Over the summer break I was given the opportunity to travel to Baltimore, Md. for a professional conference in Early Childhood Education. The conference was sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development was a great conference for individuals teaching in preschools or elementary schools and for those who are instructors in these fields. This conference taught me a great deal and I felt it was a very worthwhile experience.
I went to sessions with topics regarding advocacy, nature in early childhood, and powerful interactions. Our plenary session featuring Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, was politically charged. All sessions offered a learning opportunity for myself to bring back to work with me.
One of the sessions that stood out to me was on Advocacy in Early childhood. I find this to be an interesting topic, because I try to integrate advocacy into all of my courses. It is important for early childhood as a field to advocate for children’s rights and the education that we are offering to them. So this session gave us information on finding our message and speaking to legislatures. I will be integrating some of the ideas from this session into my Home, School, and Community course. Many students have to complete a service learning project and attend an Advocacy Day for this course.
Danyle Watkins, assistant professor, early childhood education