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January 16, 2007



Sounds like you have a wonderful, stimulating classroom, and you're doing a great job. But as a mom, social worker, and former teacher, it just seems so NORMAL to me for a 4 y/o not to want to be away from her family F/T already; I can't help wishing she had the option of only P/T preschool and a loving, multi-age, pro-literacy home. Do you have thoughts on this?

Sophia Pappas


Thanks for the comment and question. While four year olds will of course feel attached to the home, I also think there comes a point when adults from the home and school sides need to facilitate the child's transition to school. Perhaps for some children a slower transition involving half-day pre-k is or at least seems more fitting. Yet as a full day pre-k teacher I see the benefit of a full day in terms of all of the different kinds of learning we can include (whole group, small group, meal times) to support social and academic growth. As a teacher in the inner city, I also face the reality of single parent or two parent households in which all adults need to work full time. Thus for both practical reasons and the social and academic growth of my students, I tend to favor full day programs.


I teach half-day kindergarten in a low-income community, and I always wish that I could teach them all day. Despite timesaving routines and procedures, multiple teachers in the room, extensive planning, and a lot of hard work, I always feel that my students are being short-changed. Many of my kids enter kindergarten with no formal school experience, limited social interaction, and limited experience with books and literacy. My half-day program simply doesn't leave us with enough time to play catch-up, and I think that they would really benefit from additional time in school.

Sophia Pappas

Thanks for the comment, Abby. I think your perspective is quite valuable especially since many of your students did not have any pre-k.

Just curious, are there any children in your class who you think couldn't handle a full day and would be better off at home for half the day? Also, which do you think the parents of your children would choose if they could (i.e., half-day or full-day) and why?

Lady S

**Oh, no no, surely you can only make progress with students through standardized testing and worksheets.**

Congratulations on your progress with this little girl (and all your kiddos). You once again prove that education should be student centered and not test centered. How amazing it must be to see kids grow at this age (I teach K-6).

Sophia Pappas

Thanks for the comment and the sarcasm. As a native New Yorker, I much appreciate it.

I think if we can make our evaluations more student centered (i.e., performance based on an ongoing basis) we could make real progress in meeting their needs. I know so much about my kids because of the relationships I have built, the anecdotes I take on a daily basis, and my comprehensive reflections. A letter ID test could not provide that kind of insight, the very insight that has moved them forward.

I look forward to hearing more from your perspective.



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About Me

My name is Sophia Pappas, and I teach pre-kindergarten at an inner-city public school in New Jersey.

By sharing my classroom and my thoughts, I hope to give you more insight into the benefits of high-quality pre-k and how we can all play a role in creating and improving these vital programs. And I want to know what you think, too, so please don’t be shy about leaving comments and using this blog as an outlet for ideas, reflection, and debate.
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