Peer-Mentoring Communities of Practice for BC Educators: Opportunities for Reflection, Connection, and Belonging

Dr. Laura K. Doan & Elizabeth Boileau

As many as 50% of beginning early childhood educators leave the field within the first five years of work in BC, a startling statistic. The Peer Mentoring Program for Early Childhood Educators in BC was initially developed to help support both beginning and more experienced educators in BC. In this workshop, you will learn about the Peer-Mentoring Program for Early Childhood Educators in BC, from the initial phase in 2019, to looking ahead at long term goals. As one educator shared, “The Peer-Mentoring [Project] gave us a space and an intention, a structure to come together and share our individual journeys and our different journeys”. We will also share where the program is at today and show preliminary research findings looking at the impact of the pandemic on educators in BC and how peer-mentoring could help sustain them through a challenging time. Ideas for starting up a peer-mentoring program in your community will be shared.

Feels Like Home: Creating an Environment that Children Feel Like They are Coming Home To

Kristen RB Peterson

Kristen RB Peterson presents from Minnesota, USA on Feels Like Home: Creating an Environment that Children Feel Like They are Coming Home To.

Children spend large amounts of time in your classroom environment – sometimes more than at home! When the children show up at your door in the morning, it should feel like coming home. In this workshop, Kristen will inspire caregivers and teachers to shift their view about their traditional roles, and lean into a more gentle and joyful approach to facilitating learning. The classroom environment is often seen as the third teacher and Kristen will give caregivers tangible ideas to curate an environment that is conducive to inquiry while also providing a home-like atmosphere.

Kristen is the founding director of a magical place called Butterfly Hill Nature Preschool. In her quest to create a place full of play, learning, nature, emotions, and yes moments, Kristen discovered that play based learning is a MUST for all early childhood environments and is an advocate for play in early childhood.

Supporting Child and Family Wellness

Ana Valle Rivera

We can’t always know what adversity children and families have faced in the past or currently face in their daily lives. In this workshop, participants will be asked to think about a diversity of family dynamics, for example, newcomer, immigrant, refugee families and families who have experienced trauma, to think about how we support each of these families best. In this workshop, Ana shares experiences and anecdotes to support educators with understanding what trauma-informed care looks like in action as a caregiver. Throughout the workshop, participants will be asked to think with a pedagogy of humility to better support the children and families they work with.

Ana began working in the childcare field in 2007 and knew right away it was her life’s purpose. Ana is a parent, a children’s book author, and the founder of Early Years Workshops & Training. Ana has many aspirations but her current focus is to inspire positive change in the early year’s field through sharing a vision of social wellness and social justice for all.