There seems to be a pattern…

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Yet again, it’s been 2 years and a whole lot of change since I last posted. When I last posted, we lived in the boonies with terrible and unreliable internet. We now live in a tiny town with much better internet. And “we” now mean 5! My husband and I have adopted two more children which means we now have 3 under 3, for a few more days at least. My son turns 4 in about a week.

I really didn’t chronicle much of my time with ECI and I’ve since left to stay home with my babies but I do want to go back and talk about my time in ECI some. It’s really shaped my understanding of Early Childhood. I’ve also developed a new training called Early Childhood Intervention & Your Classroom: A Collaboration. I taught it first at the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children’s Annual Conference. I talk about what ECI is because its such an under-utilized resource, what you should expect from ECI, how ECI works, and how you can expect to work as a team with ECI to support the kids in your classroom. ECI has so much to offer kids who need a little extra help and I know how valuable early childhood teachers are to the kids in their classroom. While I worked for ECI, I often felt so disconnected from the childcare world, even when I was in the classrooms visiting kids. And I know most early childhood teachers don’t know the innerworkings of ECI. I find it very exciting to merge my two early childhood worlds together!

As you can tell, lots of changes around here. I’ll be working on updating the website soon to reflect all of these changes.

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“Have Positive Social Relationships”

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As I’ve said a couple times, I work for ECI now.  I should probably do a post explaining ECI and my role before this but this is on my heart.  Monday, I was doing a training about some changes coming to ECI.  We use 3 Global Child Outcomes to help direct our services for kids.  All outcomes we develop must fit into at least one of these categories to help the child as a whole with one of these three things:

  1. Have positive social relationships
  2. Acquire and use knowledge and skills
  3. Take appropriate action to meet needs

They are very broad categories and it’s fairly difficult for me to think of a goal that wouldn’t easily fit into at least one of those categories.

Recently, the federal government has asked the states to come up with a plan to improve their ECIs.  Texas has decided, among other things, to focus on the first outcome a bit more-Have positive social relationships.

As I was listening to the training yesterday, I was reminded how often we take emotional intelligence and social skills for granted.  We find it difficult to teach those skills and assume children just somehow know them.  We get frustrated and forget the child honestly doesn’t know what to do with their emotions yet.  I’ve taught the Emotional Development training a few times now and I know its difficult for some teachers to process.  I’ve worked with families how are so focused on their child meeting physical milestones, they forget they need to meet social/emotional milestones as well.  I understand.  It’s hard to measure emotional milestones.  And we often make two steps forward one step back kind of progress with emotional goals.  Physical goals, and even mental goals, are easier to measure, easier to attain, easier to check off a list.  But emotional goals are actually the biggest indicator of a child’s future success!

We have to remember the whole child-physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual development are all important for a well-rounded child and, hopefully, adult.  I love the verse Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” because it tells us Jesus grew in all those areas of development, too. (I talk about this more in Child Development in the Bible)

I’m excited about this push for more awareness of the necessity and importance of emotional intelligence! And I love how simply our global child outcome sums it up “Have positive social relationships.”  Such a simple statement but such a complex concept.

Do you need to learn more about Emotional Development? Or maybe about how ECI works for and with kids that may be at your center?  As always, Contact Me for more information!

It’s been 2 years

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It’s been 2 years since I last blogged on here. 2 years of a whole lot of change.

Shortly after my last post, I did do a training at Odessa College for Pre-Service. It went very well. The next week, school started and I taught PreK at a public school. It went extremely well. I couldn’t have asked for a better principal and the year went really well overall. I got to attend a NAEYC conference, which was fun and a good time of learning. It was a broadening experience to teach in public school and I really enjoyed everything I learned there.

However, in November of that year, we had a 9 day old baby placed with us. We fostered him for 17 months until we were able to adopt that sweet boy.  And we could not find childcare for him so we had a rough spring semester of making it work while I finished my contract.

Through having the baby placed with us, I found out about ECI-Early Childhood Intervention and began working as a part time EIS/SC-Early Intervention Specialist/Service Coordinator.

We then adopted our son and moved back home to the Brazos Valley and I am working for our new local ECI.  Working for ECI has brought a very different perspective for me.  I’m able to use a ton of knowledge I gained in childcare and teaching in some unique new ways.  I work with teachers in childcare and with parents in working with their children.

I plan to blog a bit more about all of this and probably will create some trainings, or at least bat around some ideas, based on my more recent experiences but for now, I’m happy to have this site updated and going again. I will get Facebook updated soon and will try to write a bit more!

As always, I am available to train for you! Please Contact Me if I can help you.

