Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting The Learning Forest in my hometown of Oakland, CA. Here I found all the richness, diversity and charm of my old stomping grounds to have the same feelings they did when I was a child. Welcoming. Nurturing. Friendly and warm. Although I was at a center preschool, the teacher/owner reminded me of my childhood teachers who were: there for the children and would swiftly correct anyone with a different agenda; hella Oaklandish** in vibe and flair; and down for the cause- these are our children and they deserve the best education.
Knowing all too well the sacredness of a classroom environment, I entered respectfully and waited permission to join in the learning. I must say I was in awe even before I entered because I could hear the learning going on before I knocked on the door. Ms. Minor confirmed what I know to be true: high level engagement goes hand in hand with high level instruction. Likewise, high level instruction goes hand in hand with highly qualified teachers.
The quality of instruction and engagement at the Learning Forest is superior. Ms. Minor possesses a Masters in Early Childhood Education, and is a former Transitional Kindergarten Teacher who chose to open her own learning environment to establish a place where our children could thrive. And these babies are thriving in this richly designed place.
Sharing Tay Goes to the Zoo was fun, as many already knew the book. But you know what I noticed: even the one year olds are used to listening to a Read Aloud. Their posture and participation told me so. What an awesome place to thrive!
Thank you for inviting me in The Learning Forest!!