Director's Column: Celebrating Friendship at Bowen
It has been a fun and festive week at Bowen! With Valentine's Day as inspiration, we have been talking a lot about friendship. At this point in the year, many solid friendships have formed, and we encourage these wonderful bonds, but continue to remind children that, "There is always room for one more at Bowen!" Certain areas of the classroom, such as the block area and the dramatic play area, are set up to encourage children to build skills that help develop and maintain friendships. These are skills like sharing, taking turns, cooperating, listening to others, managing disagreement, and negotiating different ways of thinking about things.
Talking and listening are also important skills for friendship; showing interest in what others are saying and asking questions. Children practice these skills at snack and lunch, during showtime, and at meeting time.
Teachers also choose activities to foster and encourage friendship and teamwork. In 3-Day, they have searched for each other's photos in the discovery table, and last week they made a cooperative mural of the ocean. In 5-Day, they have made friendship chains and created cooperative stories. In Pre-K, children are often paired up to work on projects together, and they recently had a "secret snowflake" activity, where they were asked to make a card for a classmate, describing something that they appreciated about that person. And, on Friday, of course, we got to exchange Valentines with all of our friends! My daughters (and I!) are still friends with the people we met at Bowen years ago. I hope you will all be able to say the same, years from now! Best, Nina