Thank you Oregon Early Educators

Hello Friends, 

Over the past two months, I’ve worked with seven different early childhood sites regarding wellness, resilience, and ways to support young children in our state. I wanted to take a moment to give each of them a shout-out! Most of my time has been spent in rural parts of our state, and, needless to say, our state is beautiful, breathtaking, and full of dedicated early childhood professionals. I LOVE working with these organizations and it’s an honor to see moments of insight and enthusiasm for our state’s youngest children. 

Before I move on, if you’re interested in having me speak at your organization, you can reach out here! Let me take you on a journey…

Mid-Columbia Children’s Council – Thank you Central Oregon Head Start Educators! From the beautiful views of the gorge, to a room full of early educators, the kick off for our summer tour was amazing! I’ll never forget sitting on the floor with one of your Head Start teachers, practicing, and modeling the concept of co-regulation. We discussed stress vs. overwhelm and tackled teacher burnout. What an honor! 

Umatilla & Eastern Oregon Head Start – Wow! We discussed how positive childhood experiences are mirrored in every Head Start Classroom in Eastern Oregon. And, it was our first big shout out to all of the bus drivers and nutrition specialists that make sure kids’ bellies are full, and that they see bright, shining smiles first thing in the morning every day! Thank you to the leaders, especially, who took time to consult with me. Your shared wisdom and expertise was refreshing. 

Roseburg UCAN – The Buckaroo Barn was a fun space to host our event! While I was terrified I might be asked to square dance, instead, I was met with heartfelt hugs and vulnerable conversations about how challenging teaching can be at times. You asked curious questions and embraced dualities! Thanks to the dude at Dutch Bros in Roseburg who changed out my lid to “Be the Change” when I told him I was training educators all day! 

While in Roseburg, my incredible Community Relations Manager, Alena met me with a bottle of wine, chocolates and a note to encourage our work. It was delivered by a fairy, no less!

Neighbor Impact Head Start – I LOVE this part of our state. It’s simply beautiful. Thank you, Redmond, for hosting me and allowing me to be BOTH your keynote speaker and highlight some breakout sessions as well. We defined what it takes to be a champion for children and brainstormed so many ways to address difficult behavior. We reviewed the collective stressors and loss that educators have experienced and created a new path forward by defining purpose! Great job!

Joyful Noise – These folks are amazing! I felt like our morning flew by as we brainstormed ways to create safety within teams, fill buckets and energize ourselves with intentional ways to interact with young children. The way you embraced dualities and worked collaboratively was inspiring! And thank you, Alice, for the beautiful, blue marbles.  

The first week of September included 14 hours of driving in two days. I was tired, but inspired! Thank you so much to my team – Alena & Tegan for all of the behind-the-scenes work so that I could support educators as they went back to school. 

Klamath Falls – As I drove into town, the beautiful lake in the valley welcomed me. This is where we had a heart-felt group hug, highlighted men doing this incredible work with littles, and shared plenty of tears. Let’s hear it for the south-central part of our state where incredible work is being done by a troop of beautiful early childhood folks.  

NW Oregon Action Head Start – What a beautiful end to the tour! The Oregon Coast is gorgeous and so are the people who work there! There was yoga, dancing and lots of curious questions. You all inspired me with your collaboration and ideas about how to work with our littles in Oregon. Thank you to the angel who left a card in my purse, personally thanking me. 

After I wrapped up my day in Seaside, I went and sat on the beach for quite some time. As I reflected, I realized this…

  • 7 sites
  • Approximately 1,050 educators, nurse visitors, cooks, bus drivers and administrators – all making a difference in the lives of young people
  • If each person touches the life of just 20 children or families…
  • That’s over 20,000 children that we’ve impacted this summer! 
  • And that’s conservative folks – let’s do more!!

Friends, I’m proud! I’m proud of this work. I’m thankful for my team. And I’m SO very grateful for being invited across our state to work with all of you!! 

I can’t wait to see what this school year brings. And I know this – our children are in great hands!