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Ooey Gooey, Inc. » Notes from Workshops I Attended » NAEYC PDI Conference, Phoenix, 2010 (multiple topics)

NAEYC PDI Conference, Phoenix, 2010 (multiple topics)

Notes from the NAEYC PDI Conference, Phoenix, June 2010


Unless otherwise indicated (as in “SIDEBAR” or, “emphasis mine,” or “my comment”) the language here is from the presenters.


In General:

These are ALL my comments:


The potential ethical ramifications of not being DAP, or even more, choosing to not engage in DAP behavior, and even deeper still, choosing the non-DAP action even when we know it’s not “right”.


The need for teachers to be “taught” how to be a part of a team and how to be co-teachers. How to teach them how to co-teach, co-plan, share space, etc.


Slight frustration with the overuse of the following lingo:




“at the table”



The idea that there is a difference between “assisting and supporting” and “doing it for them” (helping) when it comes to coaching.


First do no harm


That there might really be innate teacher dispositions and (referring to #1 above) how are we “doing harm” by keeping warm bodies instead of people who are of the disposition to do this job.    SIDEBAR:  this theme emerged again in October when I attended the Gesell Conference at Yale – those notes have been posted already.



Session  #1

10 Tips For Coaching Adults

Joy Humbarger and Amanda Schwartz


The presenters went through 10 ways to assist in coaching.


They identified 5 initial thoughts essential when coaching another person:


  1. How do adults take in information?
  2. Communication is crucial
  3. Relationship is key
  4. Identify your core beliefs
  5. How do we approach those who we are to coach?


The 10 tips emerged from these 5 foundational elements


Tip #1: Establish a safe and supportive environment

Tip #2: Build a relationship

Tip #3: Consider them capable

Tip #4: Observe with an open mind

Tip #5: Ask questions and actively listen

Tip #6: Convey their strengths first

Tip #7:  Help them connect behaviors with results

Tip #8: Investigate together

Tip #9: Nurture their work on their goals

Tip #10: Reflection




Session #2

Making Time For Play: assessing our daily schedule, curriculum development and balance of child- and teacher-directed activities


Debra Lawrence


MINE:  This entire session was fantastic.


Its time to put what we know back into practice


How are we wasting children’s time?


Our work is complex. It is not babysitting. And not everyone can do it.

Early childhood is a specialty.  It is not watered down elementary training.


Out job is to facilitate, not teach


Our job is NOT to get kids ready for kinder, but to give them the foundation of how to be a learner.


First she had us WRITE OUT our daily schedule.


Then she had us do a “walk about.”  She had placed big pieces of paper on the walls with questions for us to respond to:


How do children learn?

What do children like to do?

            How often do we facilitate these things?

What do children NOT like to do?

            How often do we make them do these things?

What should children know how to do before going to kinder?

How do I remember playing?

How do I support children’s learning?


Then she asked,

What are the difficult times of your day?

How often are they linked to times when children are made to do that which they do not want to do??


Look back at your schedule:

Draw a CIRCLE around the “difficult” parts of the day

Draw a BOX around the “not like to do” parts of the day

Draw a STAR next to what they “like” to do


She said true child-centered places are where the teacher has NOT TOUCHED ANY OF THE MATERIALS. How much of our day is really child-centered?


“sit for a long time” = 3 ½ minutes


DAP kinder’s are less stressful than the non-DAP ones. (FROM ME: I’d like a source for this)


  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Innovative
  • Creative thinker
  • Intrinsically motivated

We SAY we want these things for children yet continue to facilitate environments and develop curriculum that HINDERS it.


Why do we SAY one thing and DO another? She asked this out loud and a participant said, “Because of conferences like this.”  I spoke to him privately later and he offered more, “the reason this conference contributes to the disconnect of theory and practice is because there is no conversation between researchers and practitioners.” Then he shared that the AERA Conference (American Ed. Research Ass’n) is where we need to be and that 2010 was the 1st year that “teacher-research” was accepted as a topic.


PS:  when it comes to “research” we MUST ask – WHO paid for it? And, was it the 20% who supports our bias?


Give me your curriculum – I’ll make it DAP!


Children might need a prop to self regulate.  What’s the matter with that? A blanket, a lovey, a woobie… VS. biting, chewing on shirt, etc.  why are we so quick to make them relinquish their lovies??


MY COMMENT:  I started wondering if the “need” for tools of the mind was linked to the absence of environments that allow children to learn to self regulate on their own since TRUE DAP/child-centered environments with teachers who are paying attention, inherently promote self regulation.


She had an “always” part to her circle time – like my “circle time sandwich”


They ALWAYS moved their picture from “home” to “here”

They ALWAYS voted on something (random!)

They ALWAYS then graphed the results of this vote

They ALWAYS read books

They ALWAYS sang some songs


What themes do you “do” every year?  Why?


