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Professional Development

With Professional Development, my experiences as a teacher has had meaning beyond the classroom. Educators come in different forms and with PD's happening, it was an essential way for me to grow, learn, and explore new ways to challenge my students at developmentally appropriate levels. I was invited to attend PD's including attendance to the principal's conference and Breathe For Change SEL and Yoga training, just to name a few! Check it all out below. 

New York City Elementary School Principals Association Conference

Me at Principal's Conference.HEIC
Principal Conference workshop.HEIC
Principal Conf.HEIC

After being invited by my school admin, I had the honor of attending the Principal's Conference in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school year. With this opportunity, I was able to attend workshops that contributed to my development as an educator. I was also able to enhance my connections by collaborating with other Pre-K educators. 

I was able to attend the workshop: Evaluating 3K & PK Teachers in a Play Based Learning Environment and The Importance of Creating a Social Emotional and Developmentally Appropriate Community in an Early Childhood Environment. These two workshops, led by principals of District Pre-K Centers in Staten Island and Queens, provided new ideas for my classroom while reiterating my belief that learning is fun! Understanding that children thrive from supportive staff, each day I guide my students to achieve their potential in my classroom at the District 2 3K/Pre-K Centers. After attending and learning from these workshops, I made sure to include more tactile experiences for my students during the "Question of the Day" daily "Turn and Talks" and I was reminded to always have my children share some of their work after Choice Time. The videos presented at these workshops of teachers creating spaces for children to expand on learning inspired me to keep on doing the same and bring these ideas to my classroom. 

District 2 Pre-K Centers:
Block Workshop

Led by Ursula Davis, Lisa Galeano and Sylvia Wyatt-Lawson

Block Workshop agenda.HEIC
Block Workshop pic of structure.HEIC

Attending the Block Workshop was a way to enhance my learning around blocks and the ways that children learn to problem solve, count, and engage with others and evolve on their flexibility. I was able to obtain a refresher on how important time is. My team members and I built a structure that required time, time and more time! In the end, we all wanted more time to enhance our structure. We worked together to talk about what materials we would need aside from the wood blocks. As we used our prior knowledge to talk about shapes and how things should look, we realized how important it was to notice how flexible we were and how we were able to take in each other's ideas; something that children learn to do as they engage in block building in the classroom! After attending this workshop, I encouraged children to label their structures daily with their name and emergent reading and writing skills. I also added more materials to the Block Center which included loose parts like cardboard pieces and small foam helmet hats that I previously had stored away. I also spent much more time in the Block Center after this workshop encoring children to think about their structures as I asked them open ended questions. 

Training and Learning about Heggerty

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Heggerty .png
Teaching Heggerty.JPG

Learning to use Heggerty phonics program strengthened my instruction as a teacher and learner. By incorporating whole body movements into phonics, my students actively engage in this activity and learn to listen to language in a different way! Lifelong readers are in the making inside of my classroom because of my daily implementation of the Heggerty program. I now plan and develop small group lessons based off of Heggerty principles including segmenting words and lots more rhyming and listening for initial and final sounds. 

ERP/Teddy Bear Workshop

ERP Team

Being a member of the Emotionally Responsive Practice Team provided me the opportunity to attend the training created by Lesley Koplow, director of Center for Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street in NYC and an educator for many educators who are working in classrooms exploring ways to make children feel safer and accepted in classrooms through the implementation of teddy bears. I was grateful to attend this training as I also developed my edTPA (while in grad school) around the use of teddy bears in a classroom in which I was student teaching in. I was also able to come back to my school community after this PD and share the information I learned with my staff. My participation in this PD not only increased my awareness around student social emotional development, but enhanced my colleagues' knowledge as I was able to turnkey this information at the staff's professional development time.

I was able to encourage my staff to look forward to this Teddy Bear Curriculum we are to be implementing this school year as we expect to begin this Spring 2022-2023.

Breathe For Change Graduate

Congrats image B4C me & Nicole
B4C Grads! Last day
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When principal, Aisha Thurman Cosby, provided members on the Wellness Team to sign up for this course all at the expense of the DOE, I was beyond grateful and knew that I could not pass up such opportunity! Being a Breathe For Change Graduate has enhanced my life as well as my students' lives. The children in my classroom engage in various forms of mindfulness because of my Breathe For Change Coursework Training.

The image on the top left was created by myself and was then placed in the weekly bulletin board (email) that is sent out to staff by admin. Wellness Team Chair and Parent Coordinator, Nicole Dorsey and I successfully completed the course as we supported each other along the way! We were beyond grateful and pleased! The image on the right, shows us after completing our "final exam" of teaching a yoga class to our colleagues. This 6 month journey was well worth it. This was a beautiful journey and made me realized that resilience and inner peace was one of the reasons why I shall continue to teach. In addition, children in general, are great demonstrators of this and many other disciplines.  

I know engage my students in daily mindfulness practices including flower breathing, and other forms of breathing to calm down or transition into new activities or parts of the day. I also use props like the singing bowl and the breathing ball to redirect students and enhance their levels of attention and focus. I am also able to provide staff with Wellness Wednesday messages and engage them in mindfulness practices before we start meetings as a way to ground ourselves and check in. 

ASPDP Courses 

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As a teacher who is always learning, I enrolled in taking courses at the After School Professional Development level so that I could bring on some ideas to my classroom. I also wanted to take on plus 30 courses to enhance my quality of life and bring on some new knowledge to my own expertise of teaching. Materials for the Arts is an organization I took all of my ASPDP courses from since I was able to receive free materials that I used to enhance the centers of my classroom (Art Center in particular) and learn about various ways to reuse everyday items for art and various forms of learning.

I was more confident in engaging students in art projects that brought on science, math, and social emotional development.

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