The Full Story
Success Stories from the Field
Our Resource & Referral teams work hard to provide quality coaching, technical assistance and training to providers in the North Central and Northeastern regions. Here are just a few stories that highlight our dedication to partnering with providers to improve quality and confidence for themselves and the children in their care.
From Stuck to Mobile
This beautiful baby boy is a success story for myself, the director, the teacher, and his parents. I was asked to do a visit in the infant room by the director. The teachers had some questions and concerns. He spent his days at school laying, unable to move. I walked in and gave them suggestions on some physical therapy exercises I had observed with another baby I worked with. I also gave them suggestions on how to get him to move his legs and neck. We did an assessment on him through ASQ and his parents filled one out for ASQ SE. The teachers took what I said and did the exercises and tummy time activities every day with him. They had great communication with his parents and their director. Now this little man is a moving and a shankin'! He is excelling and meeting those milestones. Because the teachers had been tuned-in to all their babies and realized something was different and were willing to work together with me as their coach, we saw great progress. It makes me cry of what would have happened to baby boy if they had not reached out. So, bravo and high fives for his teachers that communicate with each other and all the staff that are involved in their classroom.
The Double Duty Teacher
During a TA session in Ottawa County, I was able to sit down with a teacher that I am currently coaching, and she confided in me about some serious challenges she is facing in her classroom. She had sought out the childcare industry for work so that she could bring her young daughter to work with her, thinking that this would be the best of both worlds. Yet, as she is having to care for other children with her daughter in the same classroom, she thinks this is an emotional stress for her daughter. Sharing her mother with the other children in the classroom seems to be bringing out the behaviors in her child. After a couple of coaching sessions and observing, I concluded that the teacher/mother confuses her daughter. We had a long reflection talk about the teaching inconsistencies that brought out the behaviors in her daughter and the other children in the classroom. This teacher was receptive to my suggestions of what needed to change in her teaching style. Yesterday when I went to her classroom for another coaching session her room was in much better condition, she had incorporated everything that I had suggested. She was grateful and said she was ready to quit her job before I started coaching her. These types of experiences are what keep me motivated in my job as a coach!
Impactful Lesson Planning
I worked with a teacher who was very uncertain about her lesson planning skills. She had her class spend most of their day free playing with no structure. Her classroom was very loud and destructive. Her director contacted me, hoping I could help with challenging behaviors. After classroom observation, I brought up my concerns to the teacher, who told me she had no idea how to even begin lesson planning or following a schedule. We started with implementing a consistent visual schedule and using "First/Then" language. Then we brainstormed activities that she thought her class would enjoy and wrote them into a lesson plan. We included a healthy dose of repetition so that she could feel confident in her plan for the day/week. Before long, this teacher was making all her own lesson plans, and her challenging behaviors were greatly reduced to a much more manageable level.
One of the family child care home providers that I work with as part of the Business Enhancement Project had a goal to start putting money back for retirement. She met the goal and is now saving for her retirement.
A Very Kind Thank-You
It was a long day, but my heart is full. Jan and her crew with the Northeast Resource & Referral 2023 Reconnect Event did an outstanding job. I have never felt so supported as a childcare provider as I have since I've had Jan for a coach. She is such a blessing. We had world-class trainers whose passion, education, AND real-life experience was oozing from every word they said. I had a great time seeing a lot of my childcare provider friends. They had 5 food trucks lined up for us to choose our own lunch. I chose some delicious street tacos that were fantastic. They had the event at a beautiful facility in Pryor. They gave away fabulous door prizes AND even though I didn't win anything I came away with a pile of great resources and notes to do my job better. The weather was great, the company was great, the presenters were great, and you could tell that childcare was respected there. It was just good for my heart. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make this training amazing today. I have been to many Applebaum Training Institute trainings but this was my first time to hear Marilyn and Marty in person. They are incredible! Feeling blessed and inspired.
Leaving a Legacy
Flora Murphy just retired after 69 years of providing child care in Muskogee. She is a legend and icon in the community. She has served under many titles like Nanny, babysitter, director and most recently family child care provider. The children in her care all lovingly called her Memaw. She is such an inspiration to other child care providers and has impacted the community for two generations. She will be greatly missed in the field. Happy retirement!
Networking for Change
A big success this year has been through the formation of the family childcare home network. In each region there is a monthly opportunity to participate in training and networking for family childcare homes. From the start, every family childcare home provider who participates has expressed how isolated they felt in the past or how they felt as though they might give up their business. Each of them has talked about how they have a newfound group of peers who support each other and encourage each other outside of the monthly meetings. Not only has the fellowship been important, but also the takeaways from trainings combined with the resources given, The outcomes have been tremendous as we have had many testimonials of progress and improvements for children developmentally.
We are looking forward to another great year of the network!