My name is Sheila Halasz. (Ignore the “z”, and you will be able to pronounce it; preschoolers ignore letters all the time!).
I am excited for you to get to know me and for you to get to know my preschool friends. For the last 35 years, preschoolers have been in my life. I have been a big sister, a babysitter, an early childhood student, a day care provider, a parent, a home care provider, a preschool teacher, a Preschool Director, a Sunday School teacher, a neighbor, and I’ve been in a grocery store. Preschoolers have been in every one of those scenarios.
My first professional encounter with a preschooler was in a high school laboratory class. I was assigned a little boy to work with one on one. I met with him twice a week and planned my first lesson plans for him. He enjoyed school, but he never spoke. I would sing songs, play games, smoosh play dough, make funny faces and ask all kinds of questions, but he never uttered a word. I worried about his development. Four year olds are supposed to be full of vocabulary and fun stories. His world did not contain the common social exchanges his other classmates were experiencing. On the last day of class with him, we took a field trip on a bus. I asked him what color his shirt was, and he answered with his customary silence. Then I tried something different. Instead of asking what color his green shirt was, I asked if his shirt was red. He laughed and shook his head no. I tried other colors and quickly learned that the boy who had not said one word to me knew all of his colors, his shapes, and numbers up to ten. He may not have had the ability to verbalize words to me, but he had knowledge and the ability to make me proud of him and love him.
Talk to a preschooler, and you will get a response. It is often not what you expect, but it is something to be valued. Since that first encounter with a preschooler, people have been telling me to write a book about my interactions (apparently people did not have the premonitions that blogs would be available in 2013). Book or blog writing is time consuming, and my time has been well served by listening to and valuing what preschoolers say. Therefore I did not really write this blog. It is actually written by preschoolers. Preschoolers however do not always like submitting material to a dashboard for publication so they needed my help.
I am honored to help my small friends put their words and pictures on a computer screen for you to see. Even those that never speak have words, thoughts and pictures inside of them. It is our job as their friend to make their insides bring beauty to the outside world.
May you see the beauty in these children. May you enjoy their innocence. May you marvel at their wit, and may you laugh at their humor. May their thoughts bring forth a powerful, deeper level of meaning that allows us to ponder and often leaves us the speechless ones.