Branalyn

“Amuse Them”

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So, as I referred in my last post, while driving home from the Grand Canyon, a billboard in New Mexico caught my eye. It said “Amuse Them or They’ll Amuse Themselves” with a picture of a young boy and the name of some amusement park type attraction (that I honestly cannot remember as I type this). At first, though I got the irony of “amuse them” at an amusement park, I was quite offended by the message. As I’ve thought it through, I have come to realize I slightly agree with them. I have said many times “Have a plan! Have a plan because if you don’t, the children will, and you probably won’t like their plan!”  I still believe that to be true. In my experience, when a child comes into your classroom, you should be ready for the day with all the supplies needed for planned activities that day. You should have enough activities and supplies for all the children to be able to chose a variety of activities each day. You should vary activities. You should think of the children’s interests when planning activities.
However, the word “amuse” is where I take exception to the billboard’s message. I looked “amuse” up on Google.  Here are the two definitions given:

  1. cause (someone) to find something funny; entertain.
    “he made faces to amuse her”
  2. provide interesting and enjoyable occupation for (someone).
    “the hotel has planned many activities to amuse its guests”

With some exceptions (long, unavoidable waits is the only one I can think of off hand), it is not a parent’s or teacher’s job to amuse a child. In fact, we should be teaching children to amuse themselves! Yes, we need to provide opportunities for the children to entertain and occupy themselves. Yes, we have to help expand their attention spans. Yes, especially in group care, there needs to be close supervision. Yes, there are times of adult-child interaction that are not only necessary but good. However, as adults, we should be conversing, reading, playing, interacting with children not for them. When I think “amuse,” the key word I think of is “for.” Doing something for someone else. Purely for their entertainment. But the vast majority of time spent with a child needs to be a two way conversation. And children need to learn how to amuse themselves , and they need time to amuse themselves! But it takes effort to teach a child to amuse himself within acceptable bounds.

When I teach about discipline, I teach about the 3 types of authority: Passive, Authoritarian, and Authoritative. Authoritative is what we want to be: the adult is in charge and sets the boundaries but the child is able to make choices within those bounds. And it is hard to be authoritative. Being Passive, letting the child be in charge, is easier in the short term. Being Authoritarian, “my way or the highway,” with the child never able to make choices, is easier (with a compliant child) in the short term. But, in the long term, setting boundaries and teaching the child to make choices within those boundaries, and take responsibility for those choices, or being Authoritative, gives a child the best chance to become a responsible, productive member of society. When an authority (parent, teacher, or otherwise) has taken the time to set and solidify the boundaries, a child can be trusted to make choices and “amuse” themselves!  And if they cannot amuse themselves, well that’s OK sometimes, too.  Being bored can lead to creative thinking.  And if we’ve set and solidified those appropriate boundaries, the creative thinking won’t get them into too much trouble…

I talk about discipline in PreService, Back to the Basics, and Child Development in the Bible.  I have some ideas floating around in my head for an entire training on discipline.  If you’d like me to teach on any of these topics, please Contact Me.

Branalyn

***Edited to add: I couldn’t find a picture of the billboard, but I did some searching and figured out the name of the park and then found a picture of the shirts the employees wear:

Life Catch Up

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First, I have to say that I did a training for First Baptist Church Pleasanton Child Development Center a week ago and it was great! We had two very long days doing PreService and both Back to the Basics but everyone participated in the activities, asked and answered questions, and seemed receptive to some new ideas. Thanks, y’all! Currently, I’m on the way back from a vacation to the Grand Canyon. Yes, my summer did get that crazy! It’s because our GC vacation, planned for the end of August, got moved in between me training for FBCPCDC and Robert, my husband, going to youth camp when I chose to accept a teaching position at ECISD for the 2014-2015 school year! Along with us nearing the end of the foster to adopt process, this next year is gonna be a little crazy! Don’t let that stop you from contacting me, though. I will still be available weekends and school holidays and would love to find time in my schedule to train for you! I felt the need to catch up a little, but my next post will be about a billboard I saw coming home from the Grand Canyon! I’ll leave you with a few Grand Canyon pictures: 20140718-183607-66967697.jpg 20140718-183605-66965519.jpg 20140718-183608-66968551.jpg 20140718-183609-66969412.jpg 20140718-183604-66964647.jpg 20140718-183606-66966355.jpg

Branalyn

Or Not…

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Well, once again, the class I planned to teach last Saturday didn’t make.  I’m certainly disappointed.  I’ve put a lot of work into these 7 hour classes! I am attempting to teach PreService in August, its on the schedule for August 16.  I have also requested that I be put on the fall schedule for the Emotions class and a new class I’ve been working on, Breaking Out of Survival.  I sincerely hope word gets out and I am able to actually teach these classes!

