At Paddington, we strive to attract and retain exceptional early childhood teachers. Our classroom teachers are degreed and licensed in early childhood education. Over 50% of our faculty members have completed the Stanley Teacher Prep Program (now called the Boettcher Teacher Residency Program) and were interns at Paddington Station. Among the teaching faculty members at Paddington Station Preschool, one has an AA degree, seven have a Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS, or BFA) 18 hold a Master’s degree and we have two PhDs on staff. At Paddington Station learning is viewed as a continuous on-going process for students, parents/guardians and teachers. As such, we highly value professional development and our team members participate in numerous and varied continuing education opportunities each year. See below for expanded content on each learning experience (listed by date from newest to oldest):
Seven members of the Paddington team attended this session which focused on enhancing the outdoor learning environment, as an integral part of an early childhood program. Through outdoor play, children develop gross motor skills, engage in social interactions, and take appropriate risks. Adding loose parts to the outdoor learning environment creates new experiences for cognitive growth and development, creativity, and language. By reimagining the outdoor learning environment as a dynamic and variable space, our team gained new insights into ways to ensure no two days outdoors are ever the same.
The entire Paddington Team took a professional day and attended this event, sponsored by Denver’s Early Childhood Council. The focus was exploring the impact of equity on Denver’s children and families by hearing the stories through both data and personal experiences. All participants had the option to share their own stories in small groups and reflect on what these stories are telling us about creating a bright future for all of Denver’s children.
You don’t need to wear a white lab coat to be a scientist! For infants and toddlers, science is a part of their natural curiosity and exploration. Two members of the Paddington team attended this training presented by Qualistar Colorado and learned strategic ways to engage infants and toddlers in science, key methods for incorporating scientific language and ways to encourage the next generation of scientists.
A child’s inherent musical curiosity is a powerful learning tool and adds excitement and engagement to daily learning experiences. Four members of the Paddington team attended this training facilitated by Qualistar Colorado and Swallow Hill Music brought back ideas for incorporating music into every day lessons.
Paddington’s Head of School attended this day-long training presented by the Early Childhood Education Association and learned about updates regarding early childhood practices and policies in our state.
Paddington’s entire team participated in this presented by Sarah McNeil of the Denver Public Library Department of Early Learning and learned about way in which play helps with optimal early brain development as well as social-emotional, cognitive, language and physical development.
Paddington’s Head of School participated in this conference by Nature Explore and The Outdoor Classroom Project to learn about increasing quantity, quality, and benefit of outdoor experiences for children.
Paddington’s office manager and bookkeeper completed two days of training to increase their knowledge and productivity and maximize database functions for the School.
Paddington’s science teacher completed this day-long training through the Denver Botantic Gardens Schools & Teachers Education program.
Paddington faculty member, Barbara Cotton took the Pyramid Plus 45-hour training in 2014. She was then coached in her classroom, took part in a year-long certification process and became a certified Pyramid Plus Trainer in July 2017. The program, offered through The Colorado Center for Social and Emotional Competence and Inclusion, UC Denver, promotes the social and emotional development and inclusion of all children, birth through five, through a collaborative professional development system that fosters and sustains the state-wide, high-fidelity use of the Pyramid Model, SpecialQuest approach, and other related evidenced-based practices integrated with relevant Colorado efforts..
Six members of the Paddington team attended this session, presented by Qualistar Colorado to gain better understanding regarding the current thinking and best practice for visual art experiences that are process focused for the early childhood classroom.
Paddington’s science teacher attended this training presented by Qualistar Colorado and The Denver Museum of Nature & Science to gain better understanding about how children learn through inquiry and how to foster this learning in the classroom.
Social-Emotional Screening and Assessment Training
In response to comments made by parents in the Family Feedback Survey that was conducted in the fall of 2016, our entire faculty participated in a 5-hr social-emotional screening and assessment training with Dr. Elizabeth Steed and Dr. Jaclyn Joseph, professors from the UC Denver School of Education and Human Development. This workshop focused on identifying milestones and red flags in the social development of young children and key aspects and challenges involved in social-emotional screening. The team also learned how to use the ASQ:SE-2 (Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional – 2nd Version) and worked on the Social Emotional Assessment Measures for Planning Instruction (SEAM). Both tools have been added to the Paddington resource library for faculty and staff and will be used for the 2017-2018 school year.
