I have the opportunity to attend the NAEYC Professional Development Institute Conference this week. I hope to blog each day (although I may not) so you can glean some of the expert information as well! Remember that you can follow along LIVE on Twitter. Everyone tweeting at the conference should be using the hashtag #naeycINST. If you search that hashtag, you will see all the posts made by attendees. If you’d like to follow me specifically, search @mdcteacher and click Follow.
Today was a long, but wonderful day! Up at 5:45am, I left at 6:30am for the short trek into Minneapolis. I missed my turn near the conference center and that was my first #gettinglost moment of the day. I parked in the ramp and found my way into the conference center. I went up the escalator, down the hall, back the other way, down another hall, and checked the map. #Gettinglost, part two. I did however, run into Cory Woosley and Roz Zuest (two DCTC adjuncts/friends) on the way- so nice to see familiar faces!
Once I was back on track (thank you staff member!), I made my way to the first session of the day. I lucked out because this session served breakfast. Score! This ACCESS session was sponsored by Cengage Learning. ACCESS‘s purpose is to support and advocate for associate degree programs in the preparation of early childhood professionals who teach and care for young children from birth through age 8 across a variety of programs; and the instructors who teach in those programs. The topic was Field Experiences: Preparing Students to Support Each Young Learner. After brief introductions from the panel, we reviewed NAEYC terminology and guidance of field experiences. As a large group, we discussed points of pride and places for progress. It was interesting that although our table-mates were from all over the US, we shared similar challenges. It was inspiring to hear about each others’ successes. We then moved into table top discussions. I chose a table about mentoring cooperating teachers. Along with meeting many new EC educators, I was able to hear best practices from across the country. That’s what makes this conference awesome! It was comforting to again realize that some of our challenges are shared by others as well.
Next, I chose a session on challenging behaviors in young children. This session was fantastic! I realize that not everyone has a Twitter account so I’ll share with you a few of my tweets.
- Do standards create challenges for children with various behavior needs? -Marilou Hyson
- The issue is not the standards but how those standards are implemented into the classroom – Marilou H
- Effective implementation of standards must focus on relationships, engagement, & playful learning! -MH
- Question from Marilou Hyson: How does calling on children one by one effect their behavior?
- Children with secure relationships with adults will have more positive approaches to learning. -Marilou H
- The answer is NOT to blame the standards or teachers. Support educators with practical professional development
- Early Childhood in Australia has 30 children per class- Can eat and go outside as needed. Minimal behavior issues.
- Minority boys are over-represented in challenging behaviors. We need to send the message that they belong!-Sharon Ritchie
- Cross-cross applesauce. Hands behind your back. Silent lunches. Road to prison? -Sharon Ritchie
- Programs need culture of caring, culture of competence, & culture of excellence for achieving equity. -SR
- Our charge is to NOT view minority boys as a challenge. They are capable to rise up.
- Comment from participant: Common core often gets mixed up with academics and assessment instead of exploratory learning
- Challenge: Look to find each child’s strengths. Some “negative” traits today are actually positives later in life
- When children are not fully engaged, that opens up the opportunity for other behaviors to slip in. -Karen Cairon
- 90% of children know when adults are stressed. Opportunities are missed when educators are stressed. Take care of yourselves. -Karen Cairon
- Sometimes kids don’t do what we want when we haven’t really taught then how. If it’s not working, change your methodology. -Karen Cairon
- How do we help teachers feel calm and confident while dealing with challenging behaviors? -Karen Cairon
The final session I chose for the day was a session about using social media in early childhood programs and the possible implications of it. Tom Copeland shared some fantastic policy recommendations, as well as anecdotes of real situations. Do NOT post any pictures of children to social media of any kind (that includes texting too!) without the parent’s full written permission. Keep in mind that if any other child is in the photo (even if it’s the back of their head), you also need their parent’s permission. If the child could be identified by the parent, you must obtain their permission before posting. Remember, if you post something to facebook, etc. someone else can grab that photo (like a parent) and share it to their liking. This can create an issue if other children are also in the photo. You can read more about this topic in the book that Tom and Holly Elissa Bruno wrote together.
I needed to duck out a bit early to pick up Rae Pica at the airport. I had an opportunity to chat with her a bit for which I am very grateful. We first connected years ago through the blog. Then, we met (in person) a couple of years ago in DC at the Bammy’s. She is inspirational and I always find myself smiling in her presence.
Later, I ran into Chip Donahue. We had a fascinating conversation regarding teacher prep and using technology in the classroom. He stressed that although it’s great to offer a course about early childhood technology, the ultimate goal is to fully immerse technology into curriculum at multiple levels.
Next, it was time to grab supper and head to the Knowledge Universe evening reception. They shared some background information on the corporation, strategies for change, and research to demonstrate effectiveness.
Finally, I said my goodbyes and headed home. So much new food for thought! Time for some shut-eye…