The Children’s Center teachers had the opportunity to reflect on and discuss recently attended conferences and trainings with their colleagues at a recent staff meeting. These conversations inspired all of the teachers to consider their pedagogies and prompted thoughtful sharing of ideas. In the end, there was a renewed commitment to continue the forward motion of the department with the realization that Early Childhood is on the move and we will continue to strive to be on the cutting edge of what is happening in our field.
Joanne Hogan- Investigator Lead Teacher
The Children’s Trust Fund-A View from All Sides-Marlborough, MA
Joanne shared her experiences in terms of the family connection and her reflection on how we do not always know what is going in a child’s life when they come to school. (The Invisible Backpack) She expressed the impact the Keynote Speakers made on her and felt that it really encouraged her to think about the children and families in a new way. She talked about the diversity workshop and had a copy of the handout for the others to review. She spoke on a training supporting sensory integration and the “7 senses”. She identified 2 (proprioception and vestibular) that we do not always consider and their potential for having a major impact on children’s behavior. She had some additional handouts to share with her colleagues.
Nicole West, Investigator Teacher
NAEYC- National Conference Washington, DC
Nicole shared her experience at the National Conference and the workshops that most impacted her. She has already added some of the new children’s literature that she discovered in one workshop to our book wish list. She talked about a music workshop that inspired her to change the way she presents music to the children. Finally she presented a sensory blog written by another presenter who posts great ideas for sensory activities. She would like the Children’s Center to acquire some of the books and music materials presented in various workshops. The Director will work with her to determine what can be purchased.
Lauren Dube, Explorer Teacher
Backwards Design Curriculum Planning-UMASS Lowell Course
Lauren presented this curriculum planning to the other teachers and provided handouts explaining the process. She offered to leave her text book out on her desk for her colleagues to read and better understand the concept. Her classroom is going to adopt this model in their planning moving forward. Their hope is to ensure that they intentionally plan what it is that they want the children to “understand” when they are exploring activities.
Kimberly Barrett, Explorer Teacher
Massachusetts STEM Summit 2013-Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Kim presented on her STEM professional development; she shared some handouts and websites then spoke enthusiastically about how the experience has inspired her to think differently about math and science. She will be working with her teaching team to bring more intentional planning in those areas into the classroom. She talked about how, in society, we accept girls saying “I’m not good at math” and that we ought to strive to change that practice. She shared the job market statistics in this area and expressed the importance of providing the children with a strong base to prepare them for their future education and ultimate employment.
Submitted by: Judith Ritacco, Director of the Children’s Center
Please share your Professional Development experiences with us – email Amanda Surgens for info.