The Impact of Trauma on a Young Child’s Development
Three Paddington faculty members attended this all day training on April 5, 2017. The event was sponsored by Denver’s Early Childhood Council, the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center and the LAUNCH Together in Southwest Denver Initiative, which is a four-year project focused on building a coordinated, trauma-informed system of community supports around the social-emotional development of young children birth to 5. This one-day workshop was the kick-off event for bringing a conversation on trauma-informed care to schools, organizations and families throughout Southwest Denver. Topics included; Why early childhood and adolescent exposure to violence have such a disproportionate impact on development? How the child’s relationships either facilitate or inhibit brain development? Why it is important that we work to increase both physical safety and psychological safety? And, What role can teachers play be in buffering trauma and promoting healing in a child’s life?
Birth to Eight Roadmap Initiative Think Tank
Early childhood leaders in Denver have launched the Birth to Eight Roadmap initiative, a new effort that seeks to dramatically improve outcomes and close opportunity and achievement gaps by investing in the city’s youngest learners. Research affirms that children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. Yet, supporting our youngest learners in achieving reading proficiency is a complex endeavor given the multiple factors that impact language and literacy. With local philanthropic support, Denver Public Schools, the Mayor’s Office of Children’s Affairs and Denver’s early childhood community will articulate a shared Roadmap for serving children ages birth through eight years old. Three members of the Paddington team attended a think tank session on this initiative on April 7, 2017 to specifically address creating better transitions between 0-5 care and kindergarten (and beyond).
Science Inquiry: Analyzing and Extending Student Science Questions
Paddington’s science teacher attended this professional development workshop presented by Qualistar and facilitated by the Museum of Nature and Science. Why is the sky blue? How did the leopard get its spots? What is a solar eclipse? Young children are full of questions! The early childhood classroom is a perfect place to support this natural curiosity and engage students in the science inquiry process. The teacher’s response to these questions can help students connect concepts, think critically and explore ideas at a deeper level. At this workshop, our science teacher learned how to provide support and guide teachers in using questions to create authentic science inquiry experiences.
SEM Training Series for Preschool and Early Childhood Education Centers
In early 2017, four members of the Paddington administrative team attended The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) free School Emergency Management (SEM) training for pre-school and early childhood education centers. Preschools and early childhood education (ECE) centers face many of the same safety threats as their K-12 counterparts. In this workshop series, participants learned how to identify and prioritize threats to their buildings and plan courses of action that can protect students and staff. Using the latest guidelines from the federal government, Paddington reviewed and revised the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and reviewed best practices on training staff and students for emergency incidents. The course content was developed using multiple FEMA materials and will inform Paddington’s Emergency Guidelines and best practices as planned and reviewed by Paddington’s Emergency Response Team.
In-depth CLASS Training
Quality interactions between children and teachers are critical in achieving positive outcomes for children across all developmental domains. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™) is an observation tool that can help teachers focus on interacting effectively with the children in their classroom to enhance each child’s learning. The CLASS™ is organized into three domains: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization and Instructional Support. In February of 2017 our Head of School, Director of Advancement and PreK teachers participated in a 12-hour in-depth training about this tool and examined the domains, dimensions, indicators and behavior markers. Guided videos and hands-on activities helped them learn more about teaching behaviors that best support young children.
Paddington’s Head of School and our three Age-Level Coordinators will became credentialed Level 1 Coaches in January 2017. Aligned to the Colorado Competencies for Early Childhood Coaches, the Colorado Coaching Credential recognizes coaches who have the foundational skills and dispositions critical for effective coaching. Incorporating 3 Levels, the Coaching Credential provides a professional pathway for entry level coaches to very experienced coaches.