My First Years in Early Childhood Education
(Click here for larger image)
Author: Sophia E. Pappas
Publisher: Gryphon House
Paperback - Also available as an eBook
Pages: 192, © 2009
Based on her popular Pre-K Now blog, Sophia Pappas’ book Good Morning, Children provides an up-close and personal view of the challenges and successes of a beginning teacher. The book describes daily encounters with students, family members, and administrators; reflects on the state of early childhood education in America; and celebrates the ways the pre-K teacher can help prepare every child to succeed in both school and life.
In chronicling the successes and failures of her first years as an early childhood educator, Ms. Pappas, a veteran of the Teach For America education program, covers a range of topics that both new and experienced educators face in the early childhood classroom. Among other important issues, Ms. Pappas:
"This book brings the voice of a Teach For America teacher and her students into the public discussion around how to provide children with the early education necessary to set them up for long term success. Sophia chronicles her accomplishments and challenges in ensuring her economically disadvantaged students excel and communicates important insights about how to ensure that all of our nation's children have the educational opportunities they deserve."
"Sophia provides invaluable insights for policymakers, administrators, and teachers seeking to shape effective early childhood education programs. Her anecdotes and reflections not only reveal what it takes to be a successful early childhood educator, but they dispel the notion that we must choose between approaches that advance children's academic progress and those that promote social skills. It's clear that Sophia's self-reflection and persistence enabled her to improve and to successfully meet the needs of her students. Her process provides vital lessons for any teacher and for all those involved in designing policies and programs to promote the success of early childhood educators and their young pupils.
The book provides a glimpse into the potential of a young woman who will no doubt contribute significantly to early childhood education policy in the future. The candid voice that reveals her missteps and accomplishments introduces to the public an aspiring public leader with a unique combination of persistence, vision, and humility."
"Drawing from her experiences teaching inner city children in Pre-K classroom 114, Sophia Pappas speaks directly to educators about her journey from new teacher to teacher leader. Grounded in the vital responsibilities vested in those who teach our very youngest children, Ms. Pappas' book is filled with insightful thoughts on day-to-day life in the classroom and is sprinkled with liberal doses of good humor."
"Other publications have told the story of young, highly committed teachers in the inner-city. Good Morning, Children goes one step further by highlighting the powerful impact of thriving in such environments on the aspirations and insights of those teachers. Sophia’s hunger for educational equity—borne out of the obstacles and triumphs she experienced in the classroom — make her an exciting leader and change agent to watch in the years to come."
"...I found myself engrossed in (Sophia's) day-to-day activities, curious to see how she would face her next battle...Good Morning, Children is an informative yet entertaining read that allows for a bird's eye view of the experiences and struggles of a young, hopeful advocate whose main objective is to fight for a seemingly forgotten population."
"Optimistic and inspired young teachers can get knocked sideways in a hurry these days. Sophia Pappas looks to preserve the dew in Good Morning, Children: My First Years in Early Childhood Education."
"Sophia Pappas isn’t above taking imaginary phone calls from Spongebob to keep her students engaged. These and other playful tactics are woven into the stories Pappas tells in Good Morning, Children, a memoir about her experience teaching pre-kindergarten as a Teach for America corps member....The book’s amusing anecdotes keep the reader interested, while Pappas’ careful description of best practices gives the book some real substance. "
"EarlyStories was an early admirer of Sophia Pappas, a Teach for America recruit whose blog about her pre-k classroom in New Jersey provided tremendous insight into the lives of children. Pappas now has a new book based on the blog, and it's well worth reading ... The blog, and the book, showed first hand the impact that early childhood education can have and why it matters."
Sophia Pappas began her career in early childhood education as a pre-Kindergarten teacher in Newark, New Jersey. She was a model teacher for both novice and veteran pre-K educators in her district. She then led Teach For America's efforts to expand Teach For America's presence in center and school based early childhood programs across the country. Sophia earned her Master in Public Policy at Harvard University where she helped start Bright Beginnings, a forum for the exchange of ideas and perspectives on early childhood development and policy. She remained active in the larger early childhood community by leading professional development sessions at national and regional NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) conferences. Sophia currently works for the New York City Department of Education.