The Teacher Preparation Department hosted a series of free workshops and lectures to mark the Week of the Young Child, April 14-17. It was a week-long opportunity for students and community members to learn more about children and it catered especially to those who are in the field of early childhood. The events took place in Higbee Hall on the college’s main campus and were open to the public.
Last Tuesday, the topic was ‘Working as a Team When Children Need Behavior Support’ presented by Cecile Gleason, an early childhood special education consultant and assistant professor at the College of Saint Rose in Albany. She discussed the role of student teacher when children need support to get along with peers in their classroom, how to participate in activities, and regulate behavior. On Wednesday, the topic was ‘Brain Breaks: Movement Activities That Help Children Focus and Learn” presented by Meg Smith a full-day kindergarten teacher at St. Pius X School in Loudonville. The workshop introduced movement techniques to assist children in refocusing, reenergizing, and learning in the classroom.
Thursday, a presentation “Starting Your Own Child Care Business” was given by Anne Gresco, a child care provider for over 22 years. She owned and operated a center of her own own and for the last 15 years has been serving as a consultant for the Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council with a focus in family child care. She shared a bountiful experience about getting the process of starting a family or group child care business with the attendees.
The last workshop, “The Sensory Diet” was held on Apr. 17 and presented by Paula Buchanan, a licensed speech language pathologist and teacher for the deaf who has been serving the capital district for 28 years. She discussed what “sensory” means, how to avoid sensory information and children who crave continuous sensory input. She explained the seven sensory systems and how they interact and integrate.
“We definitely learned a lot this week from these series of lectures and workshops. This is my last semester at Hudson Valley and I thought that the topics were super interesting and made me feel inspired to incorporate these ideas as I move on to my transfer school at Russell Sage and in my future career in the field of Early Childhood education,” said Delmarie Moore, early childhood student.
Mary Kearsing, early childhood education student, learned how teachers can change their attitudes to gear their behavior for children instead of contrariwise from the workshop. “We as teachers need to think that if there is a child that needs assistance, and they don’t want to participate in any activities or do their work, instead of being mad and yelling at them, we need to talk with each other and discuss new ways to find the relationship between the teacher and the child to be more comfortable,” she said.