This summer, Mackintosh Academy Littleton PreKindergarten Lead Teacher Ashley Logan completed her Masters degree in Learning, Developmental, and Family Sciences with an Early Childhood Education concentration. We interviewed Ashley about her masters project, teaching online during the pandemic, and coming back to school this fall.
Q: What led you to become a teacher?
A: I have been working with kids since I was 16 and was a day camp counselor. However, I didn’t go down that path when I first entered college, and was actually in the Pre-Vet program at CSU studying microbiology! Turns out I didn’t do well with blood. So working with kids was next on my list and I actually wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but at CSU if you get offered an internship at their Early Childhood Center you have to take it. So I ended up in the 3 year old room and completely fell in love with the world of Early Childhood Education and the Reggio philosophy and haven’t looked back since!
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your thoughts on using technology in the classroom and making connections with students during the pandemic?
For my culminating assessment in my masters program, I focused on how we used technology to stay connected during the pandemic. I had just taken a class about the classroom environment and the importance of digital pedagogy and a child’s right to learn the language of technology as they are surrounded by it. We used Zoom, SeeSaw, and pre-recorded videos to stay connected when we were at home. Zoom was obviously in real time, and SeeSaw was asynchronous, but gave the students the opportunity to leave voice comments on each other’s posts, almost in the same way we would in the classroom.
Q: What were some of your favorite moments in teaching via MackFLEX (Mackintosh’s online learning platform) last spring? What were your challenges?
My favorite moments were our Zoom meetings. Some days they were just hilarious and other days it was just nice to see the students’ faces! I also really enjoyed their SeeSaw posts and getting glimpse into what they were up to at home. The best learning environment, especially for this age group, is face to face, so we did have challenges. It is not easy/developmentally appropriate for a 4-5 year old to be sitting on a computer to have a Zoom meeting, so we tried to make sure things we were doing over Zoom calls were engaging and active. Sometimes we missed the mark though, and you could tell they would rather be anywhere than on this Zoom call, so we also encouraged families to do what was best for their children, and if that means playing outside instead of being on a Zoom call that day or doing a SeeSaw activity, that was okay.
Q: What is your favorite online teaching tool or platform? What do you like about it?
My favorite online teaching platform was a mix of Zoom and SeeSaw. I am planning to use SeeSaw in the classroom when we return so that students will learn how to use the app with minimum help from teachers or parents. This will be a way for students to post their work throughout the day and we will invite families to login so they can see what their children are up to and have some talking points when they pick them up from school.
Q: What are you looking forward to for this school year?
I am looking forward to just being physically present with all my students and my co-teacher Mr. Ashworth! We are planning to spend the majority of our days outside, so we are working on getting our outdoor classroom ready as well as our indoor classroom.
Ashley Logan is the lead teacher for our PreKindergarten classroom. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and a Level IV Colorado Shines Early Childhood Credential and is Director Qualified. She earned her Master’s in Learning, Developmental, and Family Sciences – with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from CU Denver in August 2020. In her free time, Ashley enjoy reading, hanging out with her two dogs Peanut and Percy, and (pre-pandemic!) going to concerts.
To learn more about our inquiry-based International Baccalaureate curriculum at Mackintosh Academy, please visit this webpage. Wondering if your preschool-aged child might be gifted? This article explains some signs of giftedness in young children.