I just returned from the Maryland Child Care Conference in Ocean City, MD. The conference was held in a beautiful setting by the Ocean, but the best part was meeting all the wonderful early childhood educators. Chris Peusch was the hardworking coordinator of the conference who effectively managed the operations, responded to questions, and made the entire experience amazing for all of us! In my session, on “Nurturing Creativity”, the early childhood professionals responded enthusiastically and shared their own stories of their creative children. My closing session, “Laughter in Early Childhood Classrooms”, allowed us to laugh, giggle, and celebrate the joy that can happen when we interact with young children.

A high point for me was getting acquainted with Debbie Clement, a wonderful musician and creative author. We were able to talk several times and find our shared interest in young children and their teachers. She is a very authentic person who truly cares about early childhood teachers and their inclusion of music in their programs.

After my session, I was able to talk with some of the teachers and listen to their experiences. At the end of this time a teacher came to me just as I was leaving. No one else was around but she seemed hesitant to begin talking with me. Then she related this story. “I have worked in Child Care for many years but I was never able to go to college. It is difficult for me to share with parents what children were learning. Today, you gave me the words that I can use: persistence, creative thinking, and life skills.”

I thanked her for sharing her personal story with me and assured her that her years of experience had helped her learn many things about young children and their development.

This is why I travel to conferences and write books. I cherish these amazing moments when I interact with these very special people who are early childhood educators!