Parents as First Teachers: How to Cultivate the Whole Child
It’s a fact: as a parent or caregiver, you are your young child’s first teacher, and what you do matters. Your daily play and interactions have an enormous impact on your child’s development, and it’s helpful to learn about best practices for supporting your child’s creativity, persistence, resilience, and emotional engagement. As a capstone event to The Alliance for Early Childhood’s 2017 Preschool-Kindergarten Summit for early childhood educators titled “Cultivating the Whole Child: Building Strong Social Emotional Foundations in Today’s World,” Family Action Network (FAN) convenes a panel of many of the summit’s accomplished presenters to offer advice on how parents can build a responsive, supportive, emotionally-connected home environment.
Panelists include: Judy Harris Helm, Ed.D., Founder of Best Practices, Inc., a consulting company that helps schools integrate research into the classroom; Amanda Moreno, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Erikson Institute, where she teaches graduate students in child development, and is the Principal Investigator of a large randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based social emotional learning intervention in K-2 in Chicago Public Schools; Laura Reischel, MS.Ed., the Arts and Cultural Engagement Specialist at Chicago Children’s Museum, who has over 20 years of experience as an arts administrator, educator, and exhibit developer; Jennifer Rosinia, Ph.D., OTR/L, President of Kid Links Unlimited, Inc., a registered occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience in pediatrics, with a special interest in the neurobiological influences on a child’s development; and Hedda Sharapan, MS, PNC Senior Fellow at The Fred Rogers Center.
The panel’s moderators were Trisha Kocanda, M.Ed., Superintendent of Winnetka D36, and Liza Sullivan, MA, Executive Director of The Alliance for Early Childhood, and FAN’s Early Childhood Chair.