I have been writing an article for the magazine, “Early Childhood News.” The article is about using preschool state standards, as well as Head Start Outcome indicators, to create a road map for the success of preschool children. While researching the article, I was again reminded why many early childhood teachers fear standards. Their fear comes from believing that they cannot create a developmentally appropriate classroom when there is a prescribed plan. I appreciated the new book by Carol Copple and Sue Bredekamp (2006), published by NAEYC, called, “Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice.” I was happy that the authors explained that if the teacher is not following an organized plan of skills, the classroom is not developmentally appropriate. We must have a plan to help children grow developmentally. Following standards does not mean that every child is at the same point at the same time. As long as the approach to learning is developmentally appropriate, having a road map of skills will help a teacher create activities that support development. As mentioned in an earlier post, skills in developmental order create a great support for the classroom.
Manager of Educational Programs, Excelligence Learning Corporation
University Clinical Instructor
Credentials and Accolades:
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education
1996 Utah Teacher of the Year
1998-1999 President, Utah AEYC
2011 Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Utah
John Funk has worked in early childhood since 1979. He taught preschool, 1st and 2nd grades and kindergarten. He worked as an early childhood specialist for a large school district and managed early childhood services for Salt Lake CAP Head Start. He is past president of the Utah AEYC. As an early childhood, reading, and literacy consultant for the last decade, he has written on early childhood subjects and products for McGraw Hill and Leap Frog. He served on the editorial panel for Young Children magazine published by NAEYC.
Currently, John is the Manager of Educational Programs for Excelligence Learning Corporation, and he teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management, reading methods and supervises student teachers at the University of Utah.