Discover. Create. Connect.
First United Methodist Preschool is a unique, child-centered program based on the best practices of early childhood education. We want our parents to know and understand our deeply-rooted beliefs and philosophy at FUMP. Our curriculum and philosophy are researched-based, as they align with national standards for the highest quality of care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Our teachers, board, and director crafted our statements of belief for an expounded view of our philosophy beyond our brief mission statement. These five areas clearly articulate our guiding principles to give you a comprehensive view of our program.
|We believe…that children learn through play.|
|- Children naturally learn through what they see in the world. Teachers create a developmentally appropriate environment for each child to play, create, move, experiment, and express themselves.
- Children are active learners and have opportunities for choice, independence, and learning through play with real materials in hands-on direct ways.
-Children’s activities, materials, and classroom curriculum are selected based on individual children’s development: socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually.
- Children are provided a balance of indoor and outdoor time; active and quiet play; and individual, small and large groupings.
- Children need routine and continuity in the classroom and with adults. We create consistency in the classroom through predictable schedules and activities and by limiting transitions and enrichment activities.
|We believe... in supporting children’s social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development.|
|- Children express a range of emotions as a natural part of their development. We identify and acknowledge these emotions and create opportunities for children to express them in healthy, constructive ways.
- Children model what they see teachers treat children and other staff with respect, kindness, and empathy.
- Children are learning to participate in group activities, get along with peers, and develop trust for other adults. We support this task by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions with others, nurturing friendships, and teaching conflict resolution skills at every age.
- Children develop a sense of accomplishment and an enhanced sense of self-esteem through competence and mastery of tasks. Children are provided opportunities to grow in independence and self-reliance through routines and activities.
- Children develop a sense of what it means to be a spiritual being and grow in their faith and community. Through Chapel, we teach that God loves each of us, that He has created a world that we care for and that we are to love and care for those around us.
|We believe... in respecting individual differences in children’s growth and development.|
|- Children learn best through small group play and one-on-one interactions. Therefore, low child-to-teacher ratios are maintained.
- Children move through predictable developmental stages at their own rates. Children are provided support and encouragement and are not hurried through processes related to those milestones. Arbitrary age requirements are not imposed for milestones such as toileting, specific academic skills, etc.; rather, those milestones are celebrated by the adults around them.
- Children express creativity and self-expression through open-ended projects and experiences. Creative, child-directed play is encouraged in many forms, such as drawing, painting, music, building, role play, and more.
|We believe.... in experienced, professional teachers.
|- The teacher’s role in the classroom is to be a facilitator, nurturer, caregiver, and supporter of children, in a manner consistent with school philosophy.
- Teachers are early childhood professionals in the classroom who support and implement school philosophy, curriculum, and policies consistently yet flexibly.
- Teachers maintain open communication with parents through various means: at arrival and departure, through lesson plans, electronic communications, and formal and informal parent conferences.
- Teachers attend high-quality training in curriculum, age-appropriate guidance, dealing with special populations, health and safety practices, and other early childhood issues and topics.
- Teachers conduct themselves professionally and courteously with parents, children, co-workers, and the church community.
|We believe…in family communication and involvement.|
|- The diversity of each family and child is welcomed, respected, and incorporated in an inclusive environment.
- Families receive frequent, ongoing communication from teachers regarding their child’s developmental progress and classroom activities through various modes of communication.
- Families are incorporated into the program through a system of individual classroom activities and networks, preschool gatherings and events, invitations to First United Methodist Church fellowship and worship opportunities, and notifications of local community events.
- Families support the preschool through volunteer opportunities, annual giving, committee and classroom projects, and Preschool Board service.