Editor’s Note: Jenifer Johnson is a Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Engagement Team Member and a Mind in the Making facilitator.
Why did 22 exhausted child care professionals take time out of their long day to attend Mind in the Making on Monday nights? Was it the free food? The entertaining facilitators? Their need for continuing education hours? Well, truthfully, it might have been any one of those reasons when they signed up. However, it morphed into so much more!
Some of the women had worked tirelessly since 6am, and their experience in teaching ranged from 2-30 years. They didn’t do it for the pay—we’ve discussed that. They didn’t do it for the agencies they must answer to—even when they disagree with them. They certainly didn’t do it for the notoriety—they are often dismissed. They did it because they love, care about, and are completely passionate and protective of children.
Each week we discussed one of seven essential life skills. Immediately the sharing began. Their compassion and willingness to help one another was amazing and there was a mutual respect and understanding for each other’s experiences. As teachers, they were eager to have new tools and ideas to use in the classroom and to share with the parents.
We are fortunate because these women are giving our community’s next generation a great head start. They took the time to implement new Mind in the Making strategies and were happy to report their successes each week. Success stories included children’s improved communication skills, sharing abilities, compassion for friends, and more.
As a facilitator, I was honored to be a part of their Monday nights. They motivated, inspired, and formed an incredible bond of support for each other. As they left at the end of the night, after a very long day…they thanked us. Really? I appreciated them!
Team Lily Rocks!
NOTE: Each Mind in the Making workshop provides participants the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and practices, learn what researchers have discovered about how children learn best, and discuss how to apply this research in their role as a parent or caregiver.
This program is an excellent way for you to learn how to improve communication with your kids, become a better role model, and teach essential skills like Focus and Self-Control to your children so they will be ready to learn.
Mind in the Making is made possible by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with funding provided by The Patterson Foundation.