TO THINK CRITICALLY: what would you do?

As a preschool teacher, I try to stay abreast of the issues facing young children today, especially debates around social rights. One of the most intriguing debates to me over the last year or so has been the one around transgendered youth. I think, mostly, it is because I cannot imagine the depth of ethical dilemmas facing the parents of transgendered youth. I was so proud of the Washington Post (not that I am in a position to patronize the Post) for raising awareness by putting this article on the cover of their Sunday paper today. And, while I recognize others will disagree with me, I also feel tremendous respect for the family for making decisions they truly believe will make their child happy, and sharing their story in such a mainstream way to help others in similar positions.

PS: Did you see this story last year on the Canadian family that chose to raise a genderless baby?

[image via]

surprise hits

As an inner-city preschool teacher, I don’t usually like surprises. Except for when I stumble upon a lovely book I had never heard of in my neighborhood library, and I end up liking it as much as the kids.

Some of my favorites from this year:

For when your amazing teaching assistant (or a friend from your class) has to leave your class mid-year: City Dog, County Frog by Mo Willems (Yes, this should have been obvious. Everything Mo Willems writes is a smash hit!)

For when you (and your kids) just need to smile at the end of a long day/week/month: Spoon or Baby Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

For teaching your kids to stand up for each other (especially against the big 4-year-olds on the playground): One by Kathryn Otoshi

For teaching respect of one another’s backgrounds (especially older students-probably kindergarteners): The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi