I am back from the conference in Vegas and ready to share some of the highlights (and there were millions) of this fantastic week. First off, can you image being with 1200 kindergarten teachers? These women (a few men) come from all walks of life and from all over the country. Most of them came on their own dollar and were thrilled to be at this conference. Their generosity and kindness overwhelmed me in general since it was crowded and noisy. I made so many friends and although I am glad to be home I will never forget this week. I know how lucky I was to have this opportunity and I filled an entire notebook with ideas.
Day #1: The keynote speaker at this conference was Dr. Jean Feldman and she was everything I had hoped for.
She was inspirational, silly, funny, and very aware of what teaching kindergarten in 2011 was like. She reminded us of the huge responsibility we had as educators of young children and begged us not to let anyone take the fun out of our classrooms. Honestly, she had us up and dancing every fifteen minutes and as my eyes scanned the room I got a lump in my throat. Everyone participated fully. We all turned and made a new friend and loved being a part of something so much bigger than our district problems, our crowded classrooms, or the pressure of meeting standards with 5 year olds. It made me stop and appreciate how lucky I was to be a kindergarten teacher surrounded by loving educators. Talk about a moment in time...
My friend and I walked over to just hug Dr. Jean and this kind lady (she is a little, bitty lady) suggested we take a picture and I almost died! She never rushed us through but gave us all the time in the world and then told me how much she loved my sandals! If you never meet another presenter in your lifetime- she is your person. She is a true kindergarten teacher who loved her job and cares deeply about the children in our care. Thanks Dr. Jean for making me laugh so hard, hug another teacher , and "Tooty Ta" till I dropped! If you do not know her website please leave mine and check it out: http://www.drjean.org and her blog is www.drjeanandfriends.blogspot.com
You can really appreciate her when you watch her You Tube Videos! I am putting her on my blogroll today as a favorite.
Dr. Jean reminded us of these Cheer Cards that celebrate children and good thinking. She suggested that you run them off, laminate them, and put them on a ring to remind yourself to change them up often. Kids love these but I need to mix it up more often! I am a big fan of "Kiss your brain" but the best is when a student says it to another child in the room! If you want these cards click here and go to her site.