Patrick Henry Post

September 13, 2019

Classroom Spotlight on Pre-School!

The joy of early childhood

How many of us remember our pre-school teachers? How many remember the anxiety of parent drop-off, followed quickly by the thrill of an engaging activity to start the day off right? Pre-school is a special time in a child's life when they are just beginning to form an opinion of school, teachers, and academic work. They are our youngest students, but often our most exuberant. They are bursting with energy, emotions, and thoughts, and they are learning how to channel all three at the same time. At Patrick Henry, we have an incredible pre-school department that allows kids to be kids while challenging them to learn and grow as much as possible. "Kindergarten ready" is a common phrase in pre-school, but Patrick Henry staff pushes our students beyond the typical standard. Each of our teachers challenges our students in different ways. See below for a glimpse into some of the amazing things that happen in our pre-school classrooms!

Ms. Patti Stogsdill

My preschool class is unique because we are charged up and ready to learn new things. We take time to look close at the nature in our green space and garden. We love kale smoothies and we are part of the two-bite club. We take two bites before we decide if we like a food or not. When we have a question and don’t know the answer, we try to figure it out together, and if we still don’t know, we go to google to find the answer so we will learn more. We are ready to learn, explore, and have fun in our class.

I challenge my students academically by helping them figure out answers to questions on their own and encouraging them to be independent thinkers. I also provide lots of opportunities to practice academic skills as well as opportunities to have new experiences in the classroom and in nature that bring them STEM experiences. I have high expectations for every student, and I find ways to help them meet their expectations in the classroom and with parent partnership.

My favorite part of teaching preschool is when I see my students get excited about learning or discovering new things and when I see them take the initiative to investigate or learn on their own. When my students show that they understand what it means to be part of a caring classroom by helping classmates when they are sad or lonely, I feel that I have helped that child become a stronger member of society. When my students come to me to show off their masterpiece or need to be comforted, I feel proud that they trust me enough to want me to be part of their life. When I speak with the family’s as they drop their child off for the day, I am happy that they have confidence in me as a teacher and I work hard to earn their trust.

Social and emotional growth is very important for our preschool students because, they need a strong foundation to build their academic world on. Children need their basic needs met before they can truly learn. Children must learn how to interact with others, follow the directions of the teachers and they must learn what all their emotions are. We must help them understand what sad, mad, happy, disappointed, patient, and all the other emotional words mean and how they can express those emotions in an acceptable way at school. When children understand their own emotions and they can express their needs in a safe and acceptable way, they can then begin to learn what being part of a caring community means at school. Building strong social and emotional skills in preschool will help the students be ready for the interaction and learning they will experience as they enter grade school.

Ms. Lindsey Smith

What makes your class unique?
My class is unique because we are learning sign language. As we learn the letters of the alphabet, we also learn the sign.

How do you challenge your students academically?
I challenge my students academically by encouraging them to apply what they already know to new situations.

What is your favorite part about teaching preschoolers?
My favorite part about teaching preschoolers is experiencing things with them for the first time. I also love their random hugs throughout the day.

Why is social and emotional growth so important for our preschool students?
Social emotional growth is important because it builds a strong foundation for students to become successful socially and academically.

Ms. Kelly Valentine

What makes my class unique is that it is virtually comprised of all boys. I have 15 students and all of them are boys except 4. Though this can be considered a challenge, we meet this challenge head on each day. This is an opportunity for my students to grow and learn how to interact with each other no matter if they are a girl or a boy. I encourage them to pair with one another as often as possible during center time and during community circle…I do this to promote team work in our the classroom.

I challenge my students academically by first assessing each student to gain a clear understanding of where they are. I then differentiate by meeting the students where they are to establish a plan of action to insure their end of year success.

My favorite part about teaching preschoolers is seeing their individual growth. It is so rewarding as a teacher to see my students improve both academically as well as with maturity from year to year. The little ones never cease to amaze me with regards to what they can do!!

Social and emotional growth are as important as any other measure for a preschooler. We as teachers have the opportunity to help shape our young learners as caring confident well rounded children who will one day be adults who contribute in a positive way to our community. I hope their experiences in my class will lead them to respect themselves as well as others.

Ms. Lindsey Munnelly

My class is unique because we create a positive learning environment around making good and bad choices.

I challenge my students by differentiating my activities in the classroom.

My favorite part of teaching preschool is seeing their little faces light up when they have mastered a new skill. I also love how eager they are to learn.

Social and emotional growth is important to our preschoolers because it is the foundation of how they will interact and succeed later in their life. Preschoolers are learning how to use their language and emotions to communicate.

Pre-School Teacher's Assistant

We cannot possibly talk about the success of our pre-school program without acknowledging our incredible teaching assistants. We are blessed to have three incredible aids at Patrick Henry this year, and we want to say thank you for your service! The role of the TA is to help the teacher in every aspect of the classroom - teaching, cleaning, setting up, lesson planning, eating breakfast/lunch/snack, using the restroom, etc. The list is a long one of all of the responsibilities for our TAs. Here are some of the notes of appreciation for our staff members....


Ms. Shaniece Webb, Teaching Assistant in Ms. Munnelly's class

"She always has a smile on her face!" -Parent

"I love that I can trust her to do just about anything that is asked of her." -Dr. Rogers

"She is soooooooooooooooo sooooooooooooo nice!" -Student


Ms. Barbara Hill, Teaching Assistant in Ms. Smith's class

"She is incredibly patient. Way more patient than I could be!" -Parent

"She's so reliable! We know we can count on her for all things needed." -Dr. Rogers

"I love her!" -Student


Ms. Cornelia Tolbert, Teaching Assistant in Ms. Valentine's class

"I see Ms. Tolbert when she assists in the office and it's so helpful when she's a second set of hands." -Parent

"Ms. Tolbert is always a positive person under any set of circumstances." -Dr. Rogers

"She's really nice to me and to everyone!" -Student

Henry Honors

Big picture
This week we celebrated the first Henry Honors of the 2019-2020 school year. Henry Honors is a program that recognizes students on a monthly basis for a specific contribution that they have made to their classroom and to the school community. Students received a special awards breakfast with their families, a certificate, and a special Henry Honors tshirt. This celebration is possible through our partnership with Maritz! Thanks to our partnership, we are able to recognize excellence in our students every month. This month's theme was grace and kindness, and each teacher nominated a student from their class that showed these strong character traits. We are so proud of our students for their accomplishments academically, but we are just as proud of their social and emotional growth, and the way these students have cared for their classmates! Congratulations to all of the nominees, and thank you to Maritz for making this program possible!


Nominees included:

Latasha Williams

Kanye Simmons

Amori Barsh

Chayse Roberts

K'Anni Alton

Kuleena Daniels

Jayden Powell

Nivea Clark

Te'lissa Miller

Jason Roberts

Goddess Russell

Damon Gladney

Jaimia Fleming

Isaac Arnold

Cherish Brumfield

Brikerah Ward

Cherish Murray

Big picture