Vita Di Giovanni
Year: 2016 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Sir John Franklin Elementary School
250 S. Skeena Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V5K 4N8
Type of setting: Kindergarten for children ages 4 and 5 years
Vita Di Giovanni's first name means "life," and she is aptly named. Breathing life into the classroom has become a hallmark of her work with young children.
Philosophy of care
Mrs. Di Giovanni believes that all children should have the opportunity to shine in front of their peers. As a proponent of emergent curriculum in the classroom—an approach to developing flexible and responsive learning environments—she also believes that supports and accommodations that help one child will, in fact, benefit the whole class.
Support of child development
- Diligently practises "kid watching"—taking a scheduled time each day to record children's dialogues and observe how they interact with their peers and the environment, and then organizing her program in light of what she sees.
- Has an open door policy under which professionals such as occupational therapists and counsellors may observe and partake in activities; then adapts activities, materials and the room itself to meet individual special needs and provide opportunities for all children to progress.
- Provides numerous opportunities for self-reflection by children—in group time and individually—by having them answer a question in an interview recorded on an iPad.
Involvement with parents, families and the community
- Holds a daily shared reading time, during which children gather to hear a parent or caregiver read or tell a story.
- Invites adults with special expertise to share their skills and knowledge with the children: one parent, for instance, taught the class to make fresh pasta and tomato sauce.
- Incorporates the cultural traditions of the families of the children, expanding holiday celebrations in December to include Hanukkah, for example.
"Her happy soul and genuine love for children spills over into everything she does."
"Early childhood education excellence is alive and well at Franklin Elementary due to the hard work and perseverance of one very special teacher, Mrs. Vita Di Giovanni."
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