On March 7, BJE held its 2022 BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Education Conference, “When You Wonder, You’re Learning.” The conference is one of BJE’s valuable programs that run throughout the school year, offering quality professional development to early childhood educators. Over 300 early childhood teachers participated in this day of learning, skill building and professional growth.
The theme of this year’s conference was based on the book When You Wonder, You're Learning: Mister Rogers' Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids. Co-authors, Gregg Behr & Ryan Rydzewski, explore the science behind the iconic TV series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the tools for learning that most scientists now consider essential, including curiosity, creativity and collaboration. The authors gave an engaging keynote address to kick off the morning.
This year’s event was a true innovation led by BJE Early Childhood Education Specialist, Carly Rosenstein. Programming was held simultaneously at four different BJE-affiliated early childhood centers: Temple Isaiah Preschool, Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am ECC, Temple Judea ECC, and Valley Beth Shalom ECC. In addition, for those who could not attend in person, a virtual tour of Wilshire Boulevard Temple ECCs was available. Following the virtual keynote, attendees had the opportunity to tour their chosen school site and learn more about an area in which that school excels. Afterwards, they participated in a workshop to dig deeper into the specific areas of strength of the presenting schools.
Marla Sackler, a teacher at Temple Judea, expressed the feelings of many, saying, “This year’s BJE Conference was one of the best that I have ever been a part of. The keynote speakers were amazing. I couldn’t wait to get a hold of their book and read it from cover to cover. Their concept of Mister Rogers’ ways of teaching children was both nostalgic and so true for today’s kids. The virtual and in person tours at the other schools were amazing to see. I got so many new and great ideas by seeing what other schools do. This was a beautiful and well thought out program and it was a pleasure to attend. I can’t wait for next year!”
For more information about BJE’s work in Early Childhood Education, contact Carly Rosenstein.