Early Childhood Center Benefits from Regional Conscious Discipline Training at Elms Hotel

More than 120 educators, including 14 members of the Excelsior Springs Early Childhood Center staff, attended a Conscious Discipline Training at the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs, MO (photo S Jason Cole).

On Thursday and Friday The Family Conservancy hosted a two-day Conscious Discipline training, primarily focused on the introduction to Conscious Discipline for educators who specialize in early age learning such as preschool and kindergartener. More than 120 educators from around the Kansas City Metro Area traveled to Excelsior Springs to receive the highly sought-after training. The event was a boon for Excelsior Springs Early Childhood Center who had 14 staff members in attendance. Dr. Katie Andresan said that she was excited to have such a helpful training opportunity in our own district. “We’re here to really work on being the best possible educators by having a strong social-emotional presence and learning how we can take this knowledge and help our children be more successful with their social-emotional needs,” she said. Andreasen added that after COVID, addressing the emotional needs of young learners has become especially significant.

According to their website, Conscious Discipline is a program that teaches children how to regulate and manage emotions in order to make safe and healthy choices. But the main focus of the training is on the educators and parents. “In order to best help our children with the conscious discipline approach, we need to do the work on ourselves and our own emotions first,” says Conscious Discipline trainer Becky Bailey. Early Childhood Center educator, Ali Stock said she was very excited to be able to attend the training so close to home and to be able to add to her knowledge and skills base. Stock stated that she felt it was important for educators to learn how to help themselves by getting into the right mental state in order to help others.”I just think it’s really important when working with kiddos to be able to regulate your own emotions so you can help demonstrate those skills to those who may have trauma,” said Stock.

Event organizers Michelle Franklin and Amy Herring said they wanted to keep the training, paid for through the use of Clay County Children’s Fund, in Clay County because the funding comes from area residents. They said they chose the Elms Hotel for a location as a symbol of how important it is for teachers and administrators to be able to care for themselves, emotionally, mentally, and physically, in order to best address the needs of the students. Franklin said that the Family Conservancy’s mission is to ensure that every young child has access to high-quality early education, regardless of social standing.” Herring added that these types of trainings are just one of the ways they can help to improve the quality of early education programs in our area.

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