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Ooey Gooey, Inc. » Notes from Workshops I Attended » NAEYC PDI, Providence, 2011 (multiple topics)

NAEYC PDI, Providence, 2011 (multiple topics)


Providence, RI


Day 1, Session #2

POLICY, POLITICS AND POWER: why they matter for early childhood leaders


Marcy Whitebook (absent) and Lea Austin


Opened the conversation with the infamous, what brought you here?


  • The power and money are linked
  • Quality costs money
  • We are nurturers, not “powerful”
  • How do we play in the sandbox with them?
  • Advocacy became a commonly used reason
  • Teachers of college students who aren’t “political”


Develop leadership for the purpose of change

How can we create change agents?


Leadership Challenges:

New leaders

Who is replacing those who are leaving/retiring/transitions?

Are people in the pipeline?

Who is being prepared for the leadership positions?

Community building?


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!



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)


First thing they ask:


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!


  1. the pics are all diff
  2. we see it geographically
  3. chaos
  4. not connected
  5. fragmented


so when you start thinking about change, do we have to SEE it different first? Do we need to identify what it should look like first?  Is that why we are not changing? Because we are not really sure what is SHOULD look like?


We have to understand the whole system in order to be leaders!


Do we draw lines in the sand without having the necessary conversations??


Once again those who are pushing the policies are NOT ece people.  We are not brought to the table! She mentioned an initiative in CALIF that was going to create UPK that just exploded bc the ece players were not asked, lines were drawn in sand, chaos, fighting, etc.  Now it’s moving ahead with the lobbyists but still not the actual ece people.


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 ed pushes 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? (influences 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?


“Shadow 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 3



Elaine Piper (Nashville, TN)  who’s 3 yer old nephew went to “Caucasian Bubble School” this summer VBS!


Barb Sawyer (Denver, CO)


Typically a FCC presentation (FCC is hungry for respect) – as they scream, “We are a professional!”


NAFCC targets FCC and is only 30 years old


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?




(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,


Remember the man on the airplane?


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”).


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.


Professionalism pioneers.


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


Cultivating relationships


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 #3

PLAYING AND LEARNING: what parents believe


With Laurel Bongiorno, VT


“Preschool Parents Perceptions of Preschoolers Learning Through Play”


her dissertation!


Rationale for the study:


a lack of play in the preschool curriculum


so she went to parents who put their kids in naeyc accred centers


conceptual framework

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

Cognitive ability

Play curriculum vs. learning curriculum

Learning through play



Results of one study:

Parents who value play have children with pos behav and social skills during play


Indicated that this might be bc the HS program has a parent ed component (parent ed)


Another study

Parents held broader definitions of play

Parents included more structed activities as play

Stressed need fir nire studies


Stotz (2008) asked children what makes a good program:

Play with others

Engaging materials

Responsive teachers

Play outside with room to run


In her preliminary interviews Bongiorno found that no one connected playing with cognitive development until prompted. (and she had to define – read: dumb down) the phrase cog development.



The dad said he wanted his son to be able to navigate life.




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?


Kinder in Canada:  3.8 – 6


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…


Play with a purpose







Day 2, Session #1

LIGHT HOUSES NOT SLEDGEHAMMERS: Formulating, understanding and evaluating our unique teaching style in the light of external standards.


Holly Bruno & Delechia Johnson


Holly is sitting and watching and Delechia is leading the event.  (bummer) I really came here to hear her speaking style!



What was my journey?  How did I get here? Many of the current teachers didn’t have a childhood.  She is pointing out the “how can you give it if you didn’t GET it”


DAP for adults.  How to put people back thru their childhood to assist them in making connections. We are saying go out and get dirty and the teachers say WHY WOULD I DO THAT?


Spent a lot of time with her staff talking about THEIR childhood.

Did you choose this profession?  Were you forced?  IS this your calling or a paycheck?


Were you guided to this job, or were you hammered into it… ??


You might not need a lot of education, but you need a lot of skill.


Would you go to a brain surgeon who is 18 and a hs graduate? We put our oldest and your youngest in the hands of entry level people (CNA and FCC)


The microwave mentality is transferring to our teaching style; push a button and get it done.



(ME) To transform the industry through relevant PD and connecting educators to the info and resources they need to do this…


Revisit the philosophy statement (or write one)


What aspect of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

Hearing the stories of how they went back and implemented the info and saw that it worked!


(Steal this) for staff development: WHAT ARE MY GIFTS? Then my colleagues added to it…


But I’m just watching my grandkids, why do I need a CDA, why don’t the grandkids deserve it???!?!?


What is their educational experience and history?  We don’t know but we push push push and tell them you signed them up for CDA (Sledge hammer) yesterday!


Strong willed


Fall into peer pressure…

I am going to do it bc I know it is the right thing to do

(shoe/boot example) one of 2 things: 1) so what?! Or: 2) that wasn’t a good idea


Let’s identify the gifts at the table before we get so focused on what the state is asking us to do.


