April 2, 2021

Hello Parkside Families,

I hope your week was as good as ours’! In this week’s blog I have included information about some exciting additions to our infant program, updates on our preschool rain suits, and an update on our snack menu.

I have been wanting to change our infant playspace for many years but especially since COVID restrictions have been upon us. Due to the restrictions of combining groups we have not had our infant classes use the playground for a year! Luckily, we have buggies to take outside for walks and we have the deck space. But honestly, I have felt that is not enough and it certainly didn’t feel very fair as we try to provide as much natural space to explore except for our infants. This week Miss Gina had to go to the mud kitchen to bring mud into her classroom for her kids to explore with! How silly that felt! This past fall when we moved our shed from being a storage unit to being shelter on the playground, we discovered a large usable size of land. Therefore, I have decided that we will fence this large area in and our Grand Teton and Glacier kids (separately for now) will have the great experience of playing in the mud for real! We are still awaiting the timeframe for this project to be done: we will have Allen Farm putting the fencing together and Stitham’s Custom Homes will be putting together the equipment for the playground…including a low-bearing mud kitchen! Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project!

Last week I announced that I bought a rain suit for every preschool child to wear. The Yosemite classroom’s suits are in and Olympic and Big Sur should be in by the end of the week! Therefore, beginning next week we hope to have these rain suits for every child to wear to protect their clothing, yet still have so much fun getting messy and wet! Please note, as we get used to these suits it may slow down our pick-ups if your child is on the playground. As you already know a new step in our transition can be clunky for everyone.

Next week we are adding our fresh fruits and vegetables to our snack menu! We have also added items such as berries, cream cheese in soft tortilla shells. We hope to begin to explore together some new foods to help provide a new snack experience!

I am reading…wait who am I trying to fool? I’m not reading anything these days, but I am listening to this great book called “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. As someone who looks at systems it’s funny when someone will ask me “but why do we do it this way?” and I simply want to say “because we’ve always done it this way”. The book has brought up a fact that I can’t seem to stop thinking about: 80% of Americans are not inspired in their jobs. The reason for this is mostly due to their leader. As someone who plays this role, I have been thinking about all of the ways to provide inspiration for our staff. I say often that I only want teachers who love what they are doing. Some of the ways I try to provide this is by having task forces for anyone to join if it interests them, we also have trainings welcomed to anyone to attend. We will be beginning another aspect to our Lead Teacher training by providing mentor training. I’m wondering if you have anything in your professional world that helps to provide inspiration to you? I would love to hear any suggestions you may have!
Have a wonderful weekend,