When any question comes up about how to work with young children, Betsy Evans is the one to call. Bloomingdale has had the good fortune of working with Betsy for over 22 years. As our HighScope curriculum advisor, she has worked with our teachers on curriculum and practice and, most importantly, she has kept our focus always on what is best for young children. Betsy observes in our classrooms, meets with teachers, and conducts staff sessions on professional development days.
One of the hallmarks of the HighScope curriculum is how disputes between children are handled, and Betsy is a master of the art. Children in our classrooms gain the tools to analyze and solve their problems, with the assistance of our teachers. Betsy’s book, You Can’t Come to My Birthday Party! Conflict Resolution With Young Children shows Bloomingdale teachers and children using this method. Her DVD set I Want All the Turns ! Supporting Children in Resolving Problems and Conflicts also has contributions from our program.
Last year when our classrooms were both onsite and virtual, Betsy brought clarity to the online process, helping teachers to define what was working and why. She advised concrete, specific language to connect across the computer screens and to help the children build vocabulary. Teachers participated in play, and named emotions and actions to support the children, much as they do in the classroom.
About her years at Bloomingdale, Betsy has this to say:
Working with the staff at Bloomingdale over the past two decades has been a bright star that creates for me a strong hope that we as a society can care for children with inspiration and knowledge that will change the lives of children and families. The teachers along with José and Marilyn, consistently provide a safe haven for children and a love of academic and social-emotional learning that will be a foundation for lifelong success. It continues to be my privilege to be a Bloomingdale partner and supporter.
José Velilla, our executive director,
Betsy is not only our curriculum advisor, but a mentor and true friend. Her experience, knowledge and dedication to children and adults who work with children is extraordinary. Her contribution to the early childhood field is legendary. I am grateful for her and all that she has and continues to share with all of us.
Two of our teachers had these reflections:
Betsy has been a cornerstone in helping our program create a healthy, safe environment where our children can develop socially, emotionally and academically. Her suggestions are always greatly appreciated when it comes to arranging our classroom and how to handle situations that arise daily with our children. She always shares her knowledge and gives us the freedom to apply and reflect on it, making it possible for us to see how important and effective her recommendations are.
Betsy always says things with grace, without bad criticism, and always to help us most of all. I know that when she helps us it is with good intentions so that we can help and pass it on to the children. Seeing her brings happy feelings and I just know that I will learn something new and great from her. She will always be welcome on my block.
Betsy, you are always welcome on our block!
Website for Betsy Evans, Curriculum Consultant and Conflict Resolution Specialist