At Sawyer we have the privilege to work with hundreds of inspiring educators around the United States. Whether they teach virtual classes or in-person neighborhood activities, the curriculums always foster enriching atmospheres for children of all ages to discover their love of learning. We got the opportunity to chat with Circle Time, whose philosophy revolves around learning through quality interaction and play. Continue reading to learn about inspiring moments they've had with children, how children can practice quality play outside of the classroom, and so much more.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! I’d first love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business?
Marina (founder): After the birth of our two little ones, we wanted a safe environment where our children could learn with fun, interactive activities designed to foster creativity and nurture development. We decided to create Circle Time.
At Circle Time our philosophy is learning through quality interaction and play. Our classes are designed to engage families to learn and play together. Parents and caregivers can stimulate their child’s development by interacting and presenting positive new experiences. Our curriculum has been designed specifically to support children’s development in a safe, nurturing, and creative environment. We offer a variety of creative and developmentally appropriate activities for children ages 1 to 5 years old. Our curriculum includes classes that focus on music, movement, yoga, art projects, the world and nature with a maximum of only 7 students per class.
Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?
Jamie (Director): While it might sound cliché, for us, every day is an inspiring moment working with young kids. To see their excitement as they engage in new activities everyday makes us realize as educators that we have chosen the right path.
Do you have a favorite book, game, app, or other education resource? And why?
Jamie: There are so many great apps and books, we don't think I could ever name one! But we will say, there is nothing like engaging in story time with your own kids and/or with your class. Reading books every day can take you on a different adventure every day!
I noticed your classes revolve around early learning and development through music, movement, and art projects. Why is it important for children to partake in these activities?
Jamie: While our focus may seem to be music, movement and art we encompass the whole child. We feel it is important for children to feel welcome in our environment and get a feel of all the various learning domains before entering a full time preschool/kinder program.
How do you think children should practice quality play when they’re not in the classroom?
Jamie: Children should be free to explore their environment. They should be able to learn things by trial and error and most of all it’s important for parents to remember that they are their child’s first teacher. Guide them and allow them to flourish!!
What is your favorite class to teach and why?
Michael (teacher): Our favorite class is the transition pod. Whilst it may not be the easiest, it is so rewarding seeing each kiddo grow into comfort and independence with their environment and routine. We’ve seen so much growth and progress from our students through our transition pod.
What's one trick you learned from another educator that you still practice?
Michael: One trick we’ve learned that we still apply every day is this: just wait and slow down. As adults, we’re always in such a rush to get from point A to point B. With kids, sometimes the best thing to do is just stop and wait for them to respond or tell you what they need.
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?
Jamie: Seeing the growth, seeing the slow to warm up kids to open up with the teacher and students.
What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?
Michael: I had a kiddo who just was slow to warm up. Every class comprised of telling me not to look at them and to get away. Suddenly one day at crafts, a switch flipped and now we’re really good buds! Persistent kindness and patience were the keys in our new-found friendship.
On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?
Michael: We were practicing our emotions and facial expressions. When I asked one kiddo to show me their sad face, they pulled down one either sides of their lips to make a frown. It was so funny seeing this kid force a frown since I always see them smiling.