JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - As summer winds down for Region 8 kids, teachers are already hard at work.
The 46th Annual Arkansas State University Early Childhood Education Conference is underway.
Associate Director of Childhood Services Diana Courson said they have a variety of sessions and workshops that cover everything.
"We have sessions about content for classrooms, science, math, language, and literacy," Courson said. "We also have sessions that helped teachers learn how to support children social and emotional competence. We have sessions for administrators about how to be effective leaders and to improve their skills as supervisors and coaches."
Courson said they hold the conference right before the new school year to help energize teachers.
"We hope it encourages and inspires people, sends them back to their new school year with renewed energy and enthusiasm and ideas," Courson said.
Courson said they have a number of repeat participants.
"We have some childcare centers and some school districts that have been coming every year," she said. "They bring their staff and use this as their pre-service training."
Courson said it's about helping the entire community that surrounds a child.
"The work that the participants in the conference do supports working families in Arkansas," Courson said. "Parents want to know that their children are having good experiences, learning experiences, while they are at work or in school, and so the conference is intended to help teachers be more effective in supporting children."
Courson said it's the learning experiences a child has that will affect their development.
"Their brain is forming lots of connections in the early years, and we want teachers to be on top of the latest research and to have the ideas they need to support those children and their development," she said.
Tuesday their keynote speaker will be Beth Marshall, Director of Early Childhood at the High Scope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Marshall has conducted training projects internationally, throughout the United States, and has even been published.
The conference is sponsored by Childhood Services and the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education.
Courson said around 300 people are attending this year.
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