Years ago, when I first joined NJAKE, I felt isolated teaching the only kindergarten in the school. I needed someone to talk to about my classroom who understood the problems that popped up and who also shared my excitement over what I call “The kindergarten aha,” the late winter-early spring change in the children when they put everything together. My school sent me to a NAEYC conference where Lois Waltz mentioned NJAKE at the end of her workshop. I talked to her, took a brochure, and decided to join. It turned out to be one of the best moves I could have made.

Here at NJAKE I found a committed group of early childhood educators who were passionate about the young child and committed to improving their teaching. I found lots of support, ideas, strategies and techniques to use right away in my classroom. It gave me a larger view of early childhood in New Jersey, but even more, I made friends with teachers across the state. Even now I enjoy going to workshops to network with other teachers. I do not teach, but I love to meet and talk to younger teachers who are navigating the ever changing landscape of early childhood education in New Jersey.

Just like everyone else, I use the internet for a myriad of thematic ideas, recipes, teaching tips, and news. It is great to sit at home, still in pjs, checking out sites, pinning favorites, etc. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE, HOWEVER, FOR THE PERSONAL TOUCH. That is why joining NJAKE is important for those of you who are interested in improving your teaching and getting a look at some of the internet stars in person. In a packaged, glossy, minute bite world it is good for us to teach and learn human. Greg Smedley- Warren is coming in November. Join us and let’s see what he’s got. I know he is popular, because over 50 teachers have already signed up. Don’t get left out. Join now.

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