Learning from Teaching

I had an awesome time presenting at the “Kenyon at Kean” Annual Conference at Kean University in Union, NJ last Saturday. Kenyon is the chapter affiliate of NJAEYC for Central New Jersey, and if you you want to see some dedicated teachers – well, after a week of working with young children, to wake up early on a Saturday for a conference is pretty impressive. Ans it isn’t like these teachers just showed up, either – they’re always engaged, energetic and ready to play, move, and sing! And jump! (My presentations, like my classes for children, always include plenty of jumping!!)

Teaching teachers is a really interesting experience because I’m basically teaching my peers. These people know what it’s like to work with preschoolers and kindergartners, which could be daunting, but I know that, like me, they’re all here to learn and share.

There’s never been a workshop (and I’ve presented more than 30) in which I didn’t learn something – sometimes, I felt, more than I taught. The groups I met with on Saturday (I presented twice) shared songs, movement activities, tips on explaining ideas to young children – all kinds of great stuff. When participants improvised their own movement activities in small groups, one group even made up a song to go with it (which was super cute and I can’t wait to use it!).

My hope is that my presentations will not only teach music activities and research about their benefits for young children, but also encourage teachers to tap into their own creative energy. The groups on Saturday were just bursting with enthusiasm and imagination! Thank you to all these teachers who gave up a Saturday morning to learn – and to teach.

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