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The Preschool Podcast

The Preschool Podcast, by HiMama, is a platform for learning from leaders in early childhood education. If you work in a child care or preschool setting, the podcast will provide you with practical advice and thought-leadership for all things early education.
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Now displaying: 2017

The Preschool Podcast, brought to you by HiMama, is a platform for learning from leading professionals in early childhood education. If you work in a daycare, childcare or preschool setting, The Preschool Podcast will provide you with both practical advice for managing your organization, center or classroom, as well as thought provoking content and insights about the field of early childhood education.

 

Each week, we chat with leaders in early childhood education, from teachers and educators in the classroom with innovative curriculum approaches, to directors who are excelling at empowering their team, and leaders outside of the child care environment that are passionate about making a positive impact on outcomes for young children.

 

Our goal with The Preschool Podcast is to provide knowledge and inspiration to the future leaders of early childhood education by speaking with experienced and insightful leaders in the world of preschool and early learning today. At HiMama, it is our belief that leadership within early childhood education is crucial to the future of the child care sector and, of course, the future of our most important asset in this world, our youngest children.

Dec 26, 2017

Roseanne believes blocks are one of the most important materials that should be included in early childhood classrooms. Rosanne Regan Hansel is the author of "Creative Block Play: A Comprehensive Guide to Learning through Building. It brings guidance and inspiration to help you support and encourage children during exploration with blocks. Her book shows how you can use blocks to teach 21st century skills, create inviting spaces, and extend and inspire learning with unexpected materials."

Blocks are the perfect 3-dimensional material to encourage learning with all five senses. "Blocks provide so many opportunities to teach math, social-emotional, and fine motors skills". Roseanne guides us through some practical examples of how blocks can be used to engage children at their own pace with materials that delight - creative block play!

Dec 19, 2017

This week we meet Childcare Director Shanda Fitte, (My Intentional Play) who presents her excellent approach to early childhood education used at her rural center in Idaho. Shanda keeps it real with the Preschool Podcast; What are the outcomes that can result from pursuing state rating systems like ECERS or QRIS, or Steps to Quality? How can ratings systems potentially work against play-based and social-emotional learning?

Shanda challenges center directors to be willing to take a lower star rating in order to meet the needs of your children at the time. She shares her experience of how her center was impacted by prioritizing assessment and rating systems over the needs of the children at her center, and what her priorities are for establishing strong relationships with children today.

Today, Shanda Fitte prioritizes play-based learning in her classrooms, beyond high ranking assessments or star ratings. She asks, what are the opportunities to meet the child's needs where they are in that moment (without assumptions of what's going on at home, for instance). Ultimately, Shanda argues that building strong relationships is the most important role we have as early childhood professionals. Beyond kindergarten readiness, beyond academics and even beyond learning and development observations, we are teaching children to relate and build relationships with others. All other learnings are a bonus.

Dec 12, 2017

Episode 75 - Should you tell a child "don't cry"? We are born with empathy, yet by the time we are in elementary school signs of empathy begins to fade. Tedi Ware of Empathy Warriors delves into her personal journey to promote childhood empathy programs. Anyone who enrols in the "school of empathy warrior-hood " takes a step to self-empowerment and radical vulnerability. "Empathy is a huge learning process for everyone involved and it takes tremendous courage".

Tedi challenges us as educators to be brave - to enter an uncomfortable, vulnerable place and embody empathy in order to truly model that behaviour in the classroom. What's the impact of shutting down the emotions of a child who is upset? Listen to find out.

Dec 5, 2017

Episode 73 - Why is play-based learning so critical? "One of the interesting things about play, is that you can't fail when you play". Play needs to be truly chosen, self-instructed and self-directed. Liisa Hale, Co-Director of Blue Skies for Children in Oakland, California explores the critical early development that needs to happen at home alongside center care and the history that binds the early education workforce today.

Liisa also describes the "second home" - the child care environment that works alongside the home to create a space where children can be their authentic self for 6-8 hours a day. Liisa brings us along in the journey of how her center first identified the need for high-quality early education curriculum. She reviews the characteristics of today's "school-home hybrid" and asks, do children have the same space to play and explore at home that they do in emergent learning environments (in between lessons and birthday parties and other weekend responsibilities)?

"We can make a utopia for children for up to five years". She provides an engrossing look back at the history of their center and how it supports early development today. Is there a connection between the woman's movement and early education? Listen to find out.

Nov 28, 2017

Episode 72 - How can we use approachable language to communicate the importance of early education to parents? Parents don't always have an opportunity to explore the advantages of early learning in the business of working lives. Amanda Morgan explores how approaches in early education can also be applied to parenting. She advocates for creating simple links between teachers and parents and ensuring that parents without a background in early education can still recognize the value of the field.

