevant science-based messages are urging both supportive relationships and social distancing (or as we like to also call it – physical distancing while staying socially engaged) as critical priorities.
Reconciling these conflicting necessities and developing effective strategies requires the
combined wisdom of rigorous scientific thinking, on-the-ground expertise, and the lived experiences of distant relationships, love and care of our wide diversity of teachers and BCS community. This is a moment in time for all of us to stretch the limits of our abilities and the boundaries of our creative capacities.
We have seen incredible work and fascinating change in our team this week working with physical distancing and creating supportive relationships for very young children and their families. We have seen team members far out of their comfort zones, yet positively supporting each other. This is beyond what we ever wrote and imagined in our job descriptions as early years teachers.
Professional development offerings that have been made available for this last week via our online Microsoft platform and are currently in progress by early years teachers are as follows:
- Responding to Tragedy & Trauma
- Transdisciplinary Teaching & Learning
- Social-Emotional Learning in Groups
- Identity as an Early Years International-Minded Educator
- English and German Language Development Classes
To support our families and children, we would like that share that through the Class Dojo digital application, we are creating supporting relationships while social distancing to support our children in the time to come. This curriculum is fulfilled by a scientific research also at this time about how to support children in the early years when tragedy enters the community with lessons being created that focus on:
- establishing & keeping a routine,
- acknowledging emotions,
- answering questions truthful but brief,
- encouraging movement, and
- by interacting as a community to stay socially engages within the distance learning framework.
Thus far, we have learned so much together as a community and feel motivated and ready to learn as we prepare for the week to come. With this also in mind, we have made our parent forums available for parents from our Cosmo Academy. Parents can access this content via Class Dojo messenger.
In closure, the question is not whether we will get through the time that lies ahead—because we will. The important questions are how well we can work together to protect all our young children and their families and how much we will learn from this unprecedented challenge and make necessary changes for the future education and generation of learners.
Please remain connected, stay safe, and share your creative ideas with colleagues so that we can all learn from each other.
We leave you with this video summary of the week. Enjoy!
Matthew Carlyle, Head of BCS Kindergarten & Preschool
Katharina Ehrenfried, Head of BCS Kindergarten & Preschool