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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Preschoolers

I love Lizzy's preschool. In addition to the basic things I love about it - the Montessori Method especially - I love that it's so multicultural. The director is American. The head teacher and another of the teachers are from England, one teacher is from India, and I've forgotten which Spanish-speaking country the other teacher is originally from. The kids show similar diversity in their backgrounds. On Wednesdays they have someone come in specifically for Spanish language things - art and music, mostly. This morning I got a form for signing Lizzy up for computer classes (we don't take any of the extra classes available as of yet, but this one I'm signing her up for - one of the things listed on the curriculum is "proper care of CDs and DVDs". So yeah, for $36 for five classes I'm in). I love that her school is so diverse; our friends and family tend to be religiously diverse and we have a wide range of abilities and "issues", but there's little racial diversity among our close friends - some but not much. So it's nice to have diversity at school (Abby's as well as Lizzy's) and in our neighborhood. Part of this is the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in a nearby suburb.

Lizzy's preschool and its diverse makeup was a fairly large part of the final paper I wrote for my Cultural Diversity class last quarter ("Cultural Diversity in Your Community"). Today "the Spanish teaching lady" (as Lizzy calls her) helped them make headdresses that look Aztec to me (see picture) but then I'm no expert. It does not look like a "Thanksgiving Indian Headdress". Lizzy's descriptions of what happens at school are a little confused unless you're four, but she told me that "the Spanish teaching lady showed us a picture of people with hats and stapled them after we colored them". When asked what these people looked like she said, "Mommy, you know all the kids." When I explained I was talking about the people in the picture and wondered what they looked like, she said "they have dark hair and fancy hats". So there's no telling the origin from her description.

This kind of thing is hard to sort out in any case; Lizzy's profound disregard for pronoun references is an issue. I think my favorite here lately was, "someone made a bad choice and put orange paper tray work in the water work shelf and it got soooo fat! Wasn't that silly?" Then she went off into peals of laughter. I needed a visual reference for that one; it turns out that someone had taken something that belonged on a tray lined in orange paper (dry rice maybe, or something like that) and put it in the area where they do water play, thereby puffing up the stuff - whatever it was.

ETA: It is apparently based on a design from a Native Canadian people who emigrated to Mexico. Girls' headdresses have three feathers and boys' headdresses have more (which Lizzy says "isn't nice but is real" - I think this means they're more authentic).