Workshops and Training

Because my focus has now shifted to writing exclusively, I no longer provide workshops and training for early childhood programs. But I decided to keep these pages on my website, because they, too, might be food for thought for you—as you mentor, coach, and teach your own colleagues. I’m pleased to share.

As with all training design and development, I begin with the end in mind. What do you or your team need, in order to do your work more competently, more successfully, more professionally?

  • Do you have a particular topic in mind or, do you need an objective set of senses to help identify what is needed?
  • Do you need more information about a specific topic?
  • Do you need help brainstorming possible solutions to a problem?
  • Do you need help executing the plan?

Once you know what you need – which should be the end result of the training – we can work backward to put a plan together. All of the services offered are custom designed to fit your particular program, your philosophy, your culture, so that they are relevant to the people who work with you. They have to fit in order to be successful. After we have completed the training, a follow-up conversation will help us evaluate whether or not we hit the mark. And, if needed, we’ll do some tweaking to make sure we’ve met with success.

The Workshops and Training Topics

Back to Basics
This is a series of very practical, yet motivational training sessions to get everyone on your team on the same page. This training is especially good at the start of a program or a new school year. Pick and choose individual sessions, or work with the entire nine sessions for a complete course. Each session can stand on its own. The sessions can cover the most important aspects of the topic or, can be developed in more depth – depending on your time frame. I have done this training in numerous ways and can offer many options to you. In addition, where appropriate, I can weave your philosophy, your procedures, and processes into the training, so that the training is uniquely yours. The following is a general outline.

The Philosophy
The foundation for every aspect of the program
The beliefs held
The values lived

The Staff
Finding them
Building a team
Growing and developing the team

The Parents
Building a mutually respectful partnership
Creating a community

The Children
Ages and stages of child growth and development
Developmentally appropriate environments, experiences, and activities

The Environment
Setting the stage
Creating thoughtful and inviting spaces where children live, grow, and thrive

The Rhythm of the Day
Processes and Procedures

The Planned and (not so planned) Program/Curriculum
Environment-based curriculum
Emergent curriculum
Developmentally appropriate experiences, materials, and activities

The Standards
Health and safety
State regulations
National accreditation
QRIS (Quality Rating Improvement System)
Best practices

Evaluation and Assessment
Of the children
Of the staff
Of the environment
Of the program

Other Training Topics

Building a Team
Experiential, motivational, and inspirational
This is a hands-on workshop, packed with activities that will enable us to look at our individual strengths in the context of learning about our colleagues as we begin to build a solid team.

Fostering Collaborative Relationships with Parents
Walking in their shoes
This training provides a wealth of information, skills, and strategies – to absorb, reflect upon, and practice. Some of the topics to be covered are: getting to know families; conveying positive messages to them; what parents can teach us about their children; partnering with parents; effective communication skills; strategies for intercultural communication; responding to challenging situations; dealing with misunderstandings; and, finally, a four-step strategy that pulls all of this together.

Building a Community – One Day at a Time
With the staff, families, and children
From brainstorming to actually shaping what we want our community to be, this hands-on workshop will set the stage for living and working together, as well as launching several special projects, events for the children, families, and staff of our program. This can be a combined parent-staff session, or individual sessions for each adult group.

Do Our Written Words Come to Life?
Connecting the dots so our philosophy is a living, breathing document
Through slides, unique materials, and technique, this training tells the story of how one program made the words on paper – the vision for its child care center – come to life. The method used to create inviting spaces for the children is both motivating and inspirational. And, it can be adapted to any program.

What Messages do We Send?
The many, many ways we communicate
Using humor and a light touch as you take a good look in the mirror, this workshop will help you understand the causes of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and misfires all around. And more importantly, how to correct them and communicate more effectively!

Keeping the Inner and Outer Me Balanced and Well
Inspirational, joy-filled, positive
Open your heart and learn some new techniques that will balance the inner and outer you, and, keep you healthy and well. A little breathing, a little stretching, a little yoga, and much more.

Building Trust – Earning Respect
How to make this happen
Often a new teacher’s lament is, “they don’t respect me!” Respect, as we know, is not given lightly, but earned – and the responsibility for earning it rests with the teacher. This self-reflective workshop will help participants look at their expectations and performance and, where appropriate, make the changes needed in order to build trust and earn the respect of those who matter.

Why Reggio Emilia?
Beginning this journey
What makes this experience, this philosophy, this way of thinking about children so very special? What makes the early childhood program excellent? Get ready to be inspired and influenced! This training will present the who, what, when, where, why, and how of Reggio Emilia, which includes: the image of the child; the connections and interconnections; teachers as partners; cooperation and collaboration; emergent curriculum; projects; documentation; and the role of space, materials, and experiences. It is an opportunity to learn, to reflect upon what we are currently doing in our own programs, to give thought and attention to another way, and to make some changes – if so inspired.
“We do not produce learning, but rather we produce the conditions for learning.”
Carla Rinaldi, Reggio Emilia Schools

The Importance of a Thoughtfully Designed Environment
Another way to think about space
The trend is toward creating more homelike spaces for young children using softness, natural colors, and elements from the natural world – beauty, highlighted by careful attention to detail. The trend is also toward thinking a bit out of the box with materials and activities. Through slides and pictures to study and discuss, and objects to touch and try out, this workshop is a blend of information, ideas, and hands-on designing.

What are Children Learning?
The #1 parent question
To help us make and articulate the case that, “Yes, children are learning – lots!” this training focuses on what children learn about literacy, math, science, the arts, and technology within the context of the unique environments, materials, activities, and experiences at the infant, toddler, and preschool levels.

Think Outside the Box and Turn Things Upside Down – Literally
Using materials and furnishings in new and creative ways
Open your mind to the possibilities! This experiential workshop will have participants looking at their old furniture, materials, and supplies through new lenses! And, in the process, creating interesting environments, activities and program!

The Importance of Order
A thoughtful approach to creating and maintaining the child care environment
This is feng shui for teachers! This workshop will bring the basic elements of feng shui into the classroom in order to create harmony and balance. This is a fun workshop that will transform your classrooms and the people who live in them.

De-Clutter Your Classroom and De-Stress Yourself
What happens when everything in the classroom has its own place?
It is amazing what happens to the behaviors of adults and children when clutter and chaos are eliminated from an environment. This is hands-on, active coaching IN the classrooms. The result is a deep breath of satisfaction and accomplishment. Let the magic begin!

Each training session is created for, and delivered to, the specific audience and venue for which it is intended. There is conversation at the beginning, so that together, we can shape an effective training event. And so, each workshop is unique, yet all are a blend of solid, researched information, real life experiences, participation, creative ideas, humor, and inspiration. If we’ve done our jobs well, teaching teams will begin to use what they’ve learned, the next day!

Leave a Reply