from the heart of Wellspring
Wellspring is the most peaceful environment I have ever worked at, as a teacher. When I am peaceful it makes me even more effective at working with children. So many times I wish I could go back to the old places I taught at, with the skills I learned at Wellspring. Skills like how to facilitate real child-led play. Every major piece of educational research I have ever read says this is the best way to teach preschool, but I had never seen it done practically (besides in theory) before Wellspring.
I wish I could record the conversations the children are having at Wellspring and share them with the teaching community, to say, “See! This is what play can accomplish!” It really blows my mind the high levels of negotiation, planning, focus, imagination, and teamwork the children at Wellspring consistently develop. At my old center I was in charge of assessments and we always scored so low in these areas (when I would meet other directors at area-wide trainings this was consistent with their results as well). I couldn’t wrap my mind around how to solve that, because everything I came up with was teacher-directed. Who knew the answer was just to do less… and let them play more!
When it came time for my own children to enter pre-school I made the choice to send them to Wellspring because I know (& research shows) that the most important things they need to learn at this age are social, planning, focus, and risk-taking skills. Playing in a peaceful environment is the best way to learn them. My oldest is now in Kindergarten and not only did she pick up the academics quickly, her teacher reports about how strong her social skills are, as well as her attitude and risk-taking as a learner. Music to my ears, because that was not innate in her, it was practiced through play at Wellspring.
I want to shine the light on Wellspring so that other well-intentioned teachers, and parents, can learn what I have. I highly encourage a visit to their beautiful space to check it out!
Our son has attended Wellspring for 3 years now and we love it! It is such an amazing preschool, is truly play-based, and provides a safe nurturing environment for our kids to play, be creative, take risks, discover, and learn about relationships with other kids. It provides an extremely enriching environment where kids play, learn, and explore.
As a nurse I can say that I am very impressed with the cleanliness and safe conditions at the Wellspring school and Garden. As a mother I am most impressed by the nurturing and enriching environment provided. We have learned that the job of children is to play to fully develop and become their best selves. Wellspring really helps our son do that. He always gets dirty and comes home happy!
A shift has happened in our society and parents feel the need to hover and overprotect our children. And though inherently I knew this wasn’t how I should be or wanted to be parenting, when I was first starting out as a new parent, I felt a certain amount of pressure and a fear of being judged if I didn’t parent this way.
At Wellspring the philosophy is to allow the children space to learn and grow without much interference. It has brought to light some of the problems we create by overprotecting and I have been reinforced in my belief that kids need freedom to explore and develop their physical abilities and in doing so they quickly culture a sense of self-reliance, confidence, creativity and joy.
I am so grateful to have such a magical place for my daughter to spend many of her days. The support and sense of community has greatly enriched her childhood experience as well as my parenting experience.
Every community should be so fortunate to have a children’s center such as this one. At a time when it seems that many in our country have forgotten…our little ones you have a small safe haven for our future citizens…a place where young hearts and minds are fostered, protected, and nurtured. A place where playground politics and conflicts are dealt with tolerance and compassion. Can one imagine a tomorrow where citizens behave in this manner?
If you hold high hopes for the future of our great country then possibly you can see why Wellspring Children’s Center holds a special place in our community.