Should All Children Be Able to Attend Preschool?

Should All Children Be Able to Attend Preschool?

An analysis of early education, its drawbacks, and its benefits.
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Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. -- Malcolm X

With nearly 6.5% of students failing to graduate high school and the United States lagging behind many other first-world countries in terms of academic achievement , It's no secret that education has been on the minds of most Americans as of late. Concerns over funding for higher education are extremely prevalent as tuition rates continue to skyrocket, leaving potential students wondering if the benefits of college could possibly outweigh the financial drawbacks.

However, there's another component of education that we persistently fail to take into consideration, despite it having a profound effect on a child's development: preschool.

Though it is commonly viewed as glorified daycare, preschool undoubtedly promotes cognitive and social development , which will become essential later on in a child's life; this is especially true of children whose parents are unable to take full charge of their child's early education due to work or other barriers. Along with teaching children fundamental skills such as cooperation and commitment to a daily schedule, the building blocks of grade school education are taught, such as basic counting and arithmetic, as well as the foundations of language and grammar. While these skills will be taught in a formal Kindergarten environment, teaching them at an earlier point allows them to be expanded upon in a quicker, more thorough fashion. Learning issues may be assessed earlier in the child's life, allowing for a more personalized education later on.


Children who attend preschool are statistically more successful educationally


The benefits of preschool are undeniable, but still many parents are made uneasy by the idea of sending their young children to school so soon. Some studies have shown that, while preschoolers have a significant advantage in Kindergarten, test scores and attitudes about school tend to drop soon after. This, however, may not be a fault of preschool necessarily, but rather, is likely a fault of the public school system as a whole, which puts unmanageable levels of stress on children. Also possible is the fact that there are multiple approaches to preschool, all with varying effects on children.

So, what approach is best? In reality, there is no one right answer. Rather, one should carefully choose a preschool that will most benefit their child. For example, a play-only preschool may be beneficial for a child who struggles with social and motor development, while an educational preschool may benefit a child who is mentally ready for kindergarten, but too young age-wise.

In the end, preschool is likely a good option for most children, and a more specialized alternative to babysitting and daycare. Though many of the skills taught in preschool can be replicated at home, some of the greatest benefits come from the need to adapt to new environments and to socialize with new individuals.



Cover Image Credit: http://globalcultiva.com

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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To my music teacher

You are so much more than a director

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I still remember the day that we first met. I knew next to nothing about my instrument, let alone music. The only thing that rang through my mind while I sat in the last chair in a room full of experienced musicians was, "I can't do this." I went home crying that day because I really wanted to learn about music, but felt like it was going to be impossible. My mom even came with me the next day to tell you that I couldn't do it- it just seemed impossible to the both of us. But then, you looked me in the eye and asked me to do one thing, "Please trust me. You can do this."


I spent two years under your direction. Every morning I came to school and the first thing I got to do was be in your class. I spent some of the best times of my life in that class. You taught me some of the greatest lessons I have come across, and the application of those lessons is something I do every day. Here are some of my favorite things you have taught me.


If you work hard, you will see progress

I never thought I would be able to play anything off of my D and A strings on that first day, let alone be able to sight read an entire piece and actually sound half decent. But, you worked with me, had a lot of patience with me, and encouraged me to keep going. After two years, I was able to sight read-the goal that I set for myself at the beginning of this whole experience.

The hard work you put into your craft carries over to other parts in your life

Because of the structure I had in practicing my music, I found myself gaining structure in other parts for my life. My grades were the best when they were in your class, my relationships were strong, and I began to come into my own under your supervision.

You can find spiritual growth anywhere

You took the time to foster my spiritual growth- the best thing a teacher has ever done for me. You were not shy about who you were, or to whom you belonged. You were unapologetic about your love for Jesus in a place that doesn't always accept him. This witness served as an inspiration to me then and still does to this day.

You do not have to fit the stereotype to be a success

You taught me that people will look past the person who is performing. You took the time to introduce us to awesome musicians who did not fit the mold, but captivated their audience because of their proficiency in their craft.

You taught me to trust and believe in myself

I never had someone call out my self doubts and cast them aside for me like you did. Whenever I said "I can't" you would show me how I could. There was never a time you were wrong either.

Balling on a budget is a real thing

The two trips that I took with our orchestra under your direction were extremely memorable. Not only did we do well as an orchestra, but we all had the times of our lives. The first trip I went on, I didn't have to worry about money. However, the next year, my parents were dealing with a job loss, and it was the first time I ever experienced not having the funds to participate in a school program. You showed me how to budget, save, fundraise, and scrimp to put myself on that bus up to New York. I can't express to you how important that experience was for me and how much it still impacts me to this day.

Always take care of yourself

You made an effort to show us how you were caring for yourself. How you were eating well, going to the gym, going to church, getting involved in your community, taking time with your husband and kids, AND pursuing your Masters degree. I have yet to see someone work to better themselves like you do.

Follow your dreams

You had me make a vision board for our classroom after seeing that Gaby Douglas had made one on her journey to Olympic gold. You also encouraged me to make one and frequently asked me what my goals were. Whenever I would start to explain that my dreams were too big, you would cast that doubt out of my head.

Learning about different cultures is the best way to be respectful of them

For our final in your class, you had us do research on the country of our origin to prove how diverse our classroom was. We discussed the different musical traditions from each region, and how they all blended together into what we play today. You also had us cook a meal from our country and share it with the class!

Don’t be afraid to take action

You jokingly told us multiple times "Better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission" whenever someone felt like they needed your approval to get something done in the classroom. That joke was probably the most transformative thing I have ever seen though. I saw students go from timid children to musicians on a mission whenever we would say it. It helped us get a lot done in your class period!

Thank you for working as hard as you do. You have made a tremendous difference on my life and so many others. Thank you for being your true authentic self!

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Allison Mallory

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