On Teaching: What Makes a Preschool Education Work

When I visited Palacios in Corpus Christi in the spring of 2018, I asked her to reflect on the most essential building blocks of a high-quality preschool program. Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Kristina Rizga: How did your teaching improve after your first decade in the classroom?

Rebecca Palacios: The biggest shift was that I learned how to integrate multiple subject areas into a very visual, oral, tactile, thematically integrated lesson environment, where it wasn’t just me talking to children. Early on in my career, my teaching was more splintered and not as engaging for children: Now it’s reading time; now it’s math time; now it’s science time.

Around that time, several teachers and I created the district curriculum based on the theme of families. Every two weeks, there was a new theme about family: my family; my school family; family celebrations and traditions;

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