Saturday, September 14, 2013

A opportunity to teach!

I enjoy my role as an early childhood educator. I have spent a lot of time educating myself and attending as many trainings as I can to stay up to date on what I need to know. When I am skilled enough I enjoy teaching and sharing with others my knowledge. I want others to have the same info as myself so they can in turn help those around them. Its how we as educators operate. 
In January of this year I went to my fellow ASD moms, the ones I knew were wanting to spread more awareness, educate and share their knowledge. After some talking I said I wanted to put together a group a special support group to help other families, to help others and to create awareness. We created a page shared our stories, tips, therapies, helpful info and other news stories relating to topics we had discussed. I have been so proud and excited to be apart of this. Every time we came across another family we would guide them to our page so they could meet other local families in the same boat. Since most of us are military affiliated this has been a big thing. 
About six weeks ago a lady was on our FB page and emailed us about speaking at her church preschool. I wanted to write back at first and respond that we couldn't do that, that we are not qualified to help these preschool teachers. As I was typing it out I was thinking to myself " Dummy! Who better than us to talk to these teachers and help them better understand!" I wrote back that I would like the opportunity and asked what would she like to have discussed. I began mapping out and asking the other parents if they wanted to help. Unfortunately due to scheduling issues etc no one but myself and another mom were able to help. I was still thrilled at the chance to really finally get to share my knowledge of everything I had learned thus far. 
This morning I ended up flying solo for this event due to last minute glitches with my friend Stephanie who was going to help me with this project. Luckily I was prepared to do this so I got up early organized my material and headed out to my destination. I was excited and nervous. This was my chance to make an impact with these teachers and really tell them all I knew and all I could do to help them! This was my chance to make the difference to be the difference. Now to make sure I could do this for the next two hours and I would be good to go!
I stoop up briefly shared about the spectrum connection and how we came about, I also mentioned about being with Reach for a Difference and how we go out into the community and really do what we can to be the difference. I also shared about our journey and how this has been a huge learning experience but that hopefully the information I have brought them will help them see what exactly it is these teachers need to be doing. 
We covered so much stuff and unfortunately due to the lack of internet the videos I had set up were unable to be seen. However I did my best to tell about what we would have watched. I could tell that I was throwing out a ton of information to them and hopefully they were able to retain most of it. I talked about room arrangements, least restrictive environments, tantrums vs meltdowns, ECI, developmentally appropriate stages, warning signs, inclusion and difficult behaviors especially with children who are non verbal. They seemed shocked at the things I was throwing out there but I was getting some good feedback at the same time. 
Standing up there really made me feel powerful. I felt this overwhelming since of pride knowing I was sharing with these ladies my information my knowledge to help them better help the families they work with. It really was a rush! If I was asked again to speak I would do it in a heartbeat. Having that ability to share with others and teach them its a powerful and amazing thing. I only hope to get more opportunities like this in the future!