This weekend I realized that people who have not had bariatric surgery can not quite wrap their brain around what you are going through. The have lots of questions, but can not quite capture the depth of your answers. Their houses are stocked full of food, none of which you can eat. Most of it…
I can in the future inspire even one of my students to have the passion for mathematics, science, philosophy, and inquiry in general like those who were my teachers did for me, then I’ll consider my career a modest success.
NAEYC PDI Conference 2011 Notes Providence, RI DAY #1
NAEYC PDI JUNE 13, 2011
Day 1, Session #1
POLICY, POLITICS AND POWER: why they matter for early childhood leaders
Marcy Whitebook (absent) and Lea Austin
Opened the conversation by asking: what brought you here? (answers from the audience consisted of…)
That the power and the money are linked
Quality costs money
We are nurturers, not “powerful”
How do we play in the sandbox with them?
Teachers of college students who say that the students say they aren’t “political”
Develop leadership for the purpose of change
How can we create change agents?
Who is replacing those who are leaving/retiring/transitions?
Are people in the pipeline?
Who is being prepared for the leadership positions?
Concerns about DIVERSITY and stratification by ethnicity and language
Where are the leaders coming from?
Center based people?
What is the diversity of the experience these folks have?
Who has access to leadership prep?
Concern: there is no pipeline!
CAN’T OVERLOOK HOW SERIOUS THIS PROBLEM IS!!!
We lack a well defined pipeline that is INTENTIONALLY preparing new leaders
Less than a handful of ece leadership programs. No ece (specific) credentials (only elem) GOOGLE THIS. WHO HAS AN EARLY CHILDHOOD LEADERSHIP PROGRAM?
Also, we don’t have expectations that there needs to be such leadership training.
Lack of shared understanding about what they NEED to know and DO to be successful change agents?
Leadership challenge: learning gap: There is a disconnect between what we need to know and what we are prepared to do in influencing policy and politics.
Let’s define the language: (she read GOALS under each of them)
Policy = a course of action that is selected from various alternatives that influences decisions and practices
Politics = competition among interest groups or individuals for power or leadership
Power: the capacity to affect outcomes (by action, example, exercising one’s voice)
What is your visual picture of the ece field? Our experience will influence our picture. (She has a good slide in her power point. ) When they do workshops, classes and trainings they have folks draw it out, and then draw a new one a the end of the class… their pictures change!
We have to understand the whole system in order to be leaders!
Do we draw lines in the sand without having the necessary conversations??
The ages and stages of the ECE system (influences POLICY)
Fragmentation! We are meant to serve the same people but we have different amounts of money, rules, regs, policies, staff expectations, a whole array of expectations.
Why does the system look like this? How did it get that way? Leaders need to know this!
Future leaders must learn about external issues that influence ece:
Other issues drive policies that affect ece, it influences what we get and how we get it
Why were certain choices made?
What is going on in other countries? WHY?
Values held about children and families will influence $ allotment
Closing the achievement gap (influences POLICY)
This current elem ed push will influence ece (Duncan) etc.
Who really is in the sandbox? Why does that matter? Who are the leaders of the involved groups that are also in the sandbox? What is their experience? (all these things influence POLITICS)
Who is involved? Why?
What is the landscape?
If you are trying to make change, but you can’t identify the pieces of the system puzzle, you will NOT be effective.
Tables of Power (influences POLITICS)
Who is at the table? Who is competing? Who gains? Who looses? Who is FRAMING the conversation? And what is going on there? Who is missing from the table?
What other forces are at play?
Who is speaking for the field. Who gets to speak for us? But the strategy conversations (to change the WHO) are not taking place!
The other problem is that we might be ready to talk with them, but we don’t know where the table is! Do we have MAPS to the right tables?
What table of power influences your work?
Who is at the table?
What are the pathways to this table? Appointed? Elected?
What are their perspectives? Values?
How do they frame the convo? What VALUES and INTERESTS do they represent?
How can I influence this table? My relationships with them, their staff, colleagues, friends, families…
What are the INFORMAL connections as well?
Are their other tables that I need to think about? Shadow Tables… (and then ask all these questions about the shadow table too!)
Good point: this is the way it’s always been done, we are just NEW to it!
We are late to the party and traditionally have not been invited to the party!
