Learning From the Bumps in the Road: Insights From Early Childhood Leaders


Learning from the Bumps in the Road; Insights from Early Childhood LeadersAfter a decade of co-presenting on early childhood topics at national professional development conferences, Holly Elissa Bruno, Janet Gonzalez-Mena, Luis Antonio Hernandez, and Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan have now brought together twelve of their most important topics as essays in this book. Each chapter presents dialog among the authors about a particular topic—from power imbalances to embracing technology in the classroom—and the lessons gleaned from facing and overcoming uncertainty and obstacles. Merging each author's distinct voice, expertise, and life experiences with issues relevant to professional work with children and their families, this collection speaks openly about the authors' personal and meaningful histories, insecurities, and insights. Reading about the “bumps” the authors have encountered throughout their careers offers encouragement and challenge to thinking more deeply and openly about your own practices and philosophies. What these authors have discovered is that every bump in the road is an invitation to grow and an opportunity to learn.

Topics include:

  • Our Way to Sincerity: Affirming Civility and Tolerance in Our Daily Work
  • Power Imbalances: Unwritten but Binding Social Contract
  • Creating the Village: Building Relationships That Support Children
  • From the Universal to the Uniform: Considering Cultural and Diversity Standards Across Our Personal and Professional Connections
  • Tomorrow's Children Today: A Self-Assessment Approach to Multicultural Readiness
  •  Technology: Reflecting on Resistance and Habits on the Way to Dynamic Change
  • CAT Spell Success: Curriculum, Assessment, and Teaching for Quality Learning Environments
  • Playing for Keeps: The Power of Laughter and Lightheartedness for Adult
  • Social-Emotional Competence: Are You Smarter Than a Two-Year-Old?
  • The Great Imposter: Unmasking the Burden of Self-Doubt in Our Professional Lives
  • Intentionality for the Well-Intended

The book is an encouragement to authenticity and finding your own personal voice in your work:  "Often we speak only of our triumphs, put our best selves forward, and focus on our strengths. Inside, most of us have the tendency to be very hard on ourselves; we dwell on our mistakes, weaknesses, and perceived deficiencies. Strength and growth come from flipping these behaviors. We need to think well enough of ourselves and make self-talk positive. And with each other, we need to fearlessly share the challenges and struggles as well as celebrate the successes. We talk about being authentic with children, and we know how to do this. These authors become our mentors as their stories and strategies help us become more authentic with one another and within ourselves. This ability to be real will change our behavior and our practice. We could have no better mentors than Holly Elissa, Janet, Luis, and Debra." --Bonnie Neugebauer, Founder and Executive Editor of Exchange magazine and Found and Director of Program Development at the World Forum Foundation.

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