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Is This Developmentally Appropriate

Chanie WilschanskiComment

Let me take you on a school tour….

The 2 year old is dumping legos all over the floor and then starts grabbing another toy from a different child.

You walk into the 3 year old class and notice a child parrell playing with a few other kids while many of the other children are playing interactively….

As you make your way to the 4s class you hear non stop chatter and when you walk in you hear a few boys using potty language in the drama center. As you peak over into the art center you notice another child crying over what seems to be a small rip on his paper.

You finally make your way to your desk and settle in.

That’s when your door starts knocking.

Teacher are strolling in.

“Is this normal at this age”?

“Shouldn’t they stop crying by now?”

“He really is the only one not playing with other kids.”

“He fell into pieces over a small rip, he should know how to regulate his emotions better.”

“Why are those boys always saying dirty words, something is so wrong!”

Do you hear this?

Do your staff consistently come into your office or make comments wondering what’s really developmentally appropriate?

Do your staff think they know what’s appropriate, but when you come into the classes you wonder if the children are really connecting with that activity?

Developmentally Appropriate Practice is the core foundation of being an educator.

Whatever age you are entrusted to - it is the teacher’s OBLIGATION! To learn and know what is appropriate for these children to know.

What is the zone of proximal development?

What is the range for a skill or goal?

Is this something the child will grow out of or this a red flag?

While EVERY single child is different, special and unique - there is a zone of proximal development where typical developing children reach specific milestones.

Over the past 4 weeks I have been getting dozens of emails from teachers and directors trying to figure out what’s appropriate to teach for the upcoming holiday?

How do I teach a 2 year old how to clean up?

How do I teach a 3 year old how to share?

How do I teach a 4 year old how to follow the rules and systems of the class?

All the answers to these questions start with a foundational understanding of what is developmentally appropriate - and what are the 5 developmental domains.

I crafted this short video clip - that was edited from my JUMPSTART program that I have going on right now.

You can watch the link and share it with your staff members.


Now back to you……


What is your biggest frustration when it comes to developmentally appropriate practice?

What do you feel is your staff’s struggle when it comes to this area?

Hit reply and let me know

I read every email :)


PS. Next week I will share with you one of my strategies for effective time management as a leader, and also share a story of a director that used this strategy to leverage a huge chunk of time for herself!