Three years ago I started a group on Facebook. I had no idea what I was doing. I had never even been part of a Facebook Group. I invited local preschool teachers that I had connections with and also invited several of my favorite bloggers. Can't hurt to ask right? Before I knew it the group had grown and I was communicating with a couple hundred teachers both locally and worldwide. There were parts of our daily interactions with children that seemed universal, but each program also had its own uniqueness and differences.
We had many ideas to share and many hot topics to debate. Through social networking I have gained more knowledge and inspiration than through any class or training I have attended.
Last November I was fortunate to be able to attend the NAEYC Conference in DC. A conference that hosts over 10,000 early childhood teachers. At the conference I met up with several of the group members face to face. It was so refreshing to attend conference sessions together and be able to reflect afterwards.
I was able to leave the conference for a short trip on the metro to visit another teacher that I had connected with through the group. My short visit with Lesley at Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School, made me realize how much I have gained through my connections on social media. Although I had already gained a lot from our interactions online and following her blog, seeing it in action was enlightening and inspiring. I am very thankful for that opportunity.
|Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School|
Another great discovery through these connections was Fafu. Many of you have seen our bright colored and open ended dress up clothes. I was first introduced to Fafu from following the blogs of both Lesley and also Kierna from Learning for Life. The moment I saw the photos of children wearing Fafu, I knew that they would fit perfectly in my program. My darling husband surprised me with an order last fall.
Through Facebook and connecting with "The Fafunians," I am so honored to share that I have been invited to join the 2014 Play Iceland.
I am very excited for this opportunity to meet both Hulda and Tom in person, as well as the other educators and child advocates who are participating, including Suzanne of Interaction Imagination.
We will be visiting several different Icelandic Playschools and hosting an event for the local teachers at the end of the trip to share our own experiences.
I have always said that when I "retire" I wanted to travel and visit preschools around the world. I guess I won't wait. :)