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.