Suzanne Bouffard's new book, The Most Important Year, may be just what parents of preschoolers have been waiting for; a guide to what a quality pre-K program should look like. Bouffard spent a lot of time in classrooms watching teachers do some really good things and some not-so-good things.
What are some of the things you learned?
Successful pre-K [programs] teach children to learn to be learners, how to be curious about how things work and find answers to problems.
You want to have hands-on experiences and opportunities for children to learn about things that apply to their lives. Good teachers always engage children in rich conversations and ask them open-ended questions, what they think and what they want to know.
Another really important piece of a good program is that it focuses on things like self-control and behavior in the class, how to wait your turn, how to share, how to deal with frustration and how to solve conflicts. Those are skills kids are just beginning to develop at three, four and five years old.