At Teaching Beyond the Square, we offer a wide range of programming and services designed to provide teachers with ideas and strategies for implementing and sustaining an exploration-based approach with young children. Whether it is through our workshops or videochat series, or visits to our Materials Center, you’ll find that we bring our extensive years of teaching in progressive classrooms and our passion and enthusiasm in every aspect of the work we do.
The Cohort Series is designed to provide teachers with a forum for introspection and analysis over the course of the school year. Participants join a community of teachers from schools across the city who are interested in progressive pedagogical approaches to early childhood education and developing alternative strategies for classroom learning. With the support of an educational coach, educators will come together in a series of monthly meetings and workshops which include school visits, guest speakers, material-and media-based experiences as well as the documentation of our work both individually and together.
We can support schools in making lasting shifts to pedagogical practices so that classroom learning is collaborative and multi-faceted. Teachers and administrators benefit from our combination of on-site visits, team meetings, staff workshops, and videoconferencing check-ins. We offer our coaching and staff development services at a range of price points. Every school community’s needs and goals are different, and we are known for bringing a tailored approach to our work with schools. Our consultants will work closely with you and your staff to build a scope of work that reflect your specific and unique context and goals.
Our educational coaches are available to support schools and administrators with a specific focus on curriculum development. We can work directly with teachers and teaching teams in identifying and supporting emergent curriculum threads, or coach administrators through the teaching supervision process so that school directors and teaching teams can develop routines for reflecting, documenting and furthering children’s learning.
The Materials Center
The Materials Center is a community resource open to the public, featuring a large collection of “found” materials, gathered and donated by New York City residents and businesses. We believe that these materials can enhance and enrich children’s learning, creative expression, and symbolic development. Our Materials Center Educators bring collections of materials to children in schools across the city, and work closely with teachers to determine how they can be incorporated into everyday learning experiences. Through our Workshops and visits to The Materials Center, you can learn about how materials can support children’s development and shop for materials to fill your classroom.
The Materialized Classroom
Our Materials Center Educators bring collections of materials to children in schools across the city, and facilitate open-ended play experiences in their classroom. They work closely with teachers to identify how materials support various types of learning and development, and to determine which ways to incorporate materials into classroom life. Materials Center Educators also train teachers in guiding reflection discussions with children, model language and responses to children’s work for teachers, and show how documentation can support assessment and curriculum development.
Workshops offer educators opportunities to learn about developmentally appropriate and progressive practices in early childhood education. Led by experienced teachers, specialists and professionals, participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of how to implement ideas and strategies into their classroom.
Our educational coaches are available via videoconferencing each month to offer support and guidance on topics such as: emergent and inquiry-based curriculum, artistic development and creative experiences, documentation, classroom environment, found materials, child development, and other topics related to exploration-based and developmentally appropriate pedagogy.
Teaching Beyond the Square grants a one-time educational stipend of $3000.00 to an educator pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in early childhood education, art education, or related field of study.