What do we want?  Obedience? Compliance?


How do we point out the personal disconnects between theory and practice?


Tasking – you said lessons are due each Tuesday, so I did it, but I don’t understand why it was being asked of me.. and I don’t know how to implement it.


I don’t know what it is, but I know it when I see it…. What are the three components of DAP?


When I put someone in a position, do I mean it?


Who are really the change agents? Vs. who do I WANT to be the change agent?


We need to honor their history, and knowing it will assist us as we work with them


Can GROUP THINK be a detriment to growth?


If we are going to hell in a hand basket why not try something new?


Using rating scale to push the agenda that they should have been doing anyway – using it to say, “Now you have to do more….” And dealing with the possible staff turnover fallout because of it.


The benefit of a QRS rating scare:  Articulates expectations without any emotional bias. Removes the impression of certain expectations being a personal preference. (example: sleeping during naptime)


What aspect of your job gives you the most frustration?

I am just like you!


Sometimes we are very good with kids, but not adults


What keeps you from being as effective as you would like to be in your position?


How do we create a climate that allows us to talk about our struggles? Find PD that really meets what you need! Stop taking the same things over and over… where are the holes?  FILL THEM!


When you are interested in something you do it when it’s convenient.   When you are committed to something you accept no excuses, only results.


What are the qualities and characteristics of a QUALITY child care teacher?


(can we even list them?)


how do YOU (in interview) contribute this list?


AS a teacher trainer/PD we must broaden our circle and really start to understand why they can’t do what we have asked them to do… (she taught her first teacher training class and realized (my words) the shallowness of the talent pool)


“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

-Will Rogers




demonstrate an understanding of child development and apply this knowledge in practice


be able to observe and assess children’s behavior and use this info to individualize the curriculum


plan and implement a DAP program that promotes growth in all areas of development


DAP guidance and group management techniques


Be able to establish and maintain relationship with families in the program


Demo an understanding of and support the role of family culture and society in the development of children


Demo and understand of and make a commitment to the profession of ece (code of ethical conduct)



*Young Children, Sally Cartwright July 1999 v54 n4 pgs 4-7, 1999


Inner security



Theoretical understanding of ece

General knowledge

Warmth and respect for children (not “loving”)

Unconditional caring


Healthy Detachment


Model for children



** I would add COMMON SENSE to this list or make sure that general knowledge included it


Let’s broaden our definition of AT RISK – some kids have everything physically but nothing emotionally – are they really any way less at risk


How do you help people who are living DAY TO DAY to flourish (F*$#@! your 5 year plan!)


If you are there to look at room arrangement don’t focus on the crappy language interaction.   Look at what you are there to see!


What do we value and believe?


Past experiences shape who we are now: family, culture, friends, school, church, social groups, scouts, culture etc.


How do these experiences mold and shape our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs about ourselves? Our cultural group? Our children? Other people?


We filter with our experiences!


(transition into an ethical exercise)


Stages of teacher development!






** info is more detailed on the handouts






Day 2, Session #3



Karen Nemeth, Deb Stewart, (Teach Preschool) Fran Simon (She is the one who wrote the article that D. Levin wanted me to respond to)


#bnw for live tweeting


Build Credibility


drive traffic

raise money

get and share info

get and share news

respond to problems

share ideas

build partnerships


the personal vs. the professional


are my social media goals for personal very diff from professional?

What do I want to achieve with social media? Both pers and prof?

Set goals… and start there


Don’t just post info… have a CONVERSATION


Inexpensive MYTH

Immediate MYTH

Low barrier to entry

And pervasive REALITY

And has potential for high-impact REALITY

Build it and they will come MYTH


Targeted followers, interested in what they say.


How much to share:



80: most of what you share is general information, not nec about the company specifically.  Followers come to trust that you have quality and value in your message


20: promotion of goods and services


What to share?



Email newsletter





Other social media


Cross pollenate


Parents can see on FB how the play is the learning!


Use FB for what?
Stay motivated

Define beliefs

Find/share training tools

Build/develop vision

Foster relationships

Outreach to families

Why would you have a FB page and NOT a blog??


Your job is to know who else is out there – it’s not about keeping a secret.  Don’t be the keeper of the info… share ALL the info!  Not just yours!


Be sure your website is linked on all youtube posts



Articles I’ve/others written

Books I’ve read

Conference updates

*** how can you use these messages to start the blog?




When it comes to blogging:  READ THEM  QUOTE IT  LINK IT




Less formal

Allow/invite fcomments


Weave in links to other sites

Focused current topical

Updated frequently


**blog is communication and links and jump to them and back to you – the communication and conversation is the point.




One to many communication

Reviewed and edited

Intended to keep you on the site

Comprehensive goods, services, products

More static


SEO: search engine optimization


RSS feed:  really simple syndication a way to collect links to blogs and be notified when they are updated.  Collects the sites and blogs that you follow in one place so you can see what is new.


