Program Administrators Encounter ICEBERGS on a Field Trip!
In August 2016, early childhood program administrators from across the country came together for NAEYC’s first Summer Camp for Program Administrators. The day began with a field trip to the National Building Museum’s ICEBERGS exhibit, followed by an afternoon workshop exploring the relationship between creativity and leadership in early learning programs.
This interactive experience was guided by a series of activity challenges designed to inspire exploration, creativity, and teamwork. The shared learning experience was also an opportunity for administrators to network and explore the benefits of collaboration, creative risk taking, and innovative leadership.
Check out these highlights of our workshop participants immersing themselves in the museum experience!
“Directors and administrators actually talking about situations and giving their solutions to the situations. Another set of eyes! Another set of ears!Selecting groups was a great idea!”
—Carol Masten, Workshop Participant
Be Playful. Visit “PLAY, WORK, BUILD,” and build something together! In the Play, Work, Build exhibit of the National Building Museum, groups collaborated, building a variety of structures to encourage cooperation and communication. Arches, houses, levers, and animals were the result!
Be Bold. Go down an ICEBERGS slide. Get a picture or it didn’t happen!
The ICEBERGS slides were enjoyable for all (including service dogs in training!), and introduced new perspectives on how to engage with a community environment.
Participants were challenged to brainstorm locations in their own communities where they could take teachers for a similar creativity-inspiring experience.
Be Thoughtful. With your new team, brainstorm a list of the topics/concepts a teacher could include in a lesson plan inspired by this exhibit.
“We use the project approach at my school, and I think we could take a field trip together and brainstorm a mini study during our set-up week in the future—just like we did this morning!”
—Kristen Klotz Bowman, Workshop
Time was available for groups to discuss their ideas, which were then exchanged with others during the afternoon portion of the workshop, at NAEYC headquarters.
Be Inspired. Climb to the highest point in the ICEBERGS exhibit and take a picture.
Back at NAEYC Headquarters, the afternoon workshop focused on identifying connections between creativity and leadership that result in a sense of unity within programs. Conversations were engaging and informative as attendees connected their museum experience to their work as program administrators. Activities included contributing to Mind Maps, taking creativity tests, and sharing responses to questions such as
- What would you like to hear when people describe your program?
- What things can I do to foster connections between teachers?
The conversations, combined with the museum activities, provided an opportunity for program administrators to collaborate with one another and experience the power of team building firsthand.
“NAEYC has extended the concept of life-long learning by encouraging educators to take risks, be creative and innovative, and be passionate about providing the best learning experiences for all children.”
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Cass Ryan is a Professional Learning Coordinator at NAEYC.