Early Childhood Symposium Feb. 23 at Julian Middle School in Oak Park
10th annual Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 23
Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave.
Registration: $30 by Feb. 13, $40 after; $20 full-time students
Continuing education credits available
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:03AM
OAK PARK — The successful education of children starts with relationships – between the child and the parents, the child and the teacher, the teacher and the parent, and the teacher and administrators, said Marie L. Masterson.
“Research says when we build the relationship with children when they’re young, it’s a lasting resource of resilience,” said the assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at Dominican University in River Forest.
Masterson will deliver a keynote address on “Inspiring Change: Maximizing your Influence with Children and Families” Feb. 23 at the 10th annual Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium. The event will be at Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave.
The theme of this year’s symposium, open to educators and the public, is “Community: Building Relationships in Early Childhood.”
In addition to classroom technique workshops, the symposium includes several sessions of interest to the public, such as “Building Community Through Song,” “Together We’re Better: Building Effective Parent-Teacher Relationships” and “Positive Interactions to Promote Your Classroom Community with Families and Students.”
Masterson said even though most events like this concentrate on finding strategies to force children to conform to the current educational standard, she challenges attendees to come at the problem from a whole different angle.
“They come thinking I’m going to talk to them about children, but I like to talk about the adults and how they should change,” she said. “My philosophy is rather than to focus on the child, I want the women and men who come to hear me speak to feel they want to change.”
The influence of parents and educators is felt in their every word and deed, said Masterson, co-author of 101 Principles for Positive Guidance: Creating Responsive Teachers.
“Every word and every action leaves an imprint,” she said. “The words that someone says to us stick. It only takes once for someone to tell us we can’t do something. Words are extremely empowering and it’s never too late to change those internal messages.”
Diana Rosenbrock, professional development coordinator for the Collaboration on Early Childhood Education, said she expects about 400 to attend the symposium.
“This symposium provides the training and support to teachers -- more tools, so to speak to put into their toolbox in the classroom,” she said. “It’s really a day chock full of opportunities for teachers and parents.”
For more information, visit www.collab4kids.org~.