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- Patt Uren Video Profile
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Year: 2009 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Seymour Heights Parent Participation Preschool
800 Lytton Street
North Vancouver BC V7H 2T1
Type of Setting: Parent participation preschool for children ages 3 to 5
Patt Uren has always had a love for young children. She began working with 2– to 12-year-olds at her church in 1963 and has been involved with children ever since. While raising her own children, she took part in their early education at a parent participation preschool. This experience inspired her to get her early childhood education diploma, which she received in 1990. Patt has been teaching at Seymour Heights since 1991.
Philosophy of Care
Patt's love of children shows through in the warm, nurturing, stimulating and enriching environment she creates for the children in her care. She always makes sure that children feel supported and valued, so that they can thrive and grow. Of particular importance to Patt is respect—respect for other people's feelings, work and space—which she emphasizes in all her dealings with the children and with her colleagues.
Support of Child Development
- Patt is extremely knowledgeable about the needs and developmental stages of preschoolers. She understands and appreciates this age group and creates a program and classroom setting that are not only developmentally appropriate but also interesting, fun and inspiring. For example, she agreed to a child's request to have all his classmates contribute to an art project. The little boy presented the finished artwork during show and tell, saying to all his classmates, "This is what you made!"
- Patt understands that kids are active; they need to stand, hop, step, jump, roll, tumble, leap, run and sometimes even limbo. Knowing this, she tailors her classroom accordingly, setting up a safe area for running, for example, or a low balance beam for walking. On nice days, she moves everything outside—music, play dough, snack and all—for a long play in the sunshine.
Involvement with Parents, Families and the Community
- Families are encouraged and welcome to share their cultures and traditions with the children. In the same spirit, Patt suggested that the preschool spell out a formal inclusion policy in its constitution. This policy also references children, parents and families that may need extra support. She also introduced the Making it Work Fund for families that fall on hard times or that need financial help to pay or the extra support they require.
- Patt excels at developing and implementing a plan to support each child and his or her family. She regularly provides parents with notes on how to deal with specific issues that arise, such as language challenges. Parents report that they rely on Patt as a resource, not only with respect to behaviour or small conflicts at preschool but also challenges they face at home.
- Patt recognizes that a healthy community is one in which all children have access to quality schooling. For example, when a neighbourhood preschool needed funds to build a playground, she explained the situation to the parent membership of Seymour Heights and convinced them to make a $2,000 donation to the group.
"Teacher Patt is more than a child educator; she is a family role model, and the list of all we have learned from her over the years is endless. … She provides clear and consistent messages about appropriate respectful behaviour, lessons our children have taken away from preschool and carried into elementary. As a parent, it's a good feeling to know that while in the care of Teacher Patt your child is not just physically safe but emotionally safe." Parents
"Ms. Uren is early childhood education. She is skilled, she is passionate and she is caring." Professional parenting speaker and author