One of America’s best preschool teachers, Gloria Needlman, emeritus teacher from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, received the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award in 1996, and was a Golden Apple finalist for her outstanding work with young children. A veteran of thirty-six years of teaching, Dr. Needlman (Ed.D.), now retired from the classroom though still actively engaged in teaching, instilled in her hundreds of pupils a love of learning, fostered their curiosity, and exposed them to human rights, diversity, care for our environment and much more. Over fifty of her articles have appeared in educational publications, and she has presented many workshops across the US and Canada. This book is both a personal memoir of her career, and a resource, relating in detail many of the special and innovative teaching activities and techniques with which she inspired her students. Needlman herself rarely thinks in terms of “teaching,” but believes young children learn best through play in a supportive, enriching environment which she created for them in her classrooms. In addition to describing various teaching “curricula,” Needlman also shares her experience with a range of childhood joys and sorrows: loss of loved ones, birthdays, death of classroom pets, troubled children, difficult parents; along with those teachable moments she tells the reader how she dealt with them all, and how she was usually able to help her students. This book captures through words and pictures the work of a very special teacher whose successes and failures need to be shared. Who this book is for:
Teachers of young children, including Headstart and homeschoolers. Education students and teachers. Parents of young children. School principals and administrators. Daycare providers. Education policy makers. And anyone else who wants to know what a good beginning education can be like.
About the title: On a walk around the campus I stopped to look at some little yellow flowers and said “these are ‘Forsythia’.” Four-year-old Sophia quickly replied, “Oh no, they are for me.”