Buy-in, By Now
Formal and informal curricula undergo transient phases within a classroom for myriad reasons. The introduction of a new curriculum typically sparks enthusiasm among those involved in its selection, contrasted by a potential reluctance from others. The key to successful curriculum utilization lies in garnering universal support and ensuring a timely and seamless implementation process. Failure to achieve this jeopardizes both staff continuity and the overall success of the curriculum. In this training session, participants will be acquainted with evidence-based practices aimed at proficiently preparing, implementing, and sustaining a new curriculum within their classroom and program. The focus will extend to securing staff buy-in and fostering dedication to ensure a harmonious integration
It Takes a Community
Families and professionals alike acknowledge that children flourish best when embraced by a metaphorical “village” of love and care. However, in the realm of education, these villages often exist in isolated silos, with members assigned varying degrees of social and monetary worth. Despite their pivotal role in fostering high-quality and meaningful inclusive education, disparate standards, resources, and levels of respect persist. This training endeavors to enlighten participants on collaborative teaming models, diverse approaches to leadership and followership, and techniques aimed at cultivating a unified community of adults. This community is envisioned to collectively support the optimal growth and development of children, fostering an environment where mutual support and understanding thrive.
Providing New Staff with a Firm Grounding
The commonly employed metaphor for new teachers is to “hit the ground running,” implying a seamless transition into their roles. However, the stark reality is that due to insufficient preparation for the classroom curriculum, the diversity inherent in children and families, and the expectations of a new program, teachers find themselves without a solid ground to run on. Instead, they are thrust onto a metaphorical treadmill set at 100 miles per hour with a 30° incline. This training aims to equip participants with techniques to overhaul the onboarding process, instilling empowerment right from the beginning. The focus is on creating a workplace culture that genuinely reflects and leverages the unique strengths of each employee.
Throughout my twelve years dedicated to working with children with disabilities or those who are neurodivergent and their families, I’ve garnered a multitude of invaluable lessons. These lessons have served as guiding lights, steering me forward when I felt the inclination to turn left, right, backward, or even succumb to the ground in frustration. This training offers a personal glimpse into my journey as a teacher within and beyond inclusive settings. Participants can expect to gain insight into the core of my commitment to inclusion, which permeates my roles as an author, researcher, professor, and father.
Working with Families: From apart to A part of the classroom
While the term “family-centered services” is widely recognized in the profession, I’ve come to realize over the years that it falls short when aiming to cultivate authentic relationships with families. The issue lies in how family-centered services often depict families as a distinct entity detached from the classroom. The undeniable reality, however, is that children are perpetually connected with their families, and vice versa. In this training, I delve into the concept of a “child in the context of family-centered services,” emphasizing the significance of this subtle mindset shift. Participants will gain access to new tools and resources designed to foster environments where teachers can establish meaningful connections with every family, working collaboratively to provide the optimal care and education for each child.
Using Stories to Change Hearts and Minds
Narrating stories stands as the quintessential human superpower. Despite what many educators may believe, they possess this formidable ability. Stories don’t necessarily require length or groundbreaking plots; what’s crucial are the right ingredients. When these components are skillfully blended and set to “bake,” the resulting narrative has the potential to influence and transform the perspectives of staff, families, community members, and even skeptics. This training is designed to equip participants with an understanding of these essential story elements and how to effectively apply them to their daily work.
The narratives and insights gleaned from my experience as an early childhood professional serve as the foundation for events centered on crafting top-tier learning encounters for children, encompassing both those with and without disabilities, through the application of research-backed methodologies. Through my keynotes, I aim to not only open but also broaden participants’ perspectives on inclusion. My overarching objective is to motivate listeners to integrate research-based practices, fostering the delivery of authentic, high-quality, and meaningful inclusive experiences for every child, family, professional, and community member.