If you have been signed up for either class and have been disappointed, I am so sorry!  I honestly have no control over whether or not the Odessa College classes happen.  At least 7 people have to sign up before I can teach a class at Odessa College.  Please let me know if there is a way for me to help mitigate any disappointment.

Branalyn

Next Weekend!

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Next Saturday, May 3, I will (hopefully people signed up!) be teaching Emotional Development at Odessa College!  It’s only about $30 for 7 hours of training and we will be covering several Minimum Standard training requirements (scroll down to Emotional Development to see what we’ll be covering).  It’s going to be all the fun videos of the shorter version with quite a few activities added and more time for practical ideas in addition to all the theories!  This training has been done for months now and I’m just putting on some finishing touches.  Go to Odessa College’s website to sign up and come out and see me next weekend!

Branalyn

Apologies

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I should have written this post on Thursday.  My only excuse is that it has been a crazy week and we had a wedding to attend out of town on Thursday.  Then I did not write yesterday because I took one of our youth girls to replace her stolen license in a town about 30 minutes away and then the youth had a trip to “the big city” to watch God’s Not Dead.

But the only reason I could do either of those Friday is because the training I was supposed to be teaching today was cancelled!  I found out early Thursday that only one person had signed up for my Pre-Service at Odessa College today, which caused them to cancel the class.  Honestly, March was an odd time to have Pre-Service offered, since its what you need before working in a child care center and not many people are hired in March.

So, apologies if you were the person who was supposed to be in the class today!  Contact me and we can set something up if you need to!

Honestly, though, I was relieved it was cancelled.  I was excited to be teaching the class but I just haven’t been able to really feel prepared yet.  In May I am teaching a class on Emotional Development at Odessa College, and I feel much more prepared for that class!  I’ll be teaching Pre-Service twice this summer-once for a center and once for Odessa College.  I know by July (and hopefully well before then!) I’ll have had the time to properly prepare for Pre-Service.

So, again, if you are reading this and you were supposed to be in Pre-Service today, or if you just need Pre-Service and you live in the Midland, Ector, Winkler, Ward, Andrews. Loving or other near counties, Contact me and we can work on setting something up!  We fully intend to offer the class again in August at Odessa College!

Branalyn

Why, Hello There!

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It’s been a little crazy around my house since I last posted in September!  Things are settling down for a time, just in time to get a little crazy again this summer. I like being busy, but I also like my routines.  With all the craziness going on, I’m happy to announce a few awesome things going on in my business:

1)I got a projector and speaker set up together, which means I now only require a screen (or wall that will work as a screen) and possibly a microphone, depending on group/room size to come train for you!  Obviously, if you have a set up in place, I’ll be happy to use your equipment, but I am excited that this may open up some more possibilities.

2) I am developing an extended 7 hour Emotional Development course.  This is because I am teaching a few Continuing Education Classes for Odessa College.

3) Another class I am developing, for the same reason, is a 7 hour Pre-Service, which includes everything state-required but SIDS/Shaken Baby/Early Brain Development.

4) Between Odessa College, family summer plans, church involvement this summer, and a few other training opportunities, my summer availability is becoming limited. Please contact me soon for your summer training needs!

5) I will be sending in some new proposals to Odessa College soon about fall trainings, so be sure to look out for those as I get them developed on my Portfolio page.  Remember that I can take long classes and chop them up into smaller classes to better suit your needs!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be going through the website and doing a little updating here and there to reflect these exciting announcements!  I can’t wait to see where the next few months will take me.

Branalyn

Now that that’s out of the way…

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Since I finished Child Development in the Bible and completed my training and after action report, I’ve been focused more on the business side of things.  I still need to finish Breaking out of Survival and, from the comments I got on the evaluations from W.E.E. School’s training, want to develop a new training focused solely on discipline.  But developing those trainings has been put on hold for the moment.

I designed and ordered some business cards from VistaPrint and then realized some postcards would be really helpful for advertising, so I turned right around and designed and ordered those, too.  I’ve been compiling lists of centers I want to contact and, in addition to the business cards and postcards, designing a flyer to hand out.  I will be adding some pictures and either some audio or a video (using the audio I have combined with some slides from a presentation) on this site.  I will be rolling out a new Facebook page soon.  Basically, I’m working on several print and online medias to advertise and promote before I go back to finishing Breaking out of Survival and creating a new training on discipline.

Please bear with me as these changes come and I’d love for you to do what you can to get my name out there!

Branalyn