With curriculum being the cornerstone for children’s learning, how can we be certain that children are receiving reputable curriculum that reflects their varying academic abilities, learning styles, personalities, interests, background knowledge, cultural experiences and levels of motivation for learning? Teachers are the linchpin. As stated in the article “Observing, Planning, Guiding: How an Intentional Teacher Meets Standards through Play” by Patricia McDonald, “teachers are researchers, observing children to decide how to extend their learning both in the moment and by planning new play environments” (p.3). For all intents and purposes, teachers play a pivotal role in setting up the environment, providing the learning experiences and guiding children so they can construct concepts, develop new skill sets, and discover who they are. Additionally, teachers are active participants in a child’s development as they watch, listen and think about what each child needs to thrive. As teachers monitor numerous situations throughout the day, they must consider when to step in and engage the children, and when to step aside and allow students to scaffold one another. At the center of it all, teachers who really know their children are better equipped to find the right balance of how to engage, motivate and challenge learners. So then, how do teachers learn about the intricate details of what each child needs? Let’s take a closer look at how observation, documentation, interpretation, and reflection are used to support children’s learning, growth, and development.