Our Team

We are so honored to share this quote to our readers written by Dr. Charles Pascal;

“Your website reflects the kind of teamwork expected of the ECE/Teacher partnership. Founded on mutual respect for the equal and complementary gifts that each of you brings to the sandbox, you are creating something bigger than the the sum of these gifts for the sake of the kids. Your understanding of genuine play-based, curiosity driven pedagogy is also critical to the future success of the children. Your leadership is inspiring”

Charles E. Pascal
Applied Psychology & Human Development

Our journey together begins…

First we would like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about who we are and where we are within this Full Day Kindergarten story. We are a team of two educators whose mission is to provide a quality, enriched, and welcoming learning environment for the children and families in our classroom community. During the past two years we have had the privilege to work at a wonderful little school in Peel Region in Ontario, Canada. As Ontario enters into phase 3 of the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten this upcoming September of 2012, we have been given an opportunity to move as a team to a new school just embarking on the Full Day Kindergarten Program.

My name is Caroline Thornton, I am the Designated Early Childhood Educator. Prior to working with this board in FDKP I am proud to say I came from one of the best child care facilities in Ontario, The Copper House. The Copper House is a private childcare centre in Bolton, geared to providing quality care to the employees and their children at Husky Injection Molding. This centre was created by 7 top professionals in their field, based on the vision of Husky’s founder Robert Schad, and director Valerie Nease in 1994.

And I’m Shirley Silva the other educator in the classroom. I have been teaching in the primary division for 26 years. I have taught Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 3 as well as Special Ed., and English as a Second Language. I also enjoyed a brief stint as a Literacy coach but by far the most exciting and engaging position I have ever had is working in Full Day Kindergarten alongside Caroline.

We are excited to share our knowledge and new learning with you as we continue on our journey in Full Day Kindergarten. We also hope you take a moment to share and join this journey we are all in together!

A team approach is key to the overall success of your program. Each educator brings very different skills, experiences and ideas to the classroom; although different, complementary to each other and the program overall. Throughout this story of learning together, we will continue to share our passion for this program and how every aspect of FDK comes right back to the fact that the team is the key to success.

Let us share with you our first year motto we co-created with the children to guide us through each day.

“Play a little…
Pray a little…
Sing a little…
Dance a little…
and laugh a lot…everyday!”

We painted the motto on one of our windows and trust us it helped get us through those first few weeks in September when it seemed like there was just too much crying and confusion. It was a constant reminder to believe that we were exactly where we were meant to be, to slow down a bit, to play, to pray, to laugh and to enjoy each and every day.

We fully acknowledge that our team goes beyond just the educators in the classroom. It must include the extended FDK teams within a school, a big thank you for all your support, communication and willingness to always work together in the best interest of the program. We have been so blessed to welcome extended support from several wonderful Educational Resource Workers who have truly become a wonderful addition to our classroom family. We also need to acknowledge the importance and support of our administration, so a great big shout out to our Principal Patricia Peroni who has supported us since day one, and who goes above and beyond the call of duty to support us. Her knowledge of FDK and how two educators can work together to complement one another in order to fulfill the promise of Full Day Kindergarten is inspiring.

A great debt of gratitude is owed to our superintendent, George. He supported us in buying our first

Skiing with Superintendent George

light table and was always there for us. George bonded with our little Flat Stanley and they went on many adventures together (He even drove George’s car.). George created a book and a video of their travels together and came in to the classroom to share the experiences with the children.

We also want to send a heartfelt thanks to our Program Department whose support and enthusiasm make this journey together that much more exciting. Thank you for believing in our program and encouraging us!

We must thank all those wonderful people who have journeyed with us, laughed with us, cried with us and supported our program every step of the way. Special thanks to Rob and his grade 8 reading buddies, Karen and her talent and love for music, Alan and his grade 7 students for being part of this adventure and believing in the potential of this program! A big thank you also, to Sue for her excitement, her energy, and her willingness to jump on board whenever we were embarking on a crazy scheme.

We have also had the privilege of working with co-op students from neighbouring high schools and ECE students from Humber College and Sheridan College. Their youthful enthusiasm, creativity, and energy has enriched our program immensely.

Lastly, thank you to our wonderful families, for believing in us and supporting us!

Here is another poem that guides us. It was written by Loris Malaguzzi who was the inspiration behind the Reggio Emilia philosophy. It speaks to the capabilities and potential inherent in every child. We hope you love it as much as we do.

The Hundred Languages of Childhood

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has

A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.

A hundred.

Always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving

A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream.

The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;

To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas.

They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together

And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says:
NO WAY the hundred is there—

Loris Malaguzzi

Founder of the Reggio Approach