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A Minute With Mme Amy: The view from the first floor (highlights from my week)

Calgary French & International School a minute with Mme. Amy MurrayI spent this morning speaking to a group of Education students at the University of Calgary, about the field of early childhood education, and the importance of play in young children’s classrooms. Starting my day with a group of such keen, motivated, and genuinely interested future teachers was a wonderful reminder of how lucky I am to do work I love so much. We are planning for these students to visit CFIS in the coming weeks, and I am excited to show off the breadth, depth, and quality of our ECE division.

On Wednesday evening, I attended our Head of School’s Report to the Community. Mme Dorrance’s presentation was thorough and detailed, and captured the strength and steady positive direction of our school community.  The parents in attendance asked thoughtful questions, and were demonstrably excited about the strategic vision for the coming years at CFIS.

Yesterday morning, I joined one of our preschool classes for their circle time. Their favourite part, by far, was what they called the “penguin dance:” an upbeat dance tune with lyrics describing how to move their bodies like penguins. As I smiled and laughed at their enthusiastic participation, I also noticed how many academic and developmental skills they were working on: vocabulary for body parts and different kinds of movement; gross motor coordination; motor planning; spatial awareness; working memory; patterning; counting, and so much more, all in a few minutes of sheer fun.

Did you know....
That, while it is easy to let school and sports (or other afterschool activities) be the focus of kids’ learning, it is also important to think about long-term practical life skills that will contribute to children’s self-sufficiency as adults? I love the list of skills offered in this article, which reminds us of the importance of explicitly teaching (and giving children opportunities to practice) tasks like laundry and money management:

Have a wonderful, extended weekend with your children. I am looking forward to spending Monday and Tuesday in professional development with our amazing teachers!

Warm wishes;

Amy Murray, B.Ed., M.S.
Director of Early Childhood Education
Calgary French & International School
403-240-1500, ext 117