There is a business side to what we do – warm and fuzzy ON ITS OWN will not pay the bills.
Relationships and PERCEPTION of the relationships! (she likes me, he doesn’t, etc.)
Is there a 4th P of PRACTICE?
“I like provocative questions”
Leadership Styles influence POWER
Men vs. women
Communication styles, learning styles, Age of people at the table (X, Y etc), the interplay of ethnicity, culture, gender, etc.
Is there room for applying a feminist LENS of leadership to creating ece leaders?
We have told a lie so many times that it is what we believe…
We can handle a room full of toddlers but have convinced ourselves we can’t talk to the policy makers!
We are seen as kumbayaa field.
We have not EXPECTED leadership from our talent pool. We have had to look outside of the field to cultivate our leaders. (and maybe? Got in the habit of thinking it comes from OUTSIDE ourselves??)
Are we engaged in real conversations? Not just meetings!
Is there room for acknowledging the POWER that already exists? Can we invite ourselves to the table? (she said conversation, community of practice and lens)
Early Care and Education (ece)
What keeps them (students? Providers? Existing ece teachers?) from being a leader?
Are those of us in this room who ARE already at the table actively looking for the ones who should be NEXT?
Are we looking for those who are coming next? Or threatened by them??!!
Day 1 Session #2
“WHERE IS THE PROFESSIONAL IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?”
Elaine Piper (Nashville, TN)
Barb Sawyer (Denver, CO)
Typically a FCC presentation (FCC is hungry for respect) – as they scream, (her words) “I are a professional!”
What are PD steps? And what is a profession? A professional?
Is NAEYC losing sight of their FCC members?? They asked former FCC to advocate for FCC specific trainings at the conferences.
Professional, non-professional and un-professional an article by Lilian Katz
(and we are back again talking about VERBIAGE!)
Does the community EXPECT us to not be “professionals”?
Printing T-shirts doesn’t make us a “professional”
Doctor vs. doctoring
Dentists vs. blacksmiths
At some point historically they too had this birth!
at what moment in time do we realize we are a professional?
ACTIVITY AT THE TABLE define these 2 words:
(the person) Professional: (noun) getting paid for offering a service, specific knowledge or training or expertise within a certain skill set, someone with a title, a career not a job, ethics, appearance, language, experience, universally accepted body of knowledge, collective understanding within a community of practice, can they demonstrate competency and understanding of the core body of knowledge related to the “profession”, can demonstrate understanding core competencies,
(the behavior they exhibit) Professionalism: (adjective, adventb) The attitude with which you do this, behaviors, characteristics, staying current with specifics relating to the area of expertise, ability and desire to share knowledge, disposition (maintaining currency), intrinsic motivation,
12 steps to increase professionalism within our profession:
STEP 1: Begin With The Person: How do we get people to think about how they fit into this larger field?
We say “fix me!”
We have to take ownership of the process of the importance
When really we need to see that something is not right and we need to something about it
Take responsibility for our actions
At what point is it OK to counsel them out for LACK of willingness to do this??
STEP 2: Get the family involved, educate their family, is the family undermining their desire to grow professionally?
“My mom doesn’t ’work’ she takes care of my friends!”
STEP 3: Extend to the parents/clients (this influences the community) and can perpetuate myths.
Just a _________
Have not sat on one yet
STEP 4: Reaching out in the community
The connections between other providers and ece… the realization that others DO THIS TOO can be very important for others.
United Way “born learning” campaign can be a link to the community
STEP 4 links directly with the info from the last session. Who is at the table? Power players. Invite them in to the center to see what you (they) (we) (us) do.
Perception shift. (No one questions the “professionalism” of the “teachers” at the “school” but the child care component… well, that’s another story!).
Must be willing to engage in the shameless self promotion of the good stuff happening in the program.
High quality care can happen in ANY building (so can non, for that matter)
STEP 5: Get turned on to training and education (professional development)
I still think though at some point if I have to constantly “get them excited” about it, they don’t belong there!
Education does not guarantee professionalism.
One shot workshops only “do” so much.
This led to some good discussion. A girl in the back gave the nurse story that, “you don’t get to be a nurse bc you are really good with patients.”
Yet the conversation is not consistent – even in the room there is no common acceptance of what should be happening.
There is a big disconnect when we say that we want to create LIFE LONG LEARNERS but we are not willing to do it.
