© BETSY EVERI TT/ i2iART
like a rebel. Working in a high-poverty school,
-indergarten teacher Celia Carlson passionately describes kindergarten in terms of transitions—it’s the only first time that children she struggles to maintain a semblance of a child- centered program. When she found a sensory table stacked with extra materials in another The kids flock to it, in need of kinesthetic expe- rience and the joy of pouring, measuring, and
classroom, she asked whether she could have it.
will begin school, and it should be a place where comparing. “Where did you get that?” a colleague
both children and families adjust to a new, chal-
whispered, as though Wendy had brought in
lenging context. She worries, though, that we’ve a unicorn or something illegal. Hers is also the
let go of what makes kindergarten a safe place for only classroom that goes out for recess in the
children to start. In our push to do more, sooner, morning. Again, her colleagues ask, “How do
faster, we fragment children into little pieces of
you find the time?” Although she doesn’t know
assessment information and let go of the activ-
why no one else goes out for recess, she wonders
ities that enabled us to get to know them in more whether other classes lose precious time because
personal and integrated ways.
Across town, teacher Wendy Anderson feels
of behavior issues associated with children who
have not had a chance to play.