EARLY CHILDHOOD

BEST PRACTICE CONFERENCE

THE BALANCING ACT: THE GRACEFUL CHOREOGRAPHY OF TEACHING

13 & 14 APRIL 2024 | BRISBANE

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Event Speakers

SYLVIA AROTIN

REBECCA (BEC) BRIDGE

DR SHELLEY DOLE

FLIPSIDE CIRCUS

ELIZABETH GOOR

AMY KIRKHAM

VICKI MCKINNON

JANE NEWMAN

O.C.C. THERAPY - DR FIONA JONES AND STACEY PALMER

Mark Powell

FERNE VAN ZYL

ZAC ZACHAR

CARA MORRIS

Conference MC

WHERE IS THE EVENT :

Brisbane Airport Conference Center

WHEN IS THE EVENT :

13 & 14 APRIL 2024

Program Schedule

9:15am – 10:30am

In the current climate of quality assurance, accountability, ratings and even marketing, the phrase “best practice” is being heard more often than ever. So, what does this actually mean? How can we do our best and why do we want to? You are invited to revisit some key Montessori principles, to reflect on your practice and consider how you might raise it to the next level.

AMY KIRKHAM

11:00am – 12:00pm

This session addresses the frustrations educators and parents face in supporting children’s challenging behaviour. It introduces effective communication techniques to transform their interactions with children and explores the underlying causes of children’s behaviour. The session also provides strategies for handling stressful situations with confidence including practical examples and scenarios. This session aims to help attendees apply these techniques in real-life situations, focusing on building children’s abilities in self-regulation, effective communication, understanding boundaries, and boosting self-confidence and motivation. The conclusion emphasises the transformative impact of these approaches on both educators/parents and children for a more harmonious classroom or home environment.

 

SYLVIA AROTIN

12:00pm – 12:45pm

Montessori educators facilitate, guide, scaffold and support children’s learning by applying Montessori principles in their classroom. As careers progress, educators often move into positions of management and leadership within their school or service and encounter a range of demands that their educational preparation might not have equipped them for. Awards, agreements, National Employment Standards, workplace bullying, work performance plans, dealing with complaints, compliance, personal issues of team members, terminations, warnings, counselling, documentation, and hopefully often, celebrations. How does one apply Montessori principles with adults? What is the prepared environment of a workplace that enables the team-members to flourish? When issues arise, how does the leader dance between the demands of regulation, customer-expectation and Montessori respect for the individual? How does he or she balance these requirements gracefully, exhibiting the wisdom so necessary to choreograph the culture? What does the Montessori ‘transformed adult’ look like in leadership? This presentation will explore the application of Montessori principles to leadership within a Montessori school or service.

 

VICKI MCKINNON

1:30pm – 2:30pm

On Call Children’s Therapy Network (OCC Therapy) is a dynamic occupational therapy practice who have worked with Indooroopilly Montessori Children’s House (IMCH) for over eight years. During this time our OTs Dr Fiona Jones, Stacey Palmer, Georgia Gibbs and Emma Wilson have developed a number of positive initiatives to support inclusive practice for our clients as well as for all students attending the centre. In 2023 a targeted kindy program was developed in collaboration with IMCH staff to provide strategies and professional development for educators to implement at a whole classroom level to support children’s regulation, behaviour and engagement in class activities. The Person-Environment- Occupation (PEO) conceptual practice framework was used to support observations and recommendations throughout the project. The program will continue to grow and more collaboration between IMCH and OCC Therapy is planned for the future.

 

O.C.C. THERAPY - DR FIONA JONES AND STACEY PALMER

2:30pm – 3:15pm

Media coverage/commentary over recent years, on the state of education in Australia has been, to say the least,“less than rosy”. They are even looking at reviewing how we train our teachers!

I am not an academic, rather a long time in-the-classroom practitioner. The title of my presentation comes from John Taylor Gatto. I want to believe that we have entered into education from commitment and passion. What I wish to do is for us to have a conversation guided by a series of questions that scratch the itch of self-knowledge as we build a shared experience of our purpose as teachers and what we can do for the future of education.

