I had the pleasure of attending the SECA annual conference January 16-18 in Williamsburg, Virginia.
SECA (the Southern Early Childhood Association) represents 14 states and holds its annual conference in a different location every year. My colleague Sedra Spano and I presented at the pre-conference session to a packed house. We were so excited by the response to our work at Teachstone® and are looking forward to maintaining all the relationships forged or strengthened during our time in Williamsburg.
On Friday, I attended two general sessions and found them to be both inspiring and valuable. The first speaker was Elena Bodrova who was discussing her work with Tools of the Mind. Her compelling presentation, “The Importance of Being Playful: The Science of Play and the Practice of Playful Learning," dealt with the importance of make-believe play. The second speaker was Ellen Galinsky who shared her work around executive function and brain development. Like the first, this session—“Mind in the Making, What’s New?"—had me furiously taking notes. It was all so fascinating!
Both speakers were wonderful, engaging, and thought provoking. The most exciting part for me was the way I was able to connect our work with the CLASS™ system to their findings. For every point they shared, I found a direct link to a domain, dimension, or indicator that our work has identified as important to children’s positive social and cognitive outcomes. It’s wonderful to see how movements in the early care and education field are intersecting to improve the experiences of our children.
If you haven't already, I invite you to read their books Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education (Bodrova) and Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs (Galinsky). Please use the space below to draw any connections you see between these powerful books and our CLASS system—I'd love to hear your thoughts!
In the wake of the widespread civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the national conversation about the inequities in the educational opportunities provided white students and students of color has been amplified. Due to racial and socioeconomic segregation, Black students, and other students of color, are more likely to attend poorly funded schools. EdBuild, a non-profit focused on fair and equitable school funding, reports that high poverty school districts that predominantly enroll children of color receive on average, $1,600 less per student than the national average. By their calculations, there is a $23,000,000,000 gap between funding for schools that primarily serve high poverty Black students and those that predominantly serve white students. Schools that predominantly serve high poverty white students, only receive $1440 less per student (EdBuild, 2019).
I recognize and admit to having a chip on my shoulder about the field of early childhood education - and, at times, disbelief that others may not see that period of time as the power-packed years in our developmental timeline which can lay the groundwork and set the course for much of the rest of our lives.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.