Early Childhood Educator Workshops

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“Reflective Teachers Are Effective Teachers: Create Compassionate Classrooms Through Validating Feelings, Problem Solving, and Avoiding Consequences and Punishment”

This workshop explores the range of subjects covered in Nancy’s book, The Insightful Teacher. The importance and usefulness of teacher reflection in engaging cooperation in the classroom is examined and specific strategies are provided that focus on meeting developmental needs while reducing challenging behaviors.

“Developing Positive Leadership Skills in Young Girls”

It is not unusual for older preschool aged girls to begin to use their social skills in negative ways, to exclude others and exert control over the behavior of groups of friends. While some experimentation with social leadership is natural, when it turns into power plays and exclusion, girls need help to turn such skills into building community and acceptance. This workshop addresses how to help girls use social skills in positive ways and avoid emerging bullying behaviors.

“Fairness Re-Examined: How to Reduce Over-Reliance on Discipline Techniques”

Nancy’s approach to fairness/equality enables teachers to reduce the need for consequences through careful planning that meets children's developmental needs and recognizes each child's uniqueness.

“Create Peaceful Classrooms Through Solving the Riddle of Preschoolers’ Challenging Behaviors”

Gain strategies for creating community in classrooms through recognizing children's developmental needs and setting up classroom environments, practices, and traditions that support children's higher functioning.

“Beyond ‘Use Your Words!’: Fostering Successful Social Interactions in the Classroom”

Learn techniques for coaching children regarding how to use words to solve problems so that they can avoid aggressive behaviors and develop positive social relationships. Research indicates that this is essential for future academic success.

“Individualizing to Meet the Needs of Challenging Children: How Flexible Should Teachers and Programs Be?”

Recent research indicates that there is a problem nationally with young children being expelled from preschool programs due to challenging behaviors. This workshop provides strategies for creating individualized planning for children within group settings that enable children to succeed, including developing support systems for teachers and an approach to including parents as partners.

“Allies, not Adversaries: Building Productive Partnerships with Parents”

Parents can be seen at times as obstacles to teachers’ ability to help children meet goals in the classroom. This workshop presents strategies that create positive partnerships between parents and teachers that lead to increased success for children. Recognizing the importance of winning parents’ trust and establishing good communication patterns starting at intake are key to this process.

“Building Children’s Self-Esteem Through Understanding and Accepting Their Feelings”

Too often, canned “I am special” curricula are used in an attempt to help children feel competent in classrooms. This workshop provides a framework for using a developmentally appropriate and emotionally sensitive approach to working with young children, as well as specific effective strategies that truly build self-esteem and create community in classrooms.

“Early Learning Standards, Easier Than You Think! Strategies for Implementation Using High-Quality, Emergent Curriculum”

Increasing demands for accountability from teachers and academic readiness from children place burdens on teachers, who often approach standards warily. This workshop deciphers and explains the Illinois Early Learning Standards and demonstrates how they can be used to improve one’s developmentally appropriate practice, with specific training on emergent curriculum projects.

“Creating a Developmentally Appropriate and Culturally Sensitive Approach to Winter Holidays Curriculum, Practices, and Traditions”

Many teachers struggle with feeling restricted in how to include winter holidays in curriculum because of the need to avoid religious content. Others continue longstanding traditions and practices without really exploring the messages that they convey to the children and families in their programs. This workshop provides an opportunity to think about how to have meaningful, joyful, respectful, and inclusive winter holiday experiences in programs. Caution: willingness to be reflective and open to change and growth strongly encouraged!

“Building Meaningful Connections in the Early Childhood Classroom: Children, Teachers, Parents”

This workshop helps teachers plan for and support the development of attachments in early childhood settings. It enables educators to recognize problems in attachment/separation and address them with specific strategies that build comfort, trust and strong connections that help children feel safe and secure and function successfully at home and at school.

“Understanding Developmental Challenges in Young Children: ADHD, PDD-NOS, Autism”

This workshop provides an overview of some common childhood disorders, including descriptions of each condition and information about proper diagnosis and evaluation. It addresses treatment options, medication usage, and classroom strategies that support these children, who are increasingly present in early childhood programs.

“The Bullying Stops Here! Creating Community in the Classroom”

It is essential that preschool teachers/administrators recognize that early bullying behaviors include words as well as deeds. This workshop provides strategies for creating and re-inforcing values of caring and inclusiveness within the classroom, incorporating the “you can’t say you can’t play” approach. Specific methods of addressing bullying behavior as it emerges, such as labeling it and helping children learn to reject such behavior themselves, help children become agents of positive change and build classroom community.