How can educators embrace educating parents on early learning? Parents can feel pressure to encourage their children to meet milestones (reading, toilet training) earlier and earlier. How can we give children space to learn and support parents in approaching early education with spaciousness? Listen and find out.

Nov 21, 2017

Episode 71 - How can we ensure policymakers are informed about child development and brain science? Zero to Three advocates for high-quality childcare, paid family leave, healthy environments and access to early infant mental health programs. We know that 62% of mothers return to the workforce within the first year, and more than 6 million children in the U.S. spend some part of their day in child care. "We are hindering the development of young children by not providing them access to high-quality child care".

Myra Jones-Taylor explores why access to quality care is critical, and what policymakers can do today to support child care advocacy now. In some states, infant care costs more than University! Without childcare assistance for low and moderate families, we are already harming families before their children are three years old. Jones-Taylor tells The Preschool Podcast audience why it's so critical that families and educators get involved in advocacy work, and includes some examples of practical language you can send to policymakers so they hear directly from experts like you.

Resources: Find out more about Zero to Three and get involved here.

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More about HiMama

Nov 14, 2017

Episode 70 -Scott McLeod provides some tactical case studies on what new, innovative school and education approaches look like. To McLeod, there are 4 big shifts that need to happen:

1) A focus on low-level, procedural driven education to deeper higher level learning.

2) Giving kids more agency of their own work.

3) How do we make schoolwork more authentic and connected to the real-world?

4) How do we use technology in robust ways to make the first 3 shifts happen?

Show Notes

You can find Scott's book on Amazon.

Resources

Find Out More About HiMama

Nov 7, 2017

Episode 69 - This week we speak to popular education blogger Vicki A Davis of the Cool Cat Teacher blog about the nuance of language, our shared understanding of these terms, and how a current trend in early education - social-emotional learning - can be directly connected to STEM. Vicki asks those of us in preschools and K-12 to define how they will implement an SEL program and not just use these popular taglines without deploying it effectively.

Resources

Check out Vicki's Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Find out more about HiMama's early childhood educator app

Oct 31, 2017

Episode 68 - How can we apply movement practice to cognition and language development? Dr Lynne Kenney builds dynamic research-based programs for students of all ages, with a passion for working with young children.

One of her programs helps children build a culture of kindness in the classroom, through an evidence-backed curriculum. "We feel a duty to bring science into everyday practice". Dr Kenney provides practical tips for research-based practices approach in the classroom, such as sequencing, which is so essential to early childhood development.

Show Notes

Dr. Lynne Kenney's practical tips and activities for preschool teachers can be found here.

Resources

Find Out More About HiMama

Oct 24, 2017

Episode 67 - FamTech “helps us remember that families are at the heart of learning. We have to recognize where today’s families are - more connected than ever but also awash with almost too much information. How can we use new tools to help parents connect together?" Lisa Guernsey, Director of Education Policy at New America, joins the Preschool Podcast to discuss the impact of technology use in family environments.

Episode Notes

New America's survey Integrating Technology in Early Literacy. 

Resources

Find out more about HiMama's Childcare App.

 

Oct 17, 2017

Episode 66: Chanie Wilschanski returns to discuss her work with 'The School Culture Model'. Chanie presents concrete ideas for how to effectively motivate early childhood professionals in team meetings and in the classroom. "Teachers WANT to contribute - give them the opportunity to have a voice". Recognizing culture problems and actively involving your team in pursuing change will prove far more effective than "leadership talk" with no action. Don't just ASK teachers for their opinion, INCLUDE that opinion! Is there a secret to motivating staff? Listen and find out.

Resources

Find out more about HiMama's parent communication app here.

 

Oct 10, 2017

Episode 65 Marilyn Ballard, Owner of ECE Solutions joins us this week to talk solutions to challenging behaviour. Ballard discusses the pyramid model for developing strong relationships and working culture in the classroom. If we master our dynamic environments, 80-85% of challenging behaviours can be addressed. What does this mean for Educators? When you develop a strong relationship with a child, you understand their triggers, their stresses, and their family conditions that help you resolve a challenging behavior. Teachers need to consider; "what is it about this child that is bothering me in this moment? What is truly going on here"? As Educators, we often alter our teaching approach to suit the needs of children - but what we're really doing is adapting our pedological style to create an environment that helps a child thrive. It's all about relationships.

Resources

Find out more about HiMama here.

Oct 3, 2017

Episode 64 Frank Spillers wants you to create a classroom environment where people (children, administrators, educators) can be engaged. "Be WUCA to yourself and the people you work with". Spillers works with different childcare providers to help them identify engagement techniques and helps them to be happy in the work they do. He often asks "Are you passionate about kids?" - if the answer is no, then Spillers says they're doing more damage to the sector than you are helping. When we have engaged people working with children, their impact is far-reaching. "People will stay where they are appreciated and where they feel welcome".

