Wow! What a day! Our second annual conference came together beautifully on October 19th at ECC’s South Campus, when 250 early childhood educators and a team of volunteers spent a sunny Saturday CHOOSING JOY.
- Dr. Lynn Lubecki, Early Care and Education Strategies Director for Rochester’s Children’s Institute, set the tone for the day with a beautiful message about mindfulness and choosing joy, and understanding that all behavior is communication. It was the perfect message to carry with us throughout the day — and always.
- The Track 1 agenda focused on attachment and interactions, reminding us that all learning happens within the context of relationships. Whether you were learning more about child development with Bridget & Kim, discussing routines and expectations with Maryann & Kelly, making music with Megan, or adding teaching strategies to your toolbox with Denise & Gerald, the recurring themes were warm, positive interactions, meaningful relationships, and the benefits of choosing joy.
- The Track 2 agenda was equally focused on social-emotional learning. Lindsay reminded us of the importance of understanding love languages, Shannon & Amanda added some preventative strategies to our toolkits, and Sharon, Kelly, and Caitlin, the fabulous team from Best Self, introduced us to the power of PCIT and TCIT.
- Last but not least, every option for the culminating session was a powerful opportunity to ensure that you could apply what you had learned:
- The make & take made it possible for teachers to bring content directly to children (you can’t go wrong with a sock baby or a Tucker Turtle). A million thanks to Silvia for organizing!
- The Leadership Debrief focused on how managers can support program-wide implementation with small, incremental steps. Christina was happy to facilitate on behalf of DAL.
- Vito and Sarah‘s yoga session was the perfect self-care component. As they said, a joyful classroom requires a joyful you!
Thank you to everyone who shared this day with us, including the tireless committee members and volunteers, the local businesses who kindly donated gift cards and other giveaways, and our generous sponsors. We extend special thanks to:
- ECC for sharing their campus with us,
- the Children’s Guild Foundation for their financial support
- the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County for processing our registrations
- ECE Solutions for sponsoring our t-shirts, and
- to Team Worldwide for sponsoring breakfast.
It’s truly a pleasure to be building joyful classrooms with all of you.
- Looking for copies of presenters’ slides? You’ll find them in our site’s Helpful Handouts tab.
- Want to follow up with one of the presenters? Send us a Facebook message and we will connect you.
- Did you complete our feedback survey yet? It only takes 2 minutes, but it is super helpful as we plan for future events. (PS – if you have completed it, thank you — we hear you and we appreciate you!)
- As a small group of volunteers, taking on an event of this size was a challenge — but as they say, teamwork makes the dream work! We recognize that there were some logistical challenges and we’ll learn from them — we’re already planning our 2020 calendar!