Review by: Gail Perry, New Books column of the May 2009 issue of Young Chldren - May 1, 2009
How do you become the kind of teacher children can trust? Through engaging descriptions of her own classroom experi- ences with preschoolers and keen insight into the relationships between teachers and children, the author demonstrates what good teaching is all about.
Villareale describes key components of good teaching, such as nurturing each child's uniqueness, and offers practical ideas teachers can use to address each area. For example, the teacher identifies children's particular talents and plans one opportunity a week per child for developing that talent, such as giving a quiet child an opportunity to express thoughts in a safe environment. She creates a display using stories or photos of children expressing their personalities.
Villareale tackles the challenges of teaching and offers teachers strategies for being present and available to children when there is so much to focus on-evaluating the kind of play taking place, telling a parent about an incident, or noting important conversations in the block area. She discusses how to avoid teacher burnout by determining what drains your energies (like an upset parent) and what renews your energies (a walk outside, quiet reading with one child), and including those energizing activities in your weekly plan. The chapters are short (4-8 pages), easy to read, and well suited for staff development discussions.
Review: The Midwest Book Review- Library Bookwatch May 2009 - May 1, 2009
Everyone has something to teach. "Learning from the Children: Reflecting on Teaching" is the memoir of a teacher who tells of the many life lessons she fained from teaching for nearly two decades. In the early elementary school years, children mature rapidly and new lessons emerge as time rolls on. Author Cindylee Villareale lets readers into the lessons learned, and how they can be applied to everyday life. "Learning from the Children" is a unique look into what teachers can learn from the people they are supposed to be teaching.