Resources

Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 28, 2017

Episode 63 - This week Ron chats with Jack Wright about scaffolding and discipline without punishment in early education. Jack Wright was previously a Mental Health Consultant who worked with a HeadStart program on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Jack describes the impact of punishment on children long term and why scaffolding and discipline can be trained without punishment. A relaxed, nonpunitive approach is more effective than a punishing approach for behaviour-changing in children.

Resources

Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 19, 2017

Episode 62: Ron chats with Jarred Geller about his organization Punk Rock Preschool. 

Punk Rock Preschool is all about unleashing the incredible potential in your students. It's about exposing your classroom to the magnificent world we live in so your students can find their own interests and set off on their own paths! Punk Rock Preschool is the start of a life-long, never-ending adventure to learn and grow. Jarred has seen incredible results in his classroom and it all stems from believing in your students. "And as teachers, we know we must show them we believe in them, not just tell them. So how do you show your students you believe they can accomplish anything? By challenging them and pushing them and supporting them to accomplish anything! When you do, they will surpass even your most ambitious dreams and expectations."

Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 12, 2017

Episode 61: Ron chats with Chip Donohue, Director, Technology in Early Childhood Center about intentionality and digital media use. Specifically, Donohue explores why while there can be systemic challenges to technology use in education and in our own families, ultimately we can have a positive relationship with our children, devices, and apps.</p>

Resources

Find out more about HiMama here.

Sep 5, 2017

On episode 60, we interview Ruth Churchill Dower, Director of Earlyarts, an award-winning creative training network for early childhood professionals. We learn about her passion for incorporating creativity both in the classroom and in educational leadership. Our conversation focuses on the impact of the arts in supporting early development, how teachers can approach early learning more creatively and what leadership can do to support meaningful professional development in the sector.

Aug 29, 2017

On episode 59, we interview Patti Clark, VP of Product Development at LA-based Lakeshore Learning and one of Huffington Posts’ Women in Business Q & A guests. We learn about her career journey from teaching in the classroom to taking on a Product Developer role as a way to broaden the scope of her work and impact more children.  Our conversation centers on the skills and mindset to be a good leader.

Aug 29, 2017

On episode 59, we interview Patti Clark, VP of Product Development at LA-based Lakeshore Learning and one of Huffington Posts’ Women in Business Q & A guests. We learn about her career journey from teaching in the classroom to taking on a Product Developer role as a way to broaden the scope of her work and impact more children.  Our conversation centers on the skills and mindset to be a good leader.

Aug 22, 2017

On episode 58, we interview Marilyn Grudniski, CEO of Little Lions Waldorf and one of 2017’s Most Influential Women in Northern Ontario.  We learn about the Waldorf philosophy and how it is different from other more conventional (popular) curricula such as Montessori, Reggio or Traditional.  In our conversation, Marilyn emphasizes the importance of authenticity to the philosophy and offers advice for early childhood educators who are looking to adopt Waldorf into their practice.

Aug 15, 2017

On episode 57, we interview Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC).  We learn about the history of early childhood education in Canada and the challenges faced by the sector.  Morna also shares her optimism behind how changes in policy and advocacy are moving the field towards creating a system for universal childcare in Canada.

Aug 8, 2017

On episode 56, we talk about how teachers can take control of their early childhood career by joining associations or founding their own communities in order to have a support system for professional growth. Our guest, Belinda Costin, President of Ohio AEYC, shares her career journey with us and some steps that teachers can take to bring each other up in the challenging and valuable work of early childhood education.

Aug 1, 2017

Everyone in early childhood education knows that it’s all about the relationships.  Parents and teachers have relationships with the children under their care, but the quality of that relationship can’t be understated!  Babies use their relationships with their main carer to create expectations about themselves and how they relate to others as they grow.  Our guest, Melissa Grant, tells us about the Circle of Security framework and how parents and teachers can come together to better read the emotional needs of children and respond appropriately.

Jul 25, 2017

On episode 53 of the show, we interview Barb O’Niell, Early Childhood Trainer and Consultant specializing in challenging behavior.  Studies have found that 10-30% of children display challenging behavior and it is oof the most common issues that early childhood educators face in the classroom.   In our conversation, we learn about Barb’s creative improv-based approach to working with children who may be more difficult than others.

Jul 18, 2017

On episode 53 of the show, we interview Ruth Rumack, creator of Alpha Mania Adventures, a 5-part story book series that teaches pre-reading skills in a play-based curriculum. Ruth is also the founder of Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space in Toronto and she’s passionate about creating inclusive learning environments.  In our conversation, we learn about the impact of developing pre-reading skills on the life-long ability to read and understand the written word. Ruth emphasizes that reading is not just a skill for academic success, but is directly correlated with success that goes well into adulthood.

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