Several of Endeavor Schools’ educators and school leaders attended the annual Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA) Conference in Orlando this March. Endeavor Schools is proud of its teachers and school leaders for presenting at the conference alongside other esteemed professionals in the education sector on topics such as leadership, tinkering and STEM.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Embracing the Joy,” focusing on effective and innovative ways to “impact children to create and maintain joy as they become lifelong learners.” This is a concept that Endeavor Schools has always supported. For over 70 years, SECA has been dedicated to bringing together early childhood education professionals, administrators, caregivers and program directors to promote high-quality education and care for young children.
Regional Director of Endeavor Schools, Sarah Braisted, and two School Leaders from Creative Child Learning Center, Kristy Pomper and Jessica Rosario, shared their input on the various challenges first-time school leaders may face. They discussed how to gain the respect and trust necessary to run healthy and successful schools, and shared leadership stories and lessons learned from their own struggles and achievements as new leaders. All three of these exceptional educators did a stellar job of providing participants with a rich toolbox of strategies pertaining to multitasking, gaining trust and becoming a leader who others want to follow.
School Leader Ana Parra of Cranium Academy of East Orlando, as well as school teachers Kaitlin Brosnan and Rosa Acevedo from Cranium Academy of Winter Garden and Palm Harbor Montessori Academy respectively, presented during the session on tinkering and STEM. They discussed the value of tinkering in terms of ‘soft skills’ and STEM development, as well as how tinkering could be used in an educational context to further joy and deep learning. They also suggested ways to increase opportunities for STEM development in schools, and how to integrate tinkering into curriculum and teaching practices. These outstanding school leaders and educators did a wonderful job sharing effective strategies that they have used to overcome challenges faced throughout the implementation process. They also discussed how they have been able to successfully partner with children and families to bring STEM and tinkering to the forefront.
Endeavor Schools would like to recognize Dr. Amy Brereton, Vice President of Academics, for providing her sound guidance and input on both SECA presentations. The SECA Conference is one of several conferences that Endeavor Schools encourages educators and school leaders to attend. At the annual NAECY conference in November 2018, many of our educators and school leaders in attendance learned about how technology can be used in the classroom at appropriate levels. Participating in these conferences is part of our continuous dedication to expand our knowledge in the industry, and share our skills and experiences with others.