This purpliffic picture of Rochelle Duane and a Pullman youngster helps illustrate the WSU Today article about Megan Itani, special education teacher extraordinaire. Rochelle, a graduate student from Bremerton, Washington, says she went into her fall practicum in Megan’s classroom knowing virtually nothing about preschool:

“It was incredible to see the progress of each of the students and observe how the patience and strategies that Megan and the rest of the team implemented benefited every student.

“The most important thing I learned was that preschool is not simply a miniature elementary school.  After first grade, the classes focus on reading, writing, math, spelling, etc. Almost everything is academic.  In the preschool, everything revolved around experiences and preparing the kids to be successful.  It took me a while to realize that’s not only okay, but it’s necessary! Without these experiences, without learning which side of the book to start from, what sounds barnyard animals make, or what paint feels like between your fingers, they won’t be able to grow into the children and adults we are helping them become.”

Burnishing your political cred
Our superintendents’ certification students and anyone else interested in policymaking might want to read  “How to Influence Legislators” in the January 2010 edition of InterBusiness Issues. The article was written by Frank Mackaman, of the WSU/UW collaborative Dirksen Congressional Center, and advocacy guru Stephanie Vance.  It is the first in a series of quarterly articles about policy or legislative advocacy.  Future articles will explain the four principles for effective legislative advocacy, the six key questions you’ll want to answer before you ask a policymaker for something, and five key elements of effective messages.