Why do we assume children want to learn something that they have shown no interest in? (MY COMMENT:  because it allows us to use our “box of goodies” and feel important like we are “teaching”)


Every time we interrupt engaged children we are breaking the cycle of learning.


When you give them the cash register (toy) you are preventing them from figuring out that they need one.


When a child asks, “how do you spell _______________ ?” what do you (instinctually) do?

You SHOULD be getting a dictionary.  Why don’t we?


MY THOUGHT:  Because we still do NOT believe than nothing else could possibly be more important….


She said that 3rd gr. Reading scores are look at to determine prison bed counts 15 years in the future (MY COMMENT: I’d like a source)


Curriculum needs to be driven by the children yet framed by expectations.


Know your craft and be true to it.



Session #3

What should be the next step in achieving effective early childhood governance?


Stacie Goffin, Jana Martella


Lots of Systems Theory based lingo


Governance of ECE and how to brainstorm (not fix) solutions to the systems “issues” facing our profession.


They asked if we are bringing cohesion or adding to the fragmentation of our


They posed many questions and facilitated discussion:  what is governance?; What should (in the “system” of ECE) be governed?; how much structure matters?; what is the function of governance?; what are you (the industry of ECE) willing to be governed on?; Are we willing to tell an outside agency “we are willing to let you govern these things: x, y, z.”; Can you be “quality” but not “effective”? and vice versa?; for what and to whom is the governance accountable?; are we willing to make choices to bring about cohesion within the “system” of ECE?


There is governance and there is managing the governance’s apparatus…


They said they did not have the “answers.”



Session #4

Leading Today for Tomorrow: intelligent improvisation for the children of 2020


Sue Bredekamp, Barbara Bowman, Luis Hernandez, Valora Washington


FROM ME:  Great overview of the book “Children of 2020.  Since I have recently read the book and posted comments here in the “notes” section I have opted to not repeat many of the comments made as their presentation was about the book; just the highlights.


Elizabeth Jones and Valora Washington have both written (paraphrased) that we as ECE providers have made so much progress that everyone wants to tell us what to do.


Nostalgia is dangerous.


Is our “vision” limited only the circle of ECE?


How do you “get ready” for a world that has not been created or jobs that have not been invented?


Seek out current and verifiable information.


Young teachers don’t know what they don’t know


We have some new thoughts about some old ideas.


Read everything that challenges your assumptions and be courageous enough to change your mind when necessary.


When you take a stand it must be knowledge based.  Develop a habit of inquiry.  Can you confirm your bias?  Are you willing to CHANGE it if continual evidence of the opposite, if in fact changing (albeit difficult) is in the best interest of the child(ren)?


Emotion should not be leading the discussion.


Be public with your knowledge base and then operationalize it.


Children are pretty much the same.  What we know about them (and how they learn) is.



Session #5

Teacher Dispositions: a conversation about emerging research, fostering change and implications for professional development systems


Valerie Dawkins Krajec, Billie Young, Martha Zazlow


“Intention” is essential


She gave a definition of “disposition” – a tendency or inclination; the prevailing tendency of ones’ spirit; natural mental/emotional outlook; state of mind regarding something.


MY QUESTION:  Is there a difference between “temperament” and “disposition”?


Do we try to make someone fit because we need a body in the toddler room?  Is motivation context based?


Is “motivation” different than “disposition”? Does it influence? Does one lead to the other?


We need to ask if the “belief” change or only the behavior? Does it matter?  Should it?




Session #6

Miles To Go: the role of two- and four-year teacher preparation programs in developing effective practitioners


Barbara Bowman, Jana Fleming, Aisha Ray, Melanie Wiley


They started by saying that as teacher educators (most are college professors of some capacity) we are in the position to make so much change; yet we don’t.  Why?  Do we not want to?  Do we not know what to do?


They quoted some Marx and some Mann and then dove into what we are NOT teaching teachers that they should be being taught at the univ/college level.  Much of it revolved around issues of “diversity” in the full definition of the word – not just ethic diversity.  They presented evidence that most 2 and 4-year teacher training programs are not providing enough diversity training.


Development occurs in the context of culture.


They offered three items we can’t but DO, forget:

1)   cultural/language identity

2)   home culture should be used

3)   skills of power should be taught (they offered literacy and “school based English” as 2 examples of “skills of power”)


they identified 18 categories of “diversity”


They asked how intentional we are in signaling to young teachers what we expect of them…  do we send the message that they (we) are responsible to be aware of these layers of diversity?


They suggested that higher ed programs are teaching to a “typical” child


Their stated challenges to developing a competent workforce:


  1. there is no clear definition of “ece” as a profession
  2. low salaries
  3. high turnover
  4. lack of a clearly defined knowledge base of what it means to be “well qualified” to teach in a classroom (and to be aware of the previously stated layers of diversity)
  5. the structure of institutes of higher learning makes it difficult to institute change
  6. the current political climate at state and local levels (= budget)


They referenced: Challenging Myths About English Language Learners by Espinoza


SIDEBAR:  It was interesting to go back and review this information and data after attending the LAST session I attended (about Gen Z, Gen Y (Millennials), etc.)




