From economics to neuroscience, education to public policy, a vast body of research demonstrates that early education matters. Moreover, the critical window for developing the cognitive, social and academic foundation that helps children thrive in later learning is between birth to age eight. More and more education leaders are beginning to think about their work as encompassing this span of early childhood, many of whom are focusing on preschool through third grade. Visit Early Edge California or the Foundation for Child Development for more information about Pre-K – 3rd education.
TK is at the center of this important period, and TK teachers can play a critical role in connecting Pre-K, TK and kindergarten through alignment, collaboration and articulation. This collaboration ensures teachers are working together to build on student learning year by year, during the most critical learning period for children. Connecting TK and early childhood educators can help to deepen knowledge of best practices to support young learners. In addition, articulation between TK and kindergarten teachers can support teachers as they determine how to complement each other in a two-year kindergarten program.
Both the Preschool Learning Foundations and California’s Common Core State Standards for kindergarten have been critical instructional guides, and TK teachers can greatly benefit from your instructional leadership on bridging the two. As many districts have done, you might consider facilitating opportunities for visiting model preschools, TK, and kindergarten programs and time to reflect on how to apply the relevant best practices.