Spotlight on Presenter Samantha Shannon

Transforming the Image of the Child Conference October 5th

Spotlight on Lunch and Learn Session with Samantha Shannon

Samantha has been working with children and families since 2013. She currently works with young toddlers at Branches Community School. She is inspired by the Reggio philosophy of seeing teachers as researchers. Her classroom is a space where she, her co-teacher, and the children find joy at the intersections of their interests in and questions about the world. When she's not in the classroom, you can find her in her hammock at the Eno River. 

Workshops Description: An Accessible and Autonomous Studio

Are you excited about creating art experiences with young children that foster their exploration of and creativity with materials? Do you feel frustrated when your vision of an experience doesn't align with what the children have in mind? Let's talk about it! In this workshop, Samantha will introduce the philosophy behind the atelier spaces in Reggio Emilia schools, provide examples from her classroom of how she translates those concepts into her context, and give space for participants to discuss their successes and challenges in creating meaningful art experiences for young children. Art materials will be provided for participants to experiment with and explore.

Lunch and Learn Session: Anti-Racist Teaching in Early Childhood Education 

Research shows that children notice racial differences by six months and express racial bias by age three (Winkler, 2009). For educators, acknowledging our own unconscious biases and talking explicitly about race with young children can feel uncomfortable and scary. If we are committed to fostering exploration, connection, and growth in our classrooms, we also need to commit to thinking about, talking about, and acting upon the realities of racism so that children can become capable and competent agents in their own learning. 

Join in conversation with other educators who are seeking to do this work and talk about the importance and the challenges of addressing race and racism in early childhood education. Samantha, a white educator, will facilitate the conversation by asking guiding questions and provide resources for further reading.  

Branches Community School

Transforming the Image of the Child Conference October 5th