The Longevity of Meaningful Learning I attended a Headstart program nearly four decades ago. Admittedly, I have had many notable learning experiences since that time. As an educator, however, my nursery school days remain among my most personally and professionally formative. Unlike most children who choose to become teachers when they grow up, I did not enjoy much of my schooling. Beginning in kindergarten, I passed from grade to grade in a blur of academic boredom and social dread. While I did eventually attend a good alternative high school that woke me from my scholastic sleepwalk, it is my church-basement nursery school with two, twenty-something teachers’Leanne and Linda’that has become the standard I use to measure the quality of other learning environments. First, the physical space would prove to be the most open and alluring I have ever been invited to call my own. I remember there was room for the whole class to sit in a circle to sing songs, tell stories, or play duck, duck goose. We even had tricycles we could ride up and down the center of the room. There were boxes of dress up clothes, kitchen supplies and empty boxes of food, big blocks and small,