But first.... NAFCC!! If I had to pick I would have to say Patricia Dischler, Teaching the 3 C's, was my favorite. She was great. A great motivator, a great speaker and a wealth of information. I took 2 of her mini workshops, but I kick myself that I didn't take her 4 hour intense workshop. I think I would have gotten so much more out of that than the one I took on Accreditation, but you live and learn. This being my first time at the National Conference, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I am used to signing up for multiple workshops, then going to those, this was first come first serve to each workshop. It was organized great and I never had a problem getting into a workshop. I liked it.
I have been reading Patricia's book, Teaching the 3 C's, it really hits home for me. She is able to put into words what we do or want to do on a daily basis. Teaching our children through Creativity, Curiosity, & Courtesy... that is what makes good human beings. Patricia not only talks about why it is important to work in these areas, but how. She gives real example of how she put them into practice. Sometimes I read books like this and think, "Yeah right, it's great in theory, but the author never really DID those things." In attending Patricia's workshops, I got to see photographs of her in action. Of really DOING what she preached... do you know she went on a Field Trip EVERY week... over 900 field trips in her career as a FCC Provider. WOW!!! That isn't counting the people she had come to her home.
I have always wanted to have "speakers" come into the house and expose the kids to wonderful things... but I have always felt that having only 5 kids and out of those at least 1 a baby, that the speaker would look at me like I was nuts. Reading this book and hearing Patricia speak gave me the understanding that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that I don't have 12 kids sitting waiting for a speaker, actually it can be a whole lot more informative and fun if there are only a few kids to hear, It doesn't have to be a big, long, sit down speech... find someone who gets the kids moving, has something to see or has a story to tell. Giving the kids the ability to practice their Courtesy skills while interacting with new people, asking questions, and have the confidence to do those things.
I also brought out of the workshop the validation to be silly, and not to forget to be silly. Kids love Silly.... I was talking to my sister, while on vacation, and we were recalling how, as the only Provider (aka... adult) in the house on most days, you talk to yourself, out loud. The kids look at you like your crazy, then you say, "Miss Michelle is losing her marbles today" or "Miss Michelle took her silly pills today" or just keep talking out loud about nothing... they love it. During one of Patricia's workshops she had us working in groups to take something as mundane as a toilet plunger (clean, of course) and find a fun way to incorporate it into the kids play. (We came up with... gear shift, sword, telephone, limbo stick, ring toss... my favorite was Patricia's, she would stick it to a clean floor and have the kids pull it up, almost impossible, and totally fascinating to the kids) While finishing up, she got on a chair, put a colorful sheet on her head and waited. Of course she got our attention, and gave us another option to yelling, stomping, or losing our patience when the kids get in that "out of control" mode and you need to rein them in.
So, let's just say that I learned a lot from Patricia Dischler. I enjoyed her and her workshops very much. I wish she were still doing child care, I think the kids of Wisconsin are missing out :) I also feel that I can take what I learned from her and her book and put it into practice this year. That the kids in my care will get so much more this year, the motivation I got from just these 2 workshops is immense, but I attended others that were almost as motivating!! So, I have a lot to incorporate into our days this year!! I can't wait to see the kids joy!!!