We need to start expecting competency skills demonstrated to the community of practice before being allowed to do it…
Comment: trying to fund livable wages from parent pockets…
STEP 6: Grasp the importance of professional affiliations
Investing back in my own profession
STEP 7: Network at every opportunity
STEP 8: Seek Accreditation (program quality vs. individual quality)
Get vs. Be
Get Accreditated vs. Be Accreditated and to demonstrate this every day. Living what the acred standards are, highest quality care.
Ecers/Iters vs. Accreditation
Is there an argument here?
STEP 9: Read the Journals
STEP 10: Promote the Profession
STEP 11: Be vocal about the importance of worthy wages & equitability for child care
STEP 12: Be aware of the pitfalls
High turnover rate
Perception of our field
The exhausting part of the job
A last minute conversation emerged about venting, gossip, posting on FB etc.
We are getting there – we have a long way to go but we HAVE come far.
Day 1, Session #4
PLAYING AND LEARNING: what parents believe
With Laurel Bongiorno (Vermont)
“Preschool Parents Perceptions of Preschoolers Learning Through Play”
Rationale for the study:
a lack of play in the preschool curriculum
learning through play
ecological systems theory (Bronfronbrenner)
parental ethno-theory : anthropological term: how do parents know how to parent?
These are some of their beliefs:
Planned Play Activities
Play curriculum vs. learning curriculum
Learning through play
Results of one study:
Parents who value play have children with positive behavior and social skills during play
Parents held broader definitions of play
Parents included more structured activities as play
Stressed need for more studies
Stotz (2008) asked children what makes a good program:
Play with others
Play outside with room to run
In her preliminary interviews Bongiorno found that no one connected playing with cognitive development until prompted.
How do parents of preschool children perceive any connection between play and learning?
She anticipates that parents will “get” the social connection… but not sure about the other domains of cog, language/literacy, social-emotional, physical.
Is PLAY BASED is the wrong word? Do we need a different marketing campaign?
Physical play – rough and tumble play is deemed important but is not manifested in any curriculum!
Do we shoot ourselves in the foot by calling it PLAY…?
Yesterday was the first day I attempted to try on smaller clothes. My sister bought me a 2x t-shirt and a 1x Hawaiian shirt. I have been wearing sizes 3x and 4x for so long I was afraid to try them on right away. I slipped on the 2x t-shirt and it FIT! So who cares I was going to lunch with some…
Lesson Planning - notes from a workshop I attended
Lesson Planning Workshop
Presented by Stephanie Makke, Durant, OK, July 30, 2011
Parents ask, “What is my kid doing all day?” When teachers say, “PLAY!” Parents want to know, “When is he learning? And what are you teaching her?”
My comment: These questions (and our answering of them instead of clarifying!) perpetuate the MYTH that playing and learning are two separate things.
She stated that a lesson plan is an outline of how you intend to cover certain topics in the room, which helps you concentrate on the concepts you want the children to learn.
Lesson plan assists us in meeting social, emotional, cognitive, physical, literacy skills
Don’t make planning harder than it needs to be (she cautioned that we can be too focused on details)
Modify activities as needed to accommodate your classroom
Make sure activities are age appropriate
Must be flexible
Implement new ideas, toys and activities to fit your themes and (from me) your projects, interest areas, explorations…
Link books to activities (from me: as an example, after reading Little Blue and Little Yellowdo yellow and blue fingerpainting for art).
Organization is key
Think about the reasons for the lesson plan
Allow adequate time (for the children to engage in the activities)
Develop your plan with care
Flexible yet designed with care
Schedule assists children in feeling secure
The schedule assists parents in seeing how the child spends their day
Each day should be directed by the child and not the clock.
Parts of the Schedule:
Arrivals and departures
Allow for primary daily routines
Balance UP and down HIGH and low
Monitor and adjust as necessary
Lesson Planning Themes:
(they called out some things)
she walked them through an exercise of how to plan using emergent curriculum and webbing but didn’t refer to it as such.
