When I enter The Brody Family Early Learning Center each day I can’t help but feel a sense of pride come over me. I have been working at the JCC of Central New Jersey for 15 years as a lead teacher in the three and four year old programs, and currently as one of the learning coordinators. Each day I spend time in classrooms providing professional support to teachers and ensuring that our school is applying best practices in our work with children.
When I started teaching at the JCC in 2002 it was a part-time job that allowed me the flexibility of working with children and spending quality time with my young daughter. It was supposed to be a temporary position and I was fully prepared to go back to my “real” third grade-teaching job the following year. However, one year turned into 15.
Now that I’m in a new role I look back with pride and marvel at how far the school has progressed. We are a Sheva Learning Community and Sheva Lab school that inspires and encourages other preschools to invest in their teachers and learn about best practices. I am so incredibly proud that I have been on this journey in seeing us become such a highly regarded school. I feel I was meant to be part of The Brody Family Early Learning Center. It has been more than a preschool job; it’s been about challenging myself professionally, inspiring others to do the same, and offering our children an exceptional and rare start to their educational experience.
At The Brody Family Early Learning Center, there are several concepts and core values that I believe are evident every day and that drive our actions and decisions:
IMAGINE: Imagine a school where your child is valued and respected. Where the uniqueness of each child is admired. We provide opportunities for children to think critically, take leadership roles and co-construct learning with peers and teachers.
EXPERIENCE: Experience a school where emergent learning begins with our youngest students. When a child brings an idea to the class the teachers begin to support and scaffold their learning with resources and materials.
EXPLORE: Explore the intentionally designed classrooms. Teachers purposefully put out invitations to learn to stimulate children’s thinking. All classrooms are warm, inviting and encourage children to work collaboratively with their classmates.
PARTNER: Partner with your child’s teacher to support a learning experience that prepares your child with 21st century skills. Teachers communicate with parents through weekly intentional plans, by documenting children’s learning, creating individual portfolios, and sharing pictures on secured websites.
ENGAGE: Engage with a strong community of professionals that inspire and promote children to love learning. The children spend time with teachers who appreciate the importance of a quality preschool education. Our professional teaching staff inspires children to wonder, hypothesize and investigate.
ENCOUNTER: Encounter a place where each child is part of a greater community. They are encouraged to be part of a team, appreciate individual learning styles and have respect for their classmates, their teachers and themselves.
DISCOVER: Discover a school that provides options for your family. Early morning care, enrichment class opportunities, vacation day programs and parent–child bonding dates that create lasting memories.
DREAM: Dream about a school that allows your child to develop their individual interests, develop their social and emotional skills and make long lasting friendships.