Sample from your 2020 SLI

Professional Development Library

Inclusive Tips and Solutions for Early Educators

Key ideas to share and put into practice

  1. When we start with “how to teach” we miss the opportunity to sit beside and get to know the child
  2. Assessment, instruction, and play are synonyms and occur simultaneously…with play at the center of all that we do
  3. Shift our mindsets (regardless of where instruction takes place) so we see our work as being with children vs. doing to children
  4. Barriers leaders can remove and/or things to stop doing – start doing:
    • Ask “why” over judging or “shoulding”
    • Connect before taking an action or giving an answer
    • Create a match and imitate before asking
    • Let go of the “high” of being the fixer  – experience joy in seeing others solve the problem
    • Actions need to match your words, beliefs, and values
    • Check yourself to make sure you are showing up in the same way you want teachers to show up with children
Session with Early Care and Education Consultants, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Ijumaa Jordan, and Dr. Isela Garcia

Length = 54:00 and tips start at minute mark 11:00

Click here for the audio only

Discussion Prompts

Use the following quotes and questions to dig deeper into the content and ideas shared during this session.


  • “Play should be at the center of all we do.”
  • “Children's.. sense of identity are being formed in these early years”
  • “We need to ask families ‘what do you want? What would work for your family?'”
  • “We have to believe in children from our heart-space, not from our headspace.”
  • “Once you open your heart, children respond to that.”
  • “You are not alone – you don't have to figure things out yourself.”

Guiding Questions

NOTE: More powerful questions start with WHY, HOW, and WHAT. Moderately powerful questions start with WHO, WHEN, and WHERE. Less powerful questions start with WHICH and are YES/NO oriented.

  • When you are playing with children, what are you doing and what are they doing, feeling, experiencing?
  • When have you experienced a time that fostered a sense of possibility and belonging?
  • What is one thing you would change if there weren’t any limits or restrictions?
  • What is one thing we can do more of, the same, or one thing we could do differently to would move us closer to including all children?
  • How can you overcome the barriers/obstacles/resistance using the tips and ideas shared in this session?

Downloadable and Sharable Tips and Inspiration