Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Sophomore child and family studies majors Alyssa Peters and Samantha Dubetz attended the Midwestern Early Childhood Council’s early childhood conference on Feb. 23 at Grove City College to further their understandings of their prospective field.
Led by professional development specialist Jenna Sekerak, the conference taught attendees how to build students’ ages 3-7 critical language, literacy, creative expression and engineering skills used in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).
“While I was there, I learned the importance of growth mindset,” Dubetz said. “As educators, we should be praising students on how they achieved something rather then what they achieved.”
As college students, learning outside of the classroom is a must through practicum and internship experiences. The conference helped Dubetz and Peters reiterate what they already know and build on it with advice from practiced professionals.
“We always need to be keeping up and staying knowledgeable so as to be the best we can at all times for each student,” Peters said.
The students were, therefore, able to refine their skills in teaching STEAM skills and building home and school connections while also learning from other teachers as they shared experiences.
“I learned something new with each person I interacted with based on what they have experienced as teachers,” Dubetz said. “I was also able to share what I learned in my own coursework and practicum experiences with them.”
In addition to attending the conference with a variety of teachers, college faculty and undergraduate students from the tri-state area, Dubetz and Peters also volunteered to help at the registration table. Both will continue pursuing their interests in child and family studies as they broaden their skillsets during their time at Westminster.
Written by Megan Simpson