Hello and welcome! This portfolio highlights the important milestones and achievements in my learning journey as an educator, consultant, and a life-long learner. It showcases my values and my philosophical approach to learning, teaching, and coaching. It lists my recent training and consulting experiences, special projects, as well as parents’ and colleagues’ testimonies.
MY COACHING PLATFORM
Turning Dreams and Hopes into Reality
My coaching platform is based on my belief that positive changes are possible when people work together to achieve a common goal. As a coach, I will help teachers reach their goals by building on their strengths and keeping them accountable for taking steps towards their success. I believe that supporting people who are committed to their own growth will contribute to the greater good within our organizations and communities. Read more…
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
I believe that children are the future of the humankind and that adults have the privilege and a responsibility to lay the foundation for that future through nurturing, guiding, and educating children. I also believe that each and every child deserves to be loved, respected, cared for and provided with learning opportunities regardless of their ability, skill, and behaviour. Read more…
EDUCATION AND RECENT TRAINING
Studies in Lifelong Learning, MEd
As a graduate student, I learned about theoretical foundations of adult learning, the motivations and challenges of adult learners, and the up-to-date practical online and offline tools that are most efficient in supporting the learning process. I had an opportunity to explore topics such as biases and previous knowledge, the role of emotions and relationships as important elements of learning environments. Four out of seven courses dealt with issues of racism, decolonization, Indigenous philosophies, and their application in administrative and educational processes. I will be graduating in April 2022, with a Master of Education Degree.
Susan MacDonald, Inspiring New Perspectives
Strength-Based Coaching to Support Professional Growth, Online Training Course, May-June 2020
Susan’s coaching course and face-to-face sessions provided invaluable learning and reflecting opportunities to shape up my coaching strategy based on Appreciative Inquiry and supportive, positive approach.
Pyramid Model: Preschool; Trauma-Informed Care; Reducing Implicit Bias Modules; August 2020.
Pyramid Model is undergoing a pilot-stage testing in Nova Scotia’s early learning centres and Pre-Primary settings. Completing the above modules will help me support teachers in building relationships and guiding social-emotional learning in young children, as well as creating anti-bias curriculum.
Play First Online Summit
The five-day event featuring 25 thought leaders from around the globe inspired me to have a deeper reflection on my teaching and consulting practice and confirmed my commitment to the play-based approach within the field of early childhood education.
FRAMEWORK FACILITATION AND WORKSHOPS
Early Learning Curriculum Framework
I enjoy delivering Framework Modules and having deep conversations with workshop participants.
Modules delivered in 2019-2021:
Module 2: The Image of a Child
Module 3: Early Learning Practices
Module 4: The Role of the Environment
Module 5: Observation for Decision Making Purposes
Module 6: Reflective Practice
Module 7: Pedagogical Documentation
Module 8: Building Relationships
My own workshops designed for NSCECE, MSVU, and NSCC
Leaning environments are my passion and I love engaging early childhood educators in meaningful, reflective discussions about re-imagining and re-designing our learning spaces to better meet the needs of children, teachers, and families.
Learning Environments Presentation, Nov, 2020
I felt honored when the ECDA of PEI invited me to deliver two full-day workshops on learning environments and their effect on children’s well-being and learning.
Learning Environments and Loose Parts presentation, Chester, NS, Apr 2019
This was my first invited presentation and it inspired me to develop my own workshops on learning environments for diverse audiences. With time, I built relationships with local educational institutions and agencies and I will continue contributing to the local professional development opportunities.
Organized Learning Spaces: Create a Classroom in Your Home, Oct 2018
After finishing a half-a-day classroom re-designing project, I delivered a presentation and a guided tour for the home care providers. One of the participants won a free consultation for re-designing her home care.
Organized Learning Spaces for Home Care Providers, Enfield, NS, Apr 2019
Another homecare agency invited me to deliver a similar workshop for home care providers in Enfield, NS on a recommendation of one of my clients.
PORTFOLIOS: AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT AND PROFESSIONAL STORYTELLING
A child’s portfolio is their story… The story of being who they are, belonging in a place, building relationships with others. It is a story of growing together, experiencing life together, learning together. Each portfolio is unique because each child is unique. It’s like a book that we co-write: both children and teachers contribute their thoughts, ideas, and reflections. It is illustrated with carefully selected photos and artwork that help us share the story with families.
The families are the main audience and one of the most important messages is “I know your child, I love your child, I see your child grow”. Over the years, I developed my own voice and visual style of professional storytelling through portfolios. I use chronological structure and crisp, modern, easy-to-read layouts that contain the stories. Portfolio design is like a well-selected frame that draws the viewer’s attention and helps focus on the artwork it holds.
Portfolios are an educational tool for families. They highlight the importance of play-based, open-ended activities and the important skills and dispositions that children build through play. I include parts of the Early Learning Framework and reference it through concise, yet descriptive, skill-tags to help families make connections between the learning stories and child’s development.
There are so many ways of knowing, so many ways to learn… These projects have roots in my own childhood and they provide endless opportunities for fostering curiosity and building trusting and nurturing relationships with children in my care.
THANK YOU CARDS FROM PARENTS
One of the best parts of my work is building relationships with families. As my practice grows, so does a collection of heartfelt notes from parents and children. Here are some special notes from families, co-workers, and students.