Fall 2021 PD for All Series – The Importance of Early Childhood Workforce
Early childhood education is among the world’s most rewarding and demanding professions. Those who have worked in this field know that there is no greater satisfaction than nurturing a child’s learning and development. One the other hand, educating young children is a tremendous responsibility. The mental, physical, and emotional stress can take a toll on teachers, and this impacts the quality of children’s experiences. Now more than ever, we must prioritize the well-being of early childhood professionals, ensuring they have the support they need to help all children thrive.
The Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska’s Fall 2021 PD for All webinar series examined the importance of early childhood workforce well-being and explored practical strategies to support those who are entrusted with our most precious resource: our children.
Webinar 1, Happy Teachers, Happy Kids
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7 - 8:30 p.m. CT
In this webinar, participants learned about the essential connection between teacher well-being and child well-being and explored the multiple factors that impact teachers’ wellness. Dr. Kate Gallagher of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute shared the Institute’s newly developed workforce well-being framework, and Drs. Kyong-Ah Kwon, Ken Randall, and Adrien Malek-Lasater from the University of Oklahoma shared findings from the Happy Teacher Project. These experts shared insights on how to establish workplace conditions that support educators’ physical, psychological, and professional well-being. Early childhood leaders from a variety of settings participated in a panel discussion about how they have taken action to create environments that support teacher and child well-being.
- The Price of Happiness: Needs for Investing in Teachers' Well-Being, Kyong-Ah Kwon, Ken Randall, and Adrien Malek-Lasater
Webinar 2, Promoting Early Childhood Workforce Well-Being Through Reflection and Connection
Monday, Nov. 15, 7 - 8 p.m. CT
In this session, participants learned about three research-based approaches to promoting early childhood educators’ social and emotional well-being. Presenters described three strategies that are being used to support the early childhood workforce in Nebraska. University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Jamie Bahm shared work from the Nebraska Center for Reflective Practice, which aims to mitigate the stress of teaching by helping individuals reflect on their emotions, experience, and responses in a supportive community of colleagues. Holly Hatton Bowers, from UNL, discussed Cultivating Healthy Intentional Mindful Educators (CHIME), a program led by the University of Nebraska Extension that provides education and guidance for teachers to incorporate mindfulness and reflective practice into their daily routines. Jolene Johnson from the Munroe-Meyer Institute shared lessons learned from implementation and evaluation of interventions that aim to promote teachers’ social and emotional well-being.
PD for All is a critical piece of the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan, developed by the Buffett Institute and funded by the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.
Early childhood professionals who participate in these webinars are eligible to receive in-service certificates approved by the Nebraska Department of Education.
Explore More: Using Technology in Early Childhood Education
Throughout 2020, young children engaged with digital technology like never before as early childhood professionals creatively adapted to a “new normal.” While this shift presents incredible opportunities for children’s learning and development, it also poses questions about appropriate and effective uses of technology in early childhood.
The Buffett Institute is proud to offer a new collection of on-demand resources for early childhood professionals in individual or group settings. Featuring Dr. Chip Donohue, founding director of the Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute and senior fellow at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media, these videos and learning guides offer specific and practical information for the equitable use of technology in classroom and child care environments.
Technology Integration in the Early and Elementary Years
- This video session examines how intentional and appropriate use of technology supports healthy child development, promotes early learning and early literacy, and encourages social-emotional development while addressing the values of quality, continuity and equity.
- The professional learning guide takes viewers through “bite-sized” segments of the video, providing opportunities to practice and apply concepts discussed in the recording.
Digital Storytelling: Technology Tools That Support Children’s Documenting, Demonstrating, Sharing, Saving, Reflecting, and Revisiting
- This video session explores how children can use digital storytelling to “show what they know” and how it can support teaching, family engagement, and documenting learning for all students.
- The professional learning guide offers a three-part plan to walk early childhood professionals through the knowledge and skills they need to effectively implement digital storytelling with children.
Click here for presentations, videos, and resources from our Professional Development for All institutes.
For more information about Professional Development for All, please contact Kimberlee Telford at firstname.lastname@example.org.