The loving, gentle, home-like atmosphere of the Toddler Community builds on the toddler’s natural drive to act independently, and the emphasis is on process rather than on product. Children learn by doing, and learning to care for themselves – washing hands, putting on jackets – and doing it themselves is an important part of the toddlers’ daily work. In this language-rich environment, teachers support and guide toddlers as they explore order and disorder, and refine their emerging motor skills.
Toddlers crave sensory input, order, and information about the real world. The primary (yet unconscious) goal of the child's first three years is to acquire knowledge by obtaining language and labeling elements in the environment. Outdoor play and exploration are part of the daily routine. Classroom materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed regularly in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn.
While there is some variation from day to day, here is a typical day's schedule in the toddler community.
7:30 - 8:00 | Arrival
8:00 - 10:00 | Morning Work Cycle
10:00 - 10:30 | Group Time
10:30 - 11:00 | Outdoor Time
11:00 - 11:30 | Lunch
11:30 - 12:00 | Cleanup & half day dismissal
12:00 - 2:30 | Rest Time/Afternoon work cycle
2:30 - 2:45 | Cleanup/Pack up
2:45 - 3:00 | Dismissal
Degrees and Certifications:
Working in education wasn’t my original plan. I graduated from MCLA with a degree in Literature and a desire to follow Chaucer’s path to Canterbury. Instead I started my own bookkeeping business enabling me to write checks with one hand while holding my infant in the other. Three years later I enrolled my son at MSB and was amazed by the sense of community, the devoted staff and my son’s growth. I just had to be a part of this amazing environment. I started as an assistant in the Toddler room and realized that my pilgrimage was to begin. I set out for San Diego and after several years of training, research and splashing in the Pacific Ocean I earned an AMI Assistants to Infancy certification. Witnessing the growth and change in children is more fulfilling than I could have imagined.
Toddler Community, Afterschool
Though she's in her first year at MSB, Lisa has always had a passion for working with children. Beginning her career at Hillcrest Educational Center as a youth development counselor, Lisa developed her interest in teaching children. Lisa furthered her work with children as a teacher’s assistant as well as a company trainer at Hillcrest. After five years, Lisa became curious about the earlier side of child development and enrolled in an early childhood education program at Mildred Elley. In her free time Lisa enjoys hiking, running, and spending time with family and friends.
Degrees and Certifications:
Kalee received a BA from Westfield State College, in Westfield, MA. There she studied Early Childhood Education with a concentration in reading. In 2012, Kalee began working at Ithaca Montessori School in Ithaca, NY. There she found her passion of working with toddlers. Kalee has additional experience working with children in a public school setting. In her time outside of MSB, Kalee enjoys scrapbooking, reading, boating and spending time with her family, friends, and dog Milo.