Each room has a Lead Teacher, one Assistant Teacher, and one or more Support Staff. Each classroom’s Lead Teacher is responsible for providing a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for children to develop in the areas of cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills. The Lead Teacher addresses questions and concerns of parents regarding activities, policies, and procedures of the room. Most, if not all, of our Lead Teachers have a college degree in early childhood education or have a CDA license. Many have worked with BDLC for several years.
Assistant Teachers work hand in hand with the Lead Teachers, meeting regularly to ensure consistency. In the absence of the Lead Teacher, the Assistant Teacher assumes all classroom responsibilities. Support Staff generally work in the mornings or afternoons though some are full-time and help out when a Lead or Assistant Teacher is absent. In the absence of the Lead Teacher and the Assistant Teacher, Support Staff assume all classroom responsibilities.
BDLC’s educational philosophy is rooted in several curriculum models as well as our own unique holistic approach. Our dedicated teachers continue with professional development each year that goes beyond their early childhood or elementary degrees and certifications. BDLC teachers observe children and provide a framework for learning by finding the “zone of proximal development”– where each child is in emerging development– and then creating the classroom environment and individual and social engagements to support their growth.
Our teachers define developmentally appropriate, as well as culturally and individually appropriate goals and activities for all our children. The BDLC curriculum conforms to developmentally appropriate standards recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). At BDLC, our goal is to facilitate and encourage each child’s natural growth and development in each of the following areas:
- Thinking, reasoning, problem-solving
- Responsive and expressive communication
- Gross motor (large muscles, coordination) and fine motor skills (small muscles, dexterity)
- Respect and empathy for others, peaceful conflict resolution
- Family, adult, and peer interaction, identifying interests and abilities
- Recognizing and expressing feelings appropriately
- Spontaneity, exploration, originality
- Gradual skill development
We believe the best way to accomplish these goals is to provide a developmentally appropriate, child-centered environment where free choice and experimentation with concrete materials are a priority. Because young children learn best through play, we provide a variety of opportunities for self-directed play and exploration in the following areas:
- Physical movement
- Dramatic play
- Health and self-care
- Manipulative play
- Music (BDLC employs a music teacher who provides lessons to each room once a week.)
Lesson plans are provided by the teachers, and thematic units are often used to help children tie together a wide range of skills and experiences. Lesson plans for each classroom are reviewed by the Curriculum Director and the Assistant Director to ensure they are meeting guidelines.
BDLC promotes and implements a multicultural curriculum. Teachers provide a wide variety of materials, activities, and experiences to encourage respect, appreciation, and tolerance of others. These experiences may include diverse customs, traditions, celebrations, and holidays; they may incorporate food, music, families, homes and other aspects common to many cultures. Religious holidays are discussed only in the context of how cultures approach them, focusing on basic commonalities such as lights, food, decorations, and clothing.
BDLC teachers also provide a social framework for small and large groups of children interacting with structured and unstructured or open-ended materials. We provide a balance between teacher-guided and child-directed activities and also stress a caring curriculum for taking care of each other, ourselves, and our spaces. At BDLC we recognize the importance of using creative thinking as well as linear thinking–whole brain/body approach reflected in the physical, cognitive, social/emotional, and communicative benefits of art, music, dance, storytelling and outdoor experiences. We believe all children can be very happy learners!