Be sure you are planning for (she gave her “bones”):
(she wrapped up here by giving all in the room a lesson planning book)
PS: I tweeted during this session using #lessonplanning you can search this hashtag and see my tweets
PPS: I wrote a LISA MURPHY lesson planning “note” awhile back (January 17, 2011). If you search “lesson planning” on the blog you will find that article too
TOTALLY NOT A PART OF HER PRESENTATION AND ONLY PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: These are my “bones” meaning – the bareminimum of what we should be planning for:
Circle: books, songs, vote, game, who has any news
TT: wet & dry, both in and out
Science/Math: manipulatives, looking box, puzzles etc. (Small Motor)
Large Motor: movement games
Art: creation station, easel, teacher planned (but not required) project
TOTALLY NOT A PART OF HER PRESENTATION AND ONLY PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: These are the “bones” I assisted a school I was mentoring in creating as they started on the journey of being more emergent and child-centered:
CIRCLE TIME (language, literacy, music and songs)
SENSORY TUBS (dry and wet materials for exploration)
MATH/SCIENCE (sorting, counting, cooking, observing and predicting)
LARGE MOTOR OUTDOOR GAMES (socialization, physical development, cooperation, following directions)
FREE CHOICE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY (a “bigger” activity that might not be suitable to being done inside: bubbles, sidewalk chalk, parachute, etc.)
ART (self expression, exploration of various creative media, in addition to having an easel, two projects are planned for each day)
Nanny Position in #ROC: A friend needs an experienced #nanny for 3 boys in the afternoons/evenings and occasional weekend evenings too. expect to be interviewed and to talk specifically about your strengths with working for an all boy family! depending on how you found this post (it auto posts to facebook and twitter too!) message me and I will connect you with the client. #rochester #ece
Full disclosure: I saw this on a bulletin board in a teacher break room at an event I did in New Jersey in 2010. There was no author credit given. The teachers at the school graciously made me a copy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Teachers will enjoy it, parents should be informed and politicians should consider it. (Dentists should empathize.)
My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don’t forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I’ve got all my teeth. When I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he’d heard about the new state program. I knew he’d think it was great.
“Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?” I said. “No,” he said. He did not seem too thrilled. “How will they do that?”
“It’s quite simple,” I said. “They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist’s rating. Dentists will be rated as excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. The plan will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better,” I said. “Poor dentists who don’t improve could lose their licenses to practice.” “That’s terrible,” he said.
“What? That’s not a good attitude,” I said. “Don’t you think we should try to improve children’s dental health in this state?” “Sure I do,” he said, “but that’s not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry.” “Why not?” I said. “It makes perfect sense to me.”
“Well, it’s so obvious,” he said. “Don’t you see that dentists don’t all work with the same clientele, and that much depends on things we can’t control? For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don’t bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem, and I don’t get to do much preventive work.
Also, many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off, so many of my clients have well water, which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?”
“It sounds like you are making excuses,” I said. “I can’t believe that you, my dentist, would be so defensive. After all, you do a great job, and you needn’t fear a little accountability.” “I am not being defensive!” he said. “My best patients are as good as anyone’s, my work is as good as anyone’s, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most.”
“Don’t get touchy,” I said. “Touchy?” he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth. “Try furious! In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse.
The few educated patients I have who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating is an actual measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I’ll be left with only the most needy patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?”
“I think you are overreacting.” I said. “Complaining, excuse-making and stonewalling won’t improve dental health’…I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC,” I noted.
“What’s the DOC?” he asked. “It’s the Dental Oversight Committee,” I said, “a group made up mostly of lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved.” “Spare me,” he said. “I can’t believe this. Reasonable people won’t buy it,” he said hopefully.
The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, “How else would you measure good dentistry?” “Come watch me work,” he said. “Observe my processes.”
“That’s too complicated, expensive and time-consuming,” I said. “Cavities are the bottom line, and you can’t argue with the bottom line. It’s an absolute measure.” “That’s what I’m afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can’t be happening,” he said despairingly.
“Now, now,” I said, “don’t despair. The state will help you some.” “How?” he asked. “If you receive a poor rating, they’ll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out.” I said brightly.
“You mean,” he said, “they’ll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I probably had much more experience? BIG HELP!” “There you go again,” I said. “You aren’t acting professional at all.”
“You don’t get it,” he said. “Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score made on a test of children’s progress with no regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools.”
I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. “I’m going to write my representatives and senators,” he said. “I’ll use the school analogy. Surely they will see the point.”
He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I, a teacher, see in the mirror so often lately.
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