Preschool Program Mentor Teacher
Hello, my name is Jennifer Young and I am a Preschool Program Teacher here at Building Blocks Preschool. I have an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development from Oakland Community College and continue to be a lifelong learner. I believe that collaboration and relationships are key for learning. One of my strengths includes providing a classroom environment that coincides with different styles of learning. I believe strongly in the Hundred Languages poem written by Loris Malaguzzi. I also work hard to create a classroom culture where children feel connected to the teachers as well as each other.
In 2014, I traveled to Italy as a steering committee member of the Michigan Inspirations Collaborative group. While there I participated in a study tour at the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre in Reggio Emilia, the Early Childhood Centers in Cavriago, Italy, and places that honor children in Florence. During the study tour, I was able to spend time at the Ray of Light Interactive Exhibit experiencing firsthand about how children use lights, shadows and technology to learn about the world. Upon my return, I collaborated with Building Blocks teachers to open our own studio space where children can experiment with those elements of light.
One of the reasons I am excited to be working here at Building Blocks Preschool is the importance of our everyday documentation of the children’s growth. We observe and record their learning daily through photographs and anecdotal notes to create a document called a Learning Story. We email these Learning Stories daily to help provide a home-school connection for the children and their families. This approach of recording the children’s work as it progresses provides tools for them to visually reflect on their experiences as well as allows teachers and parents to build upon and share the learning.
I am very passionate about early childhood education and have shared my experiences with other teachers by presenting at local conferences including Community Sharing for Healthy Caring. I have presented the value of making learning visible through our Learning Stories to the ECDC teachers at U of M, Flint. Team Facilitated two day works shop on Really Seeing children with Deb Curtis and Margie Carter through Michigan Inspiration workshop.
On a personal note, my husband and I live in Milford and I have 3 college aged children. I enjoy kayaking on the Huron River, as well as just being outdoors. I also have a love of all kinds of photography, including nature and photo journaling.