Shaping Tomorrow’s Future Today - Bowdoin College ECE Conference

Shaping Tomorrow’s Future Today - Bowdoin College ECE Conference

from 28.00

Saturday, November 16th


Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

Email Anne Adams with any questions

$35 General Registration

$28 for MaineAEYC members and Students

Become a MaineAEYC member for a discounted rate.

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Are you a Student or MaineAEYC Member?:

Shaping Tomorrow’s Future Today

An inspiring day of re-commitment to improving & strengthening the early education field

Join us for this day-long learning event for early childhood professionals with a focus on reflecting and discussing how to improve and strengthen the child care system in our state. The day consists of an opening panel presentation, two opportunities for smaller breakout sessions, lunch and a closing session. Topics included in the day are:

A focus on state regulations, national standards, and their impact on our quality care

Maine policy updates and how to get involved in advocacy and working for change

How reflective practice underscores professional integrity

A guided tour of an Accredited Center practicing Continuity of Care

A certificate for 6 hours of professional development will be awarded at the end of the day. CEUs are available upon request.


Schedule of Day:

8:00-9:00       Registration/Networking/Refreshments

9:00-10:00      Opening Panel Presentation

10:15-11:30     Session 1 (choose one)

NAEYC Accreditation: How to meet the standards within your Center’s practices (Martha Eshoo)

Professional Integrity & Responsibility (Jesseca Steele)

An interpretation of Quality: Center Tour (Anne Adams)

11:30-12:30     Lunch

12:30-1:45      Session 2 (choose one)

Reflective Practice: The inner journey of being an educator and making a difference (Educator Panel)

Professional Voice & Advocacy (Tara Williams & Policy Committee)

An interpretation of Quality: Center Tour (Anne Adams)

1:50-2:30        Closing Session


Sessions & Bios

Accreditation: How to meet the standards within your Center’s practices

The NAEYC Accreditation process can seem like another regulatory licensing experience at first. However, this process is more a way for providers to articulate their practices using the standards as guide posts and ways to clarify their work with children. Often times the standards can feel difficult to work through so this workshop welcomes you to join a conversation about how to keep your Center’s individuality as you meet the standards and how you can provide documentation. If you have completed the process and want to reflect on the experience or test the waters to see if Accreditation is for you, this is a conversation about navigating the creation of program and classroom portfolios as well as building the portfolios to present your work in the best light.

Martha Eshoo - Martha Eshoo is the director of the Children’s Center at Bowdoin College, where she manages a staff serving forty-six children in a full-year, employer-supported program. One growing interest and important aspect of her work there is the development of a play-based, relationship-oriented curriculum for the birth – five-year old population. Additionally, she is engaged in research with Bowdoin faculty focused on teacher preparation and preschool STEM curriculum. Martha was on the faculty at Wheelock College for her professional career where she taught off-campus courses, in the Graduate School, and most recently in the School of Arts and Sciences in the Human Development and Psychology Department.


Professional Integrity & Responsibility

As Early Childhood Education educators, we are committed to creating a better future for children and families; no one knows better what our communities need than those of us working day to day with children. Despite so much positive influence on young lives, why do we often feel that our work is undervalued, our profession is underpaid and our programs are at risk of being affected by the next political whim? In this session, participants will learn the responsibilities we all have to be empowered ECE professionals and discover ways to influence the future of our work with integrity and positive impact

Jesseca Steele - Jesseca Steele is a K-2 Elementary Principal in Scarborough who helps fellow early childhood professionals connect with and advocate for themselves and their work as they support and educate young children. Before becoming a Principal, Jesseca worked for 5 years as the Executive Director at The Children's Center in Portland and was the very first District Coordinator for Early Learning in Conyers, GA.  Throughout her career, Jesseca has participated in local, district and state leadership roles that support children and youth. From training other leaders through MRTQ courses, volunteering as Public Policy Chair for MaineAEYC, and leading a K-5 SEL committee in her current district, Jesseca believes that connecting with others in the field is key to advancing our profession. 

An interpretation of Quality: Center Tour (offered for both sessions)

Take a deeper dive into examining the environment of an accredited center at it’s peak performance with time for observation, reflection and questions. Participants will have a guided center tour of the Bowdoin College Children’s Center, where attachment based caregiving and play based learning are at the heart of the philosophy. The tour will end with time to engage in an interactive process to leave the session with tools and ideas to take to your own program.

 Anne Adams – Anne is the associate director at the Bowdoin College Children’s Center where she works with an amazing team of early childhood educators to provide innovative care for children and families. Her most recent focus has been on attachment-based caregiving, continuity of care and family partnerships. She has also served on the governing board of MaineAEYC for the past 5 years and finds it incredibly important to stay involved with and give back to the larger ECE field of Maine.


Reflective practices: The inner journey and challenge of being an educator

Join this panel of Bowdoin College Children’s Center staff in a discussion of how they build their care practices by learning new things, taking up new philosophies. and trying new ideas. Listen to seasoned and recent teachers’ experiences as they offer a perspective on how trying something new and different was engaging and important, how reflection and collaboration builds a team that works easily together, and why this brings passion to our work. Join them in a discussion of how reflection on what we do in the lives of children matters every day.

Educator Panel – Meet three lead teachers, Beth Sommers, Heather Stephenson and Emily Murray as they speak about their internal growth as educators over the years. Collectively, they have over 45 years of experience and have worked in various early childhood settings across our state. They bring experience of facing challenges in this work, growing through them and continuing to make a difference in the lives of children and families.


Professional Voice & Advocacy

Educators are Leaders and Advocates! We can all raise our voices and work for change. Participants will explore current ECE policies in Maine and the concepts of advocacy. Participants will learn how all educators can be leaders in the profession and advocate for the things they believe in. Join a team from MaineAEYC, including Executive Director Tara Williams, Katie Wright, a member of the Policy Committee, and Betsy Hedges, an ECE Representative from the 2019 Policy Leadership Program. They will share the opportunities and challenges they have found in being leaders for change.

Tara Williams – Tara is the Executive Director of the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children. She coordinates the new ECE Policy Leadership Program, co-leads the Right from the Start Coalition, and is a MRTQ PDN Trainer. Tara has taught in public school and private programs with children from birth to third grade. Tara was a research analyst at the National Council on Teacher Quality, has mentored teachers, and has presented workshops at regional and national conferences. She received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston University and her master’s in Early Childhood Leadership and Administration from Bank Street College.

This event is sponsored by a collaboration between the Bowdoin College Children’s Center and the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children.