Cristina Primerano, Julie Kamiya and Marina Giovinazzo
Year: 2014 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Brentwood Preschool (Brentwood Nursery School Society)
1455A Delta Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia V5B 3G4
Type of setting: Preschool for ages 3 to 5 years
Cristina Primerano, Julie Kamiya and Marina Giovinazzo's natural sense of wonder and genuine curiosity about the world around them is shared with their community of 72 young learners. The teachers facilitate the learning process by creating a context for questioning and engaging children along their journey of discovering "big ideas". The team exudes passion and pride for their work that helps build meaningful connections with parents and colleagues.
Philosophy of care
The educators observe and examine their children's explorations in the classroom. They notice when children are captivated by certain ideas or concepts and seek to integrate these teachable moments into their practice. They achieve a rich emergent curriculum by inspiring delight, curiosity, and inquiry with children, parents and teachers.
Support of child development:
- With careful guidance, the teachers instructed the children to use real tools such as ladders and electric drills to build self-confidence and a sense of responsibility;
- Used creative teaching approaches to explore the uncertainties of "The Dark". The teachers built a dark space in the classroom and collaborated with children on how they could become friends with "The Dark". The project allowed children to examine their senses, express their feelings in a safe space and grow emotionally by supporting one another.
Involvement with parents, families and the community:
- Collaborated with horticulturists, parents and children through fundraising and volunteer efforts to materialize a vision for an outdoor classroom where the community comes together;
- Facilitated presentations and conferences for parents and educators and have established a practicum mentoring program with college and university students who seek inspiration on inquiry based practices in topics such as literacy, science, the physical environment and the arts.
I know but a few programs that seek to understand development in action through documentation and dialogue with teachers and parents. I often observed the keen interest that the teachers take on the children, by scaffolding meaningful conversations with the children during play, documenting their meaning making, and then studying these documentations to respond to their questions and understandings.
I adore how they interact with the children. They are so skillful and sensitive, much like gardeners tending to individual plants in their garden. They provide what the children need to grow; but like experienced gardeners would, they allow the children to develop at their own pace.
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