May 07, 2018
The YMCA is one Chicago's largest early education nonprofits, so National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11) is an important time for us. We're always grateful for our early education, preschool, and before and afterschool teachers at the Y, and in the spirit of this week's celebration, we'd like to share a story.
At the Buehler YMCA, a new preschool student wasn't speaking much in class, because Japanese is her first language. Part of our mission at YMCA preschools is to ensure all children are engaged, so when the Buehler teachers were working in a Professional Learning Community with other Y educators, they discovered a fellow teacher who speaks Japanese.
The Japanese-speaking teacher visited the Buehler classroom to talk to the child and explain what the class was working on — creating storybooks. As a result, the child spoke for the first time in that classroom.
Of course, this was just the first step in many required to achieve student engagement and outcomes, but the experience and sense of empowerment, both for the student and the teachers, speaks to our youth development mission at the the YMCA. Learn more about YMCA preschools here.