Family Life and Culture in Our Classrooms is a workshop about values and strategies that place families, home life, and family culture at the center of our early childhood classrooms. This workshop is designed for early childhood educators of any level who are looking to begin or expand their program’s connection to children’s home lives and family cultures. It will be valuable to any early childhood educator who is looking for meaningful curriculum to explore anti-bias educational goals, and to anyone who is seeking to enrich their understanding of why home culture is relevant to young children’s learning. We will delve into developmental and pedagogical reasons for this work, and we will explore the everyday real-life classroom practices.
Early childhood educator, Bryn Potter O’Shea will share stories, images, and specific curricular strategies currently in use at Cow Hollow School, including ‘family books,’ ‘home visit books,’ and ‘family culture share.’ Educators who are new to the idea of ‘family culture share,’ as well as those seasoned in the practice and looking to go deeper, will gain valuable perspectives and tips from the field of how this meaningful ritual, having developed over 8 years, is practiced at our school. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect and engage in planning around their own context, as well as to dialogue with other educators who are exploring family culture share.
*Bryn Potter O’Shea has been working with young children and their families since 2004, and started at Cow Hollow School in the fall of 2007. Since then she has taught in each classroom at CHS with children from 2 to 5-years-old. She is proud to have worn many hats and roles at Cow Hollow, including early and extended care, snack and grocery planner, and since 2007 as Faculty Chairperson for CHS CIVIC (Citizenship, Identities, Values, Inclusion, and Cultures; formerly the Diversity Committee). In this role she spearheaded CHS’s demographic survey project, and continues to passionately support diversity, equity, and anti-bias education in our school and broader community. Bryn holds a BA in Studio Art from UC Santa Cruz and a California Master Teacher and Site Supervisor Permit. She is currently pursuing her MA in Education at San Francisco State University, with a focus on Early Childhood Education. Her 10+ years of teaching experience include working with infants and toddlers in employer-sponsored childcare settings, and with preschoolers and adult student teachers in early childhood lab school settings. In addition to classroom teaching Bryn facilitates seminars and workshops for early childhood educators, with organizations including Headstart, Teach for America, CAEYC, and the Innovative Teacher Project.