Hello Everyone,I thank you and respect all of your ideas and concerns over the academics in the Early Childhood Environment. I do understand the need for play and social-emotional skills. This is the environment I need to work with due to what my director and previous lead teacher have set forth. They want curriculum and academics in the classroom. I am expected to teach sight words, early reading, subtraction and addition. I do not have a choice in this matter.I do read to the children and speak about the stories we have read. I create hands-on science experiments and learning materials. My room is set up into very simple centers that never change with themes. The children are constantly playing and interacting with one another in imaginative play experiences. Most of their day is play-based. Only short bursts of time are spent in circle time and teacher-directed learning.I have read many books on Early Childhood Development and the importance of play. I am not able to change my school's academics or the way it is run. I enjoy teaching and wanted to work with older children so that I could interact and teach for longer periods of time. I do not want the children to feel overwhelmed by curriculum, but they are expected to know how to write their name, recognize simple sight words, know their uppercase and lowercase letters, and basic number concepts by the end of pre-k. This is expected by my state's educational standards. I will do all of this to the best of my ability so that they will not feel "academically-stressed" by the time they reach kindergarten.I have read and heard many kindergarten teachers state that many of their children do not know how to hold a pencil properly or how to use scissors by the time they reach this grade. They also are having difficulty writing properly (beginning to write from bottom to top instead of top to bottom). They find this very upsetting and wish that pre-k teachers would focus on these skills. Many kindergarten teachers feel that they are spending too much time correcting handwriting, pencil grip, and scissor practice. I do not want this to occur in my classroom. This is why I am very interested in curriculum and appropriate teaching practices. This way, I will avoid added stress on the teachers and children in the future.