Early Education | Publisher’s Letter, April 2012

Childhood Learning

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“Can you sit down and learn with me?” — First-grade student

Publisher's LetterLast week, Ena Shelley, dean of the College of Education at Butler University, invited me to visit the IPS/Butler Laboratory School. We observed several classes in session. One first-grade class gave me a sudden flashback –– actually, a jolt. The flashback was so vivid that I was truly shaken. At that moment, I was a little girl, 4 years old, and my father had just died from a tragic accident. At his funeral, I sat on the lap of my brother’s first-grade teacher, who two years later was my first-grade teacher. There I was — in the flashback — that little girl who loved her teacher and her school.

That exact feeling was apparent in this classroom, and I was overwhelmed. Perhaps the flashback was triggered by a little girl who had just looked up at me and said, “Can you sit down and learn with me?” To her, learning was exciting, and she wanted to share it with me.

Isn’t that the core of early childhood learning?

• Catch them when they are eager to learn.

• Create an environment where they trust adults to be their teachers.

“We must have places where children can have a whole group of adults they can trust.” — Margaret Mead

In this month’s issue, we have a special section profiling nine women who are making a difference in education (page 39). Their individual profiles detail their accomplishments. Each woman has her own career direction, background and mission with a wide range of interests and experiences, but they all share an extraordinary passion for what they do.

Over the years, I have felt and believed that continual learning is essential to one’s very existence. To me, it is the reason Indianapolis Woman’s mission to educate, inspire and motivate in a proactive way has impacted so many readers’ lives over the past 18-plus years.

May you be inspired to share your own personal learning experiences with others. Not everyone can have a career in education; however, most of us can grasp the opportunity to mentor a child.

Mary B. Weiss
President/CEO, Publisher

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