Preschool Prep

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Preschool Prep

Early childhood students prepare for the arrival of the preschool students in October

While most classes at Potomac Falls have settled into a familiar routine by October, Early Childhood Education classes are preparing for a major shakeup: the arrival of the preschool students. The high schoolers spend the first month of school cleaning and decorating the classroom, creating lesson plans, and learning the skills they’ll need to become teachers and role models for these kids. Once October hits, the whole dynamic of the class changes – the teacher takes a step back, and the students assume the role of teachers for a class of 16 preschoolers.

The Early Childhood teacher for this year is Toni Fasan, new staff member at Potomac Falls. As the new program head, Fasan is implementing changes that will improve the class for high schoolers and preschoolers alike. “We’re changing a lot. We’re upgrading a lot of our resources and toys and tools and items that we use to assist the high school students in teaching their lessons. A lot of aesthetic changes in how we’re structuring this space will hopefully be a benefit and conducive to what our objectives are in here,” said Fasan.

Some of the new additions to the program will include weekly trips to the library, and weekly center activities that will be coordinated by the high schoolers. However, Fasan is keeping some of the students’ favorite traditions, such as the trick or treating event that happens every Halloween, where the high schoolers lead the preschoolers around the school to trick or treat at every classroom

The preschoolers will be starting at the school on Monday, Oct. 15. In anticipation of this, the high school students are in full preparation mode. “We’re making bulletin boards with little colors, things like that for them, and we’re getting ready for their parents to come and meet all of us. We’re making lesson plans and just kind of decorating the classroom to make it kid friendly,” said senior Megan Dawson.

Once the preschoolers arrive, the students dive headfirst into their role as teachers. “What’s super fun about this class is that my main role is really towards the early part of the year, where as the teacher I’m instructing the high school students and providing them with the tools and resources they need to be good teachers when the preschoolers arrive. I will be taking a step back in October, and if anybody was to come in here and witness a day in the life of the ECE program, what they’ll see is the high school students running the show, and I’m just there as a support person,” said Fasan.

Students create lesson plans and then spend the classes instructing the preschoolers, typically in small groups. They focus on teaching the kids basic skills that will prepare them for kindergarten. “At certain times we’ll all have our own teaching days where we’ll be helping the kids and teaching them skills like how to write their names or the alphabet, or learn numbers,” said senior Rebeca Castellon.

For any high school student with an ambition to teach or work with kids in the future, Early Childhood provides them with the skills and experience needed to take on those roles. “I am most excited for witnessing the high school students build confidence and faith in their abilities to be able to facilitate a lesson, to be able to make corrections and deviate when things don’t go according to plan, and just to watch them develop. It’s fun to watch the preschoolers develop, but I love watching the high schoolers get more comfortable in their skin the more times they deliver lessons,” said Fasan.

With Fasan’s enthusiastic new leadership and a group of students with a passion for teaching, the preschoolers attending Potomac Falls’ program are in the best hands possible.


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