I was sitting in a meeting recently with a group educators and we were talking about the impact of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) on early childhood. I mentioned that I had spent the summer on a state committee looking at our preschool language arts standards and making sure they are preparing a child for success in meeting the new standards when she attends kindergarten. Our committee discovered that our preschool standards were very strong in preparing a child for that success. We also discovered, however, that we did need to change some terminology and begin to help educators make that smooth transition from preschool to the CCSS in kindergarten. We also learned that it will be good practice to begin to talk more about fiction, non-fiction and the writing process, which in preschool is drawing and responding to stories and texts. The CCSS is a different direction, but in my opinion, a good direction. Through those standards we can help children delve more into the reading and writing process and more thoroughly understand the printed word. I hope early childhood educators will help children in this learning process and realize that remaining developmentally appropriate will help children be successful with these new standards.
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.