ZAC ZACHAR

3:34pm – 5:15pm

Flipside Circus is Queensland’s largest youth arts organisation. They are a not-for-profit with a reputation for excellence in training, performance and industry support for Australia’s world-leading circus sector. Circus is the perfect blend of physical discipline and artistic expression. It provides benefits including a sense of achievement, confidence building, teamwork, focus and resilience. In this practical workshop, a team from Flipside Circus will share how educators can implement activities that are motivating, energising and loads of fun, encouraging cooperative and non-competitive physical movement in a safe environment, and are suitable for children of all ages and fitness levels. Not only will it be educational, this workshop will also be a lot of fun for delegates as well!

FLIPSIDE CIRCUS

Conference Party

5:45pm – 10:30pm

Join us for, some say, the highlight of our conferences, at our Conference Party! You’ll have a chance to network, talk to speakers, eat party food, then dance the night away. Cash bar for beverages.

9:00am – 10:00am

This year has shown us that there is still a great divide surrounding Reconciliation in Australia. As a nation we appear to have come to a stand still and in order to move towards a reconciled Australian we need to be brave!! As Montessorians, I can think of no better allies to walk alongside First Nations Peoples on the Reconciliation journey. We, as prepared adults, naturally observe and reflect on ourselves daily in the environments we create. During this session participants will be supported to reflect on themselves and their practices with a cultural lens. The Montessori pedagogy naturally aligns with the five principles of Reconciliation and collaboratively we will weave these together to support you to bring Reconciliation into your environments.

 

REBECCA (BEC) BRIDGE

10:00am – 11:00am

How well you understand and connect firstly with yourself, and then ultimately with those you teach, lead or influence will have a huge impact on your level of success or perceived success in your respective role. This workshop will equip you with the knowledge of why and to a great extent, how the brain makes decisions and functions to meet one of our five basic needs. For teachers, this will give great insight into your students and the ways to best motivate them for learning without controlling, rewarding, or punishing. It will also offer a number of practical tips for managing yourself in the moments when situations become overwhelming or challenging. For leaders, understanding and clarifying how you show up and lead yourself, so that you can intentionally and confidently lead those around you in a strong and connected manner.

 

JANE NEWMAN

11:15am – 12:00pm

Through interaction with their environment, children develop early numeracy capabilities. Intentional teaching capitalises on the informal mathematics and numeracy knowledge that children bring with from their home environments as they enter early learning and formal school environments. Of utmost importance is ensuring that the joy of learning and that interest, wonder and love of mathematics is fostered and strengthened. This is the key role of the teacher. In this presentation, the importance of concrete materials and hands-on activities for building rich, conceptual mathematics schemas (neural pathways) in young minds is elaborated. Young children’s future learning of mathematics is considered through revisiting some general principles of brain science associated with memory, recall, practice, as well as brain interference and the theory of constructivism. Alignment to Montessori philosophy and signature practices associated with the absorbent mind, the prepared adult and the prepared environment will be drawn.

 

DR SHELLEY DOLE

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Are you an educator who spends countless hours each year preparing for parent information evenings, only to have the same few parents turn up time after time? Why is it that those parents we most wish would come are the ones least likely to show up? While some parents may find it interesting to hear about the curriculum and our beautiful materials, most parents aren’t that interested in what their child is learning at school because knowing how the stamp game works doesn’t affect their family’s well-being on a day-to-day basis. In this presentation Mark Powell will show you how to help parents learn to use Montessori principles at home in ways that will not only help them enjoy parenting more but will also reinforce what is happening in your classroom. This could be the most valuable parent education program you share with parents!

Mark Powell

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Is your work-life a bit of a circus? Do you need ideas to realign your balancing act around time, expectations, responsibilities as well as finding ways to work with colleagues that are not on the same page? We will work together to unpack the day-to-day issues that you have raised at a previous conference, to consider a mission, vision and strategies for you to enable you to improve outcomes for you and your students. Let’s create a personal framework that you can work with to balance effective habits that will have a lasting impact on you.

ELIZABETH GOOR

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Let’s face it when a child fights with us or when children fight with each other it is challenging to know what to do and what to say! In this practical hands on workshop for parents and educators dealing with children from 0-12 yrs we will explore:

• What happens when we focus on “Being fair” or “Giving equally”

• How to set clear boundaries on hurting behaviour towards us and each other

• How to intervene helpfully when kids fight

• Helping them resolve difficult conflicts

 

FERNE VAN ZYL

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