  1. create a home for new posts GOOGLE READER
  2. set up connection between my reader and the favorite sites SUBSCRIBE


How to start blogging:

read read read other blogs RSS subscribe

start with YOUR passion

find a blog platform (wordpress)

link to site and Social Media

connect with other bloggers

what do people want?



Provider hosted (free)


Self hosted (paid)



Make your blog title NOT cutsie

THINK about your title


When it comes to your BLOG it’s about being FOUND, not so much “creative”


H1 tag: title = key word rich


You can use the same blog title as someone else…


You should google it and see if it’s already being used!


How often? Frequently! Twice a week at least.  Can schedule the blog posts too!


Link bet FB and blogging and then get to twitter!




140 char

be the cream that rises to the top


how you u support PD with 140 char?



We aren’t giving PD, we are encouraging it!



Day 2, Session #4





Elena Bodrova, Deborah Leong (absent)


Tools of the Mind


Play develops at certain levels

Self regulation

Play doesn’t spontaneously emerge in young children but requires scaffolding….


She feels play is emerging BACK into the dioscourse….


Play is not a 4 letter word anymore, we have play reserach


Scientifically based play research.


We know that play is disappearing from ece classrooms and often replaced by drill and kill (yet she just said that it’s re-emerging in the discourse…)


If we want children to develop soc/emot and acad successful we need to make sure there is play in classrooms.


On the road to playful pedagogy…



Thinking that any play is “good” play

Only fully developed or mature play is the kind of play that pos affects acad skills and self reg


Play we see in many classrooms does not fit the def of “mature play”


Playful behavior vs. play


Play (read: mature play) does not emerge spontaneously


The decrease in adult mediation of make believe play affects not one but all of the components (??)


Today’s social situation (read: lack of mixed age groupings) almost guarantees that children may not dev mature play unless special play scaffolding is provided.



When the toys do everything for the kids, there is not language, no imagination… etc.


Scaffolding cannot mimic what they used to get with mixed ages:

Same age group

Short time frame

Many kids missing MORE than just play skills



Make Believe play

Children create imaginary sit

Take on roles and act out the roles

Follow set a rules, etc.


ELKININ kept Vygotsky’s work alive



Scaffolding play w/infants:

Choose appropriate toys

Engage in joint-object oriented activities

Promote language (words and gestures)



Scaffolding play w/toddlers:

Help the child to generalize object-oriented actions

Introduce non-structured props

Introduce simple scripts

Model language associated with pretend actions


Voices, actions, scenarios

The child can animate the materials



Scaffolding play w/preschoolers:

Is built on the foundations developed in infancy and toddlerhood

May continue to develop or may exist in immature forms only

The language is developed and doesn’t require props


PRoPELS: is used within Tools of the Mind: a framework for assessing and scaffolding play


Planning: do children plan their play in advance?

Roles: can sustain a specifc role and how elaborate it is

Props: can children generate and use symbolic props

Extended time frame: how long does the play last

Language: do children use speech consistent with their roles

Scenario: how elaborae is the scenario they created



STAGES are on the website


Then she walked each STAGE through the PRoPEL framework

Would it be possible to assume that children who have been in RICH classrooms with lots of props, time, language and involved teachers would reach these stages without such theoretically specific interventions??



Using play to teach, promoting play for its own sake…


Play used in the service of something else… IS NOT THE BEST


Not play FOR something, play in and of itself.


Beware of play imposters!

When teachers feel that the more play stuff they have increases the amount of play

When things are associated with playful characters

When most of the actives are in fact teacher director but there is not free play and no imagination and no creativity.


A worksheet by any other name is still a worksheet


The most educational component is the adult, not a toy.





NAEYC board member opened by saying there is a rumor that next year at PDI they will ban all power points and all presenters must dress up like biker chicks.


Laura Morana closing speaker Red Bank, NJ


Gave overview of her town then transitioned into the frame for the day:


Three circles:






Teachers and Instructional Coaches (master teachers)

Improved Student Outcomes

What is the state if the current reality? (problems and challenges)

Conduct a discrepancy analysis (what is the transformation needed)

Identify the vision (standard of excellence)


Everything by design, not chance.


The biggest error leaders make is when they apply technical means to solve adaptive challenges HEIFETZ 2003


We may be unable to bring about the changes we want because we are diagnosing our aspirations as technical when in reality it is an adaptive challenge.


Transitioned from traditional report cards to a work sampling assessment and reporting system. Wanted to be more DAP with the pre-K – 3.


She holds a monthly press conference in her small town.



She seemed to gloss over the realistic concern that a 3s and 4s program on the elem campus will take business away from local centers and FCC.  “But it will be a high quality pre-K program”  increasing the divide and perpetuating the myth that “real learning” doesn’t happen in the centers and the FCC.


“seemless transition into K”


“responsible for creating alignment with K – 3”


“increasing recognition of 3rd grade as a crucial turning point in their educational trajectories


immediate impact of PD:  As a result of this training WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?


She asks what will we do to lead and sustain the change process….  Yet we are not clear really on what we want to change or what is should look like.




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