Reflections on national early childhood education conference from WOU student

Reflections on national early childhood education conference from WOU student

Mingxi He, a student in the Early Childhood Studies program, was one of three students the Early Childhood Studies program sponsored to attend the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual conference, which was held virtually in November of 2020. He shares some reflections on the conference below.

Mingxi He, one of the students sponsored to attend NAEYC’s annual conference in the fall of 2020.

I am excited to share my reflection regarding my experience attending the 2020 NAEYC Annual Conference in November because it inspired me a lot. To begin with, I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation for the opportunity to experience this crucial event provided by Western Oregon University’s Early Childhood Studies program.

This online conference was both inspirational and informative. For all three days, all the content presented at this conference was exciting and inspiring. Meanwhile, all speakers were knowledgeable and motivating. I have learned a lot from them. Although there were few hiccups in the virtual conferencing systems, the organizers were effective at solving problems quickly and efficiently. Overall, the content was satisfying and successful from my perspective.

The following is my reflection and thoughts on this conference.

Day 1:

On the first day of this conference, I highly valued the full group panels on preschools. And I learned what changes to expect in the field of early childhood education. Furthermore, I have learned how to stay optimistic and enthusiastic in the face of difficulty from the speech Early Childhood: Where Stories Begins, which was delivered by the opening plenary speaker Tabatha Rosproy. Meanwhile, the evening social Celebrating Ella Jenkins: The First Lady of Children’s Music motivated me to develop students through engaging activities.

All the content I learned on this day is beneficial for my development as a preschool educator, particularly the opening plenary speaker who encouraged me to follow my dream of being an excellent teacher. Her speech was significant to me because this year I have been considering whether I want to be a preschool teacher. I want to be the kind of teacher who will take the responsibility to guide, protect, and educate this nation’s future generations. Tabatha’s speech encouraged to stay enthusiastic and optimistic about this option.

Day 2:

On the second day, Nikki Grimes, an outstanding recipient of ALAN Award working in New York Times, conveyed us the power of poetry as a tool for helping young people process trauma. As far as I am concerned, the best tool for me to relax and process pressure or depression is music, which has some similarities to poetry, so I understood the logic of this.

In the evening, the conference sponsor, Scholastic, hosted a special event: Celebrate Scholastic’s 100th. This event had some interactive parts that reminded me of Scholastic book fairs.

Day 3:

On the third day, Mr. Edgar Villanueva shared some skills for promoting racial equity, which inspired me greatly. When we are teaching, we should treat students equally and respect them. In the final session, Stedman Graham encouraged me to think about identity leadership.

Parting Thoughts:

To conclude, this conference has shaped me a lot, especially the first day. And I have acquired many strategies that are beneficial for my development as an effective teacher.