acknowledgments This book would not have been possible without the help and support of so
many wonderful people in my undergraduate years at the University of
Wisconsin–La Crosse. I want to thank Barb Gander for showing me how to
critically reflect on my practice and dispositions. The children, staff, and fami-
lies at the Campus Child Center showed me what a high-quality early child-
hood program community should look like.
I want to acknowledge the incredible faculty, staff, and families of Burley
School in Chicago, Illinois. In my four years there, I always felt at home and
comfortable trying something new. Thank you to Principal Barbara Kent for
challenging me to experiment and try new things in my classroom. I want to
extend a deep thanks to Kari Calabresa and Kristin Ziemke-Fastabend for
being there when I felt stuck. Their words of encouragement truly kept me
moving through this process.
The Chicago Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education adminis-
trative staff—Debby Jobst, Chris Rosean, Bonnie Roelle, and Beatrice Colon—
trusted me as I explored new and innovative practices in the classroom.
The amazing faculty, staff, and families at the Catherine Cook School in
Chicago provide a learning environment where administrators, teachers, chil-
dren, and families feel welcome to explore, discover, and reflect upon the many
ways children can learn and develop. Thank you for helping readers see how
strategies can be carried out through the provided videos in this book.
I am indebted to my friend Gail Conway of the Chicago Metro AEYC for
being an amazing mentor and guide through navigating the many arenas of
early childhood education.
I am especially grateful for the hard work and best practices of those
professionals who contributed to this book: Andy Russell, Bonnie Blagojevic,
David Kleeman, Meghan Residori, Maria Larios, Sheri Burkeen, David Curry,
Cora Boucher, Kira Hamann, Nick Manesis, Sarah Stagmeier, Andrew Beights,
Lauren Cohen, Barbra Fisher, Diane Salk, Ashley Wales, Beth Lambert,