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From the Desk of Gigi Schweikert Dear Winning Ways Reader (and Toddler Teacher), When I started my first job as a toddler teacher, I was fresh out of the elementary school classroom. And although my degree and teaching certification was nurs- ery through eighth grade (they probably don’t even have a certification like that anymore), working with elemen- tary school children and toddlers was not the same. I know; I tried. That’s me d most, wor oing what I love king with children. For the first few weeks, I simplified my elementary and preschool lesson plans and set out to be the best toddler teacher ever. I wasn’t. I couldn’t get those tod- dlers to stop pushing the chairs around, let alone get them to sit in the chairs. I lived in New York City at the time, so I hopped on the back of my boyfriend’s motorcycle—don’t tell my mom—and headed up to Bank Street College of Edu- cation to buy every book they had on toddlers. I still refer to those books some- times. Who knew I would ever get a chance to write a book of my own? What I learned from my own experience and that of others during my years as a toddler teacher is outlined in Understanding Toddlers and Twos in a way that is simple and easy to read. The concepts are complex, and there’s no way around that, since toddlers and two-year-olds are so complex. I hope the information helps you better appreciate and celebrate these children. They can be amazing and challenging, all at the same time. If you work with toddlers and you love it, you have that toddler passion. You know what I mean, don’t you? It takes a teacher with great patience, energy, and creativity to love toddlers well. After you finish reading the book, please e-mail me with your thoughts, ideas, and own stories about working with toddlers and twos at www.gigischweikert .com. I’d love to hear them. Children deserve our winning ways,