As teachers, we work to enhance children’s feelings of self-worth in an atmosphere that encourages them to develop strong bonds with other children and adults from wide-ranging ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We believe our role is to provide a positive, consistent, and productive environment in which every child can grow at his or her own pace. The environment is structured yet flexible, allowing for the personal, social, physical, and intellectual growth of each child throughout the year. Children can choose from numerous educational activities and learning and play materials in our inviting space. In every classroom, the children in our care are encouraged through a developmentally-appropriate curriculum to be active learners and problem-solvers. We encourage the children in our care to express themselves with enthusiasm and spontaneity, and to develop independent and outgoing personalities. They welcome the challenges of trying new things and learning how to handle those times when they make mistakes. They develop skills to deal with conflict and change, set standards of behavior and performance, and accept responsibility. In our inclusive center, we have adopted an anti-bias curriculum approach that aims to counter everyday biases children may develop on their own. We take this approach to teaching in order to help them identify with other human beings and develop a sensitivity, understanding, and respect for those who may appear to be different. We encourage the children to exercise their natural curiosity to explore their environment. They are provided with materials to creatively express their experiences, ideas, and feelings. Through reading, talking, storytelling, and make-believe, the children in our care explore the use (s) of language. The program also provides daily opportunities for children to test out their developing bodies, intellects, and interests. We understand that, at times, children need to be alone or play quietly, and we provide places as well as supervision for these quiet times. A large, safe, and well-equipped outdoor play deck is located immediately outside the Center, providing us with the opportunity for daily outside play, weather permitting. Well-nourished physically active children who are free from illness are generally happy children. The children in our care develop confidence in using their bodies and learn to take responsibility for their bodily functions. Because our staff has been carefully chosen for their warmth and ability to communicate, as well as for their professional skills, the children in our care are encouraged to develop trusting relationships with adults outside their immediate families.
The Transportation Children's Center has a respectful attitude toward children. Our primary aim is to develop children's abilities to discipline and control themselves. We want children to learn to solve minor disagreements by themselves. We encourage children to talk about what is bothering them and explain their feelings to each other. Our teachers help the children work things out by offering a choice of solutions. This allows the children to have some control over the situation and requires them to think about what they want.
We complete assessments every three months for our infants and three times a year for our toddlers and preschoolers. They are used as a tool to track each child's individual progress and to assist the staff in determining where the children are as a group. We use these assessments to plan our curriculum and to develop goals and lesson plans that reflect the development of the individual child and of the class in all areas. A copy of every assessment is sent home, and parent conferences are held twice a year to share the child's developmental landmarks and growth over the year. Individual portfolios are maintained for every child.