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Tannis Piper – Empowering Children with Life Skills

Year: 2021 — Province: Manitoba
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Springs Christian Academy Preschool
Preschool, 4 year olds
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Quote

“Tannis’ preschool classroom is a prime model of child-centered, play-based care. While the children emerge at the end of the year knowing their ABCs and their 123s, this is only the academic side. She manages to support each child emotionally and socially. This is really what child development is all about.”

Colleague

Philosophy of care

Throughout her program, Tannis takes a holistic approach to educating the whole child, believing in the importance of developing social and personal skills.

Support of child development

Tannis’ pedagogical approach is based on the belief that young children can be empowered with the skills to regulate their emotions. Self-regulation is a key building block for every aspect of a child’s development: learning and personal growth, academic success, attention and problem-solving skills and overall mental and physical health. Most of her curriculum is emergent (i.e., based on children’s interests).

Tannis believes that the environment can be used as a third educator, setting up her activities in an aesthetically pleasing environment that is warm and inviting to the children. She uses play area boards to introduce new topics, asks inquiring questions and encourages the children to use critical thinking about what they would like to know. Tannis will then make posters with the children using colorful letters, borders and pictures, hanging the posters in the classroom where the children can refer to daily. Tannis believes that when children engage in real-life and imaginary activities, class activity actually challenges children’s thinking.

Everything Tannis incorporates into her program is intentional, focusing on all aspects of a child’s growth. Cognitive development is incorporated through play-based learning. She believes it’s crucial to recognize that while all kids have a play impulse, the nuts and bolts of actually playing is not always so natural and may require careful cultivation. That is why a play-based approach involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. She encourages children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels. While children are playing with blocks, she poses questions that encourage problem solving, prediction, and hypothesizing. Tannis brings the child’s awareness of mathematics, science, and literacy concepts using questions like, “How tall can this get? How many blocks do you need? Who else does that? - Simple questions that elevate the simple stacking of blocks to process of learning.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

Tannis thinks beyond her immediate surroundings, raising issues affecting early childhood with the Manitoba Child Care Association. She speaks at local events when the opportunity arises, including co-facilitating professional development opportunities for her staff and the SCA Elementary Teachers. Tannis co-facilitated a PD day with the Student Services department on best practice to help children with anxiety. She also facilitated a PD day for SCA teachers on “Incredible, Flexible You”, a social, emotional curriculum set out by speech pathologists. And she helped facilitate a PD day on developing social stories, for children having difficulty understanding behavior expectation.

Get in touch!

Springs Christian Academy Preschool
595 Lagimodiere Blvd
Winnipeg MB  R2J 3X2
204-235-0863
Email: info@springs.ca
Facebook: @springschristianacademy

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