Session #7

Changing our strategies to connect with the millennial generation as preservice and in-service teachers


Candace Jaruszewicz, Barbara Mezzio, Mary Sciaraffa


An overview of Trads, Boomers, Gen X-ers, and Gen Y-ers (Millennials)


There are digital natives, and digital immigrants

(one lady joked that she is applying for a visa!)


Traditionalists (1927-1945)

The “silent” generation



Hard work


Respect authority

Law and order (not the show)

They follow the rules



Baby Boomers (1946–1964)

Roughly 75 million of them



Civil rights

Cuban missile crisis


Walk on moon


Kent State


“the pill”

stay at home moms

princess phones

3 channels on the TV

rabbit ears

slide rules


news was on at 6pm


Boomer Values





They coined the phrase “workaholic”

You HAD to be at the office – no fax, cell phones, etc.



Gen X-ers (1965-1976)

Roughly 45 million of them


Challenger disaster

Christa McAuliffe

Berlin wall

Desert Storm I

LA Riots

Latch key kids

Dual income parents


sesame street


Huge personal computers



Silicon valley


Ryan White

VCR (blinking 12:00)

Huge cell phones




Opportunity driven

Loyal to a field not a company





“Casual Friday”

creative fun

like feedback

they question loyalty to one company

got college degree

highly educated

learned how to invest in themselves

job hop

transferable skills

value quality of life over high paycheck



Gen Yers (1976-2000)



lock down schools

Tim McVeigh

24/7 access to news and information

value social time with friends and family

life is fleeting

not sure what is coming next

their “terror” is on the “home front” ours was “over there”

text to feel connected

they demand autonomy of ideas, self and behavior


don’t follow traditional chain of command

had a comfortable prosperous young life

got what they wanted



digital natives

don’t know life without tech/internet, etc.

used to instant gratification and feedback



Homelanders (sometimes called iGen)

Born between 2000-2020

Possibly the new “silent’ generation


The oldest wave is 10/3rd 4th grade

2016 workforce entry


have known no life without airport security

have always been aware of 911

2nd generation to grow up with constant technology


they are experiencing the economic depression


there is a prediction among social scientists that this group will mirror the Traditionalists (The Greatest Generation) in efforts of gowing green, gardening, DIY-ing, recycling, low cost entertainment, park, hikes, etc.


homelanders are moving away from the overindulgence of Gen X/Y


typically we only see 4 generations at a time





their yearbooks are online

email = snail mail

they text and are on FaceBook

they have helicopter parents

they want quick decisions and have different views on “going through the proper channels”

parents go to job interviews with them

they HOVER to keep their kids off drugs (?)

millennial characteristics are a by-product of this kind of parenting

they respond to mentoring and coaching bc it’s professional helicoptering

great networkers

they get what they want in a non-traditional way

systems busters

the way it “used to be done” is not how they do it


47 million millennial


like to work in groups but it can be a “virtual” group

don’t need to see or know you

positive and instant reinforcement

democratic homes (they got to pick where the family went on vacation)

everyone’s a “winner”!

over emphasis on their self esteem

they want input into how they are doing and then want the independence to do it but need constant touch-back time

we trained them to expect gold starts, and they still need them

generally optimistic

generally positive attitudes

grew up with many layers of diversity at home, school, media

they are consumer driven and are hugely targeted by marketers

they have (potentially) a lack of role models


they filter constantly


they respond to:

positive language




technology (but not email)

goals (what do I need to get to the end)


they don’t know what they don’t know

(eg: caps in email and text-speak and being on time for work)


action words

challenge them

they need free reign within the framework of the task

resent language of “being too young” and people who talk down to them

seek feedback constantly


ask for their feedback

they WILL change but need the reinforcement

don’t take yourself too seriously around them

encourage them to risk

explore new ways of learning

they thrive with teamwork


take responsibility for your (us) learning styles and communicate preferences

tell them what your expectations of them are!


They will challenge us and keep us on our toes.


Don’t stereotype that all Y-ers are tech savvy

We need to consider succession plans – this is the crop!


They have an 8-minute attention span

They are in Erickson’s Young Adult stage (18-35)

Intimacy and solidarity vs. isolation


Give them the TOP 5 bullet points


They are:


Educationally minded


Socially conscious

Achievement oriented



NOT linear minded – they springboard

Don’t isolate them – e them, text them, twitter them, etc.


They need JUST IN TIME training

NOT just in case training.  Give them feedback on the spot.


Check out:  Vision of Students Today and U@50

Both are on YouTube


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