No. 40 – Training for Preschool Teachers

Sometimes our paths in life help us realize the impact certain people have had on us. I’ve mentioned him before on this blog, and now I have reason to mention him again. Dr. Robin McWilliam was my mentor and colleague when I worked at Siskin Children’s Institute, and he taught me an incredible amount in the years I had the privilege of collaborating with him. In learning about his extensive research in early childhood and special education, I became a better professional, a better parent and, now I’ve realized, a better volunteer.

While working with the Mobile Kindy program in Fiji, I was asked to provide the preschool teachers with a training on the benefits of preschool for children in poverty and the long term effects of early learning on brain development. I was only able to share this knowledge having learned from the guru of early childhood himself.

Without the typical overhead projector technology, the girls helped make some fun visual aids to use during the session. Quite frankly, I like their creations much better than the standard PowerPoint slides. Emily and Liv even contributed their own insights during the discussion with the teachers, talking about the things they remembered from their own preschool years at Siskin Early Learning Center.

After the training we stayed to talk with the teachers over lemon leaf tea, passion fruit and biscuits. Robin, if you’d ever like to visit Fiji, I know some fantastic educators who would love to meet you in person.

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About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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1 Comment

  1. Tracey, you’re too kind. I wish I had the girls’ visual aids when I present! When I was a schoolboy in Scotland, one of my friends was nicknamed Fiji. Guess where he lived? He was a world-recognized conchologist, even as a preteen, and he’d bring us amazing shells. On my next trip to New Zealand, I would love to visit the educators you met in Fiji. Be sure to connect with the Kiwi early intervention people. They are amazing.

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