Honoring a child's unique voice

Watch Video: Honoring a child's unique voice by Tom Hobson, ...
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Honoring a child's unique voice

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We try to create a democratic classroom and that’s one of the fundamental aspects of our progressive education that we try to do in our school where each child is an equal in the school. There are always some children who are going to be more vocal and more bold in their statements and part of my job as the facilitator of the classroom is to draw out these individual children and spend time making sure their voices get heard. Sometimes I need to sit down one-on-one with them and they may be too reserved to actually speak out in front of the group, so my job is to be their voice, to amplify their voice, kind of in a sense of representative democracy to bring them out in the classroom. But I want the children after 3 years – and they are with us for 3 years in my school – by the end of those 3 years every one of those children understand they have agency in this school, that they are franchised in this school, that they are able to have a direct impact. And I want them to go out in this world and understand that their job is to go out and question authority. Their job is to go out there and speak their mind and add their voice to the discussion.

Watch Video: Honoring a child's unique voice by Tom Hobson, ...

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Tom Hobson

Co-Op Preschool Teacher

Tom is a preschool teacher, blogger, artist, and author. For the past 10 years, he’s worked for the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools, teaching two to five year olds in Seattle, Washington where he lives with his wife and daughter. His award-winning blog, “Teacher Tom,” has earned him an international following as a leading proponent of a progressive, play-based curriculum and the cooperative model of early childhood education, as well as a fierce advocate for public policies that support the whole child and the teaching of democratic values to even our youngest citizens. His blog, like his classroom, is a place of exploration of the physical, social, political, emotional, and even spiritual world. It’s a place of experimentation, where the adults learn every bit as much as the children.

Tom is the author of A Parent’s Guide To Seattle, a regular speaker on early childhood education, a board member of the Fremont Arts Council, and a founding member of the Superhuggers performance art ensemble.

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