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Local Educators and Childcare Providers Attend MSSU Conference - KOAM TV 7

Local Educators and Childcare Providers Attend MSSU Conference

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

A child's early years lay the foundation for the rest of their lives. The Early Childhood Conference at Missouri Southern provides training to local educators and daycare providers so that they can continue to build that foundation.
Those who are used to doing the teaching spend the day learning. Hundreds of educators and childcare providers, including Gwynetta Baker, hope to take away techniques that will help them in the classroom.
“I’ve been doing this for a long, long time and it will give me new information that I can use," says Baker.
She owns a small daycare and preschool center in Seneca and her main goal is to prepare the children for kindergarten. The conference gives her the chance to network with other providers.
“We’re interacting with other teachers and getting to hear their stories of what they’re dealing with and give input and learn from them and maybe they can learn from me,” says Baker.
Missouri Southern's Childhood Development Center hosts the event, bringing in presenters to train on prevalent issues such as behavior and mental health.
“We need to up our game to help them become the best that they can be so when teachers become the best they can be, then children will become the best that they can be,” says Nikki Tappana, the Director of the center.
The first keynote speaker focuses on the "brain gym," how physical movement plays a role in development. She demonstrates different moves that help prepare a child to learn and decrease stress. Baker will be able to utilize the skills when it’s time to shift the focus in her classroom.
“I have mostly boys and they like to move so we kind of do different activities moving and then kind of slow down and do some learning activities,” says Baker.
After 28 years of teaching, she says the conference helped her feel rejuvenated, which was the goal of organizers.
“Just for them to know that they're appreciated for the job that they do and to know that it’s meaningful and that they're the ones that are helping our future, they’re setting the ground level,” says Tappana.
Other keynote speakers focused on responding to difficult behaviors in a productive way and ways that music can help in learning. The conference is held every 2 years.

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