SGES teachers were excited to have a Reggio Emilia training workshop today, Thursday Jan. 4th with Leah McDermott, M.Ed. Leah drove up from her home in Eugene and we learned amazing things from her about child-centered learning including classroom structure, documentation, provocations and engagements with students. We were able to share specific things about our school and get specialized advice about how techniques would work in our setting and community. We all came away enlightened and inspired!
After the workshop teachers met and put together plans to start putting some of the things we learned in place next week. Although the changes may be subtle we think they will offer an even more creative, deeper, and more meaningful classroom experience for our students. We will have new documentation books with a page for every child for us to take notes; will have a quick “come-together” in the classroom about 10 minutes after all student have arrived; will change how some provocations are offered to students within the classroom; will have 2-4 week provocation planning; we will leave more room for student creative and independent work, and so on. Leah left us with resources she has developed that we can use for continued study and reference.
Our trainer Leah McDermott is a former Master Educator who spent her early career working in inner city public schools, where she realized how little interaction students had with nature on a daily basis. It has since become her mission to help parents and teachers around the world bring more natural elements to their children’s everyday learning experiences.
Leah does this mainly through her website and community Your Natural Learner, her nature-inspired curriculum A Child’s World, and other professional development training programs. She has been featured on The Huffington Post and Natural Parent Magazine and has been speaking and offering live workshops for teachers and schools around the world for the past four years. Leah has a Masters of Education as a Reading Specialist and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
Looking forward to continually growing and enriching our Reggio Emilia-influenced preschool and prekindergarten!