The number one indicator of high-quality learning is the interactions between teachers and children. At Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, we take this very seriously. We structure our learning environments and choose our field trip destinations according to prevailing research and to our experience of what young children in a culturally diverse setting need to thrive. Each classroom operates as a teaching team, chosen to complement each teacher’s skills. Together, they facilitate the individual development of every child through a variety of developmentally appropriate activities based on our Bilingual Creative Curriculum. Our teaching teams include:
- At least one teacher who is bilingual in both English and Spanish
- A low student – teacher ratio
- A dedicated team of at least 3 teachers
Our teachers are members of both the National and the Northern Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children, which gives them access to a multitude of educational programs for their continuing professional development. Teachers log a minimum of 32 hours of professional development each year to strengthen their skills, identify strategies for addressing the needs of children currently in their classrooms, and stay abreast of emerging research and educational trends in early education. The Center also contributes to teachers’ college tuition enabling them to attain Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education. We are very proud of their dedication to making themselves even better teachers.
In addition to the Center’s commitment to the professional development of every teacher, the Center manages to allow for each teaching team to have at least one hour of planning time together each week to develop lesson that introduce new skills and concepts and address the specific needs of the children and families within their classroom.
To ensure that each child’s needs are being addressed, teaching teams develop individual development portfolios for every child in their classroom. Portfolio capture the individual child’s developmental levels in all skill sets recorded during formal assessments conducted three times a year to monitor each child’s progress throughout the year. These portfolios allow teachers to support the child’s development with any early intervention resources that may be necessary to ensure the child’s success in kindergarten and beyond.