A few years ago, I was enrolled in a class through FWSU as a district initiative. It was entitled Powerful Interactions and was taught by Charlotte Stetson, an instructor who, after working with children for many years, decided to share her expertise professionally through writing and consulting. Many of us from all three schools in Franklin West enjoyed this class, sharing ideas and curriculum to best connect with children at their level.
When the class was finished, Charlotte had a request – would we be interested in traveling to Atlanta that year to help her present at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) annual conference? A few of us jumped at the chance, and here my excitement for presenting at national conferences and sharing my passion for science was born.
To date, I have had the opportunity to present sessions at both the NAEYC annual conferences in Orlando and again in Atlanta, as well as at the National Science Teacher’s Association STEM conference in both Denver and Orlando. At each of these conferences, I have shared the science curriculum I have come to develop and love, on topics such as Engineering Design Challenge, The Science of Block Play, and Young Engineers in the Woods. My sessions have included educators from all over the globe, and this most recent NAEYC conference in Atlanta saw teachers from China, New Zealand, and various areas of the US.
Having the chance to travel to these national conferences has been both exciting and has opened other doors for my career. As a result, I have had an article published in the NSTA’s member newspaper, and information from that article was used as a shared reading in a college level class.
At the end of the day, it is my excitement for teaching young children that fuels my desire to share what I know and love. Having the chance to connect my knowledge of little ones with my passion for education in the early grades to present on a national (and international) level has been wonderful, and an opportunity that I hope to continue in the future.
Erica Green is a Kindergarten Teacher at BFA Fairfax.