That’s the predicament that so many early childhood educators and concerned, informed parents face today. Because of legislation such as No Child Left Behind and Common Core, our preschools and kindergartens have been negatively impacted and unstructured play has been decimated. Principals are now under enormous pressure for their students to perform well on standardized tests and ongoing assessments.
Early childhood educators who know the value of play have largely been silenced. However, Defending the Early Years has a wonderful website with articles that you can share with the principal. https://dey.org/ It’s important to keep in mind that some administrators have little or no experience with early childhood education and have no idea what developmentally appropriate practices are.
I also suggest that you read my article entitled: “33 Reasons to Choose a Play-Based Preschool, Not an Academic One.”
It includes a video with Dr. Peter Gray, who explores the importance of play from an evolutionary perspective. It’s a video that every parent and principal should watch. Dr. Gray argues that the decline in play that we’ve witnessed in the past 50-70 years is hugely responsible for the increase in depression, anxiety, narcissism, and suicide among children and teens.
You face an uphill battle in today’s climate. We have a shortsighted approach now to early childhood education: getting kids academically ready for the next school year instead of preparing them for life. I admire your willingness to advocate for what our youngest learners need. Good luck!