ECE ConferenceThe ECE Program hosted  its 6th annual conference for students and community members interested in the field of early childhood and elementary teaching. This year’s conference, held on February 28 and titled “Be a Teacher, Touch the Future,” brought together 100 people for a day-long orientation that included career tables for networking, several workshops, and a keynote address.

“This field is currently on the cutting edge of educational change and breakthrough,” explained Skyline College Child Development Lab Director Tina Watts. “Working with children is exciting, fast-paced, and dynamic and that means that teachers need to be flexible and adaptable.”

ECE ConferenceThese characteristics were demonstrated by each of the panelists in all three workshops. The panelists in the “Mentor Teachers,” “ECE Entrepreneur Business Owners,” and “Kindergarten/TK Teachers” workshops all spoke of the challenges and the benefits of working with young children and their families. Our ECE/EDU program services adviser Kristina Brower also offered a workshop on the CA Child Development Teaching Permit and both state and local supports for students.

During the conference, students were encouraged to describe what they learned in a way that would make a positive impression on employers.  “There is a great need for good teachers now in preschool and beyond,” noted Teacher-Director Gillian Smith of Brighton Preschool in Pacifica.

Dr. Melinda Ramzel, ECE faculty at Cañada College, concluded the day by addressing the group about key characteristics of good teachers.  “Teachers need to have knowledge and be lifelong learners, but they also need passion and patience,” she said.

Thanks to the panelists, keynoters, and ECE/EDU faculty Dr. Sarita Santos, Bob Genevro, Shawna Whitney, and Nick deJosia for their support of this excellent conference.  Special thanks to Kevin Chak, Bookstore Manager, for the donation of Skyline College water bottles for the presenters.

Stay tuned for the Early Intervention Conference later this year with a theme of “Music, Movement and the Brain” on Saturday, May 2, in the Skyline College Theater.

Article and Photos by Kate Williams Browne & Kristina Brower