Thursday, 1 August 2013

I quick run through of the BJS Conference

It was a sunny Thursday morning, with the promise of it being hot. I headed for the bus stop so I could get to the conference - I knew it was on the other side of town, but it felt an awful long journey that morning... when the street started to run out of houses and turn into fields a little panic started to well up inside and then subdued as the bud driver turned round and informed me it was time to get off. Then the walk up Yarmouth Street seemed endless... had I got it right? Could it really be on this street... and then I saw it... a big sigh of relief... I had made it...

The funny thing is that neither the street or the bus journey felt long again after that first time... TIME is a very strange thing indeed!

I had a arrived at 8:30 - and the first presentation was at 9:00 - time to have a look around and drink some more water... it was hot and dry... so there was a need to drink often (especially at that high altitude)

We were divided into two parallel groups - so as one group listened to presentations in the theatre then the other group were either looking round or participating in discussion groups...

So - now comes the programme... more details about the presentations and the discussions will come - it depends on time on how fast I get them into some kind of blog post shape!

I was in the "Gray Program"
presentations in the theater:
     Welcome and Introduction to the conference by Ellen hall, Executive Director
      A system to support Ongoing Professional Development by Alison Maher, Education Director
     The composition of wind by Monica Leotta, Music Specialist
     Physics and Music by Monica Leotta

School Tour  (there were teachers in every room so you could ask questions)
snack available in room 15

12:00- 1.00
Lunch available in room 15

Discussion Groups
Choose one classroom.
What supports innovation in each of our contexts?
What hinders innovation in each of our contexts?
What strategies can we develop together for overcoming obstacles?

2:30- 4.00
Presentation in the Theater
   Preschools as City Planners: A story of Civic Engagement by Lauren Shaffer, Community Specialist; Ashley Bauer, prekindergarten teacher, and Samuel Assefa, City Official

4.00- 4-15
walk to Restaurant 4580 - of course it felt much shorter walking back down the street chatting with others...
Drinks and appetizers at Restaurant 4580
I stayed on at the restaurant to eat with some of the others...

Day 2
Affinity Groups: Choose one classroom
 Infants and Toddlers: Music: Community: Experience with nature: Hawkins Center of Learning: Partnering with Families.:Kindergarten Readiness and the transition to Elementary School: Administration: Teacher Education.
(There was a hand-out with more information about each of these topics of discussion. it was both hard and easy to choose - I knew I wanted to learn more about Hawkins - it was one of the reasons for coming to BJS - but I have to admit I felt a little frustrated and not being able to go to some of the others - and it would have been great to have been at the conference with colleagues when we could have gone o different groups and then learned from each other afterwards...) I attended the Hawkins one...

9:45 - 10:00
snack (time to rehydrate)

10:00 - 11:00
Presentation in the theatre
  A new lens of creativity by Alison Maher, Education Director and Jen Selbitschka, Studio Specialist

11:00 - 12:00
Materials Workshops - in 13 rooms
Visit as many classrooms as you like for experience with clay, Found materials, paint, blocks and construction
(there was a handout with more information - I will get round to sharing this at a later date - with photos of course... I did think it was a shame there was no outdoor workshop though...)

12:00 - 1:00

1:00 - 2.00
Presentations in the theatre:
   Re-examining, Re-thinking, Re- inventing Our Work by Andrea Sisbarro, School Director
   Birthdays in Colour by Laura Freund, Toddler Teacher
   Beyond the Unity Block by Emily Williams, Toddler teacher and Ranae Rutherford, Toddler teacher
   Over the Fence by Vicky Oleson, Prekindergarten teacher

2.00 - 3.00
Ice-cream social in front of the school
reflections. Goal setting
Optional: Book signing by Ellen Hall (Seen and Heard. Children's rights in early childhood education)
Looking back on it - this was probably the least successful part of the day conference... I filled in the reflection form and handed it (taking photos of it so that I also could remember what I wrote) - but everyone seemed to huddle into their teams of colleagues and chat... it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to reflect with some of the staff, or that some rooms were arranged for reflection discussions

3:00 - 4:00
Presentation in the theatre
   Closing by Sheri Hunt, Google Children's Centers Recruiter and Gail Solit, Google Children's Centers Director

And then it all just came to a close... sadly enough....

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