The HiMama Helps Webinar series is designed with early childhood educators in mind. Join us every Thursday at 2 PM ET and listen to childcare and child development experts discuss practical strategies for your classroom. Our experts will also answer your burning questions LIVE!
Today on the blog, we are rounding up the best of our HiMama Helps webinars from 2022 so far.
1. The power of emotional intelligence for early childhood educators with Donna Housman and Emily Stone
In our 100th episode, Donna and Emily joined us from The Housman Institute for a conversation on the power of emotional intelligence for early childhood educators. They shared strategies for how we can understand and manage our own emotions, as well as those of others, in order to problem-solve, think critically, and navigate difficult situations. They examined how emotional intelligence helps educators develop a positive sense of self and higher levels of empathy, both of which support their overall mental health and their performance in the classroom.
🧪Key learning outcomes from Donna and Emily
- 60% of early childhood educators and caregivers felt the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted their mental health and teacher burnout rose from 25% to 75%
- Stress is our body’s response to an overwhelming circumstance; burnout is emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion
- When our emotions are not managed, our thinking is impaired, which impacts our ability to provide safe, stable, and nurturing relationships to promote resiliency in children
- There are 6 levels of emotional awareness:
- (1) Awareness, (2) Acknowledgement, (3) Identification, (4) Acceptance, (6) Reflection, and (7) forecasting
- Self-reflection, reflective journaling, physiological regulation, mindfulness, and self-care are all helpful stress management techniques
- Professional development and training are key to educators developing emotional intelligence
2. Co-regulation strategies to support children’s emotional development with Marcelle Walman
Marcelle Waldman, educator and founder of My Feel Links! is certified in youth mental health first-aid and has extensive knowledge in child psychology and development. She shared deep insights into what a child is actually experiencing when they are demonstrating big emotions and what co-regulation strategies educators can use to support them in these moments. Viewers gained practical strategies for strengthening children’s social-emotional development and increasing their confidence.
🧪Key learning outcomes from Marcelle
- When we are overwhelmed our brain goes “offline”, which makes it challenging to make thoughtful decisions; we need to bring our brains back “online” in stressful situations by centering ourselves through coping skills
- When children are experiencing big emotions, focus on empathy and responding with intention (calmly, thinking it through) instead of reacting in the moment (quickly, without thinking)
- Co-regulation is a supportive and soothing process between an adult and a child that builds compassion, patience, trust, safety, and belonging
- We can foster co-regulation through a warm and responsive relationship, a structured environment, and teaching and modeling of self-regulation skills
- To connect with children in the tough moments, first find your calm; let the child feel their emotions, validate what they are feeling, and help them feel safe
3. The key to staff retention at your center with Jane Ann Benson
Jane Ann Benson, early childhood coach and founder of Early Childhood Ally spoke to us about the importance of appreciating and acknowledging the work our educators do each day. Ensuring educators feel recognized will encourage more positive attitudes at work and support staff retention. Jane Ann also offered advice on how to help staff find their inner motivation and decrease burnout and turnover.
🧪Key learning outcomes from Jane Ann Benson
- Research shows that there are four factors impacting motivation:
- (i) leadership style, (ii) reward system, (iii) organizational climate, and (iv) structure of work
- 67% of Americans say they would put energy into their work if they were recognized more often
- Positive genuine feedback is a low to no-cost idea to support your staff (e.g., shoutouts)
- Building community through team events is critical to a positive culture
- Don’t forget to you prioritize yourself for rest and self-gratitude for all your hard work!
4. Discover the teaching philosophy that unlocks children’s creativity with Mariana Carazo
Mariana Carazo, educator, and founder of Developing Minds! dove into the importance of play-based learning and the 21st-century skills that children need. Mariana shared her philosophy of using loose parts to create open-ended experiences for children, and how these experiences support imagination and creativity. She walked us through how to get the most out of our curriculum, and make sure we are fostering a classroom environment where learning is visible through play.
🧪Key learning outcomes from Mariana
- Play is the secret to making meaningful connections!
- To create a space that fosters quality play and learning, you need to know your curriculum, plan intentionally and follow the children’s lead and interests
- Loose parts create open-ended learning experiences and are a great example of making learning visible through play.
- Presentation of your loose parts is key: Make the environment inviting and open-ended to encourage creativity
- Open-ended learning encourages educators to choose multiple materials for learning and allows for learning experiences where all children can be successful
5. How to foster great team culture at your childcare center with Chanie Wilschanski
Chanie Wilschanski, CEO of Schools of Excellence, joined us to talk about improving relationships between educators. Chanie emphasized the importance of bridging every moment of connection in our work through Boundaries, Relational Intelligence, Individual advocacy, Discernment, Generosity, and Emotional regulation (B.R.I.D.G.E). Chanie walked us through what the B.R.I.D.G.E method is, and how we can utilize it to strengthen staff relationships and create a culture of kindness at our childcare centers.
🧪Key learning outcomes from Chanie
- The B.R.I.D.G.E method and how to incorporate it into our centers and classrooms
- How to incorporate boundaries, relational intelligence, individual advocacy, discernment, generosity, and emotional regulation into our relationships at work
- The most important tools and strategies needed to strengthen staff relationships and create a culture of kindness
- How to enhance the quality of our centers and build schools of excellence
Join us for ‘Therapy Thursday’ every Thursday at 2:00 pm EST for a new webinar! Sign up for the next one here!