I can't remember exactly where I came across early childhood educator Deborah Stewart . . . Oh, who am I kidding, she found me just like she has reached out to connect with thousands of other bloggers who work with young children. You can sometimes feel like you're out on an island in this profession. So many of us work in small preschools where we are the only teacher. Many of us are running our schools or day care centers out of our homes. Sure, we get to work closely with parents -- that's the nature of early childhood education -- but when it comes of professional colleagues we often have to make a special effort to connect.
Deborah is one of those rare, extraordinary people who seem to go through life with her arms outstretched, drawing everyone to her, welcoming them into her world. In a very short time, I've come to consider her a friend and ally. I know I can rely on her for ideas, support and sympathy, but what I love most about knowing her is that she is one of the most dynamic and open-minded community builders I have ever encountered. And if you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that this is about the highest praise I can give a person. Through her two blogs (Excellence In Early Childhood Education and Little Fingers That Play) her website (Teach Preschool), and rapidly growing Facebook fan page, she has built an enthusiastic, welcoming online community of teachers and parents, one that connects people from around the world.
I was flattered beyond belief when Deborah asked to interview me about building relationships with parents as part of her work toward her masters degree, a credential she's just one class away from completing. Go Deborah! And thanks for your incredible, inclusive efforts on behalf of all of us who work with young children.
If you're interested in reading the interview it's right here.