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Children sit next to each other on a classroom carpet. One child has her hand extended, thumb raised.


Amanda Gooch

Amanda Gooch

March 1, 2023

It was incredible seeing those of you who were able to join us at Childcare Resources’ most recent professional development day featuring Dr. Dana Winters from the Fred Rogers Institute. Dr. Winters introduced us to the Simple Interactions tool that helped us to notice and appreciate human interactions across developmental settings. 

For those of you that weren’t able to join us, our training focused exploring these simple interactions and the role they play in early childhood education. The Simple Interactions Tool provides a common, descriptive language to talk about interactions in practice. In utilizing the following tool we will gain a deeper understanding of the role of interactions in human development; identify ways that human interactions can be encouraged across all levels of a system; and apply the conceptual foundation of developmental relationships to the everyday practice of supporting the learning and growing of children, families, and colleagues. 

One of my favorite parts of the training was when we were given opportunities to reflect on various video clips of teacher-child interactions within our community. We used the Simple Interactions tool to think about the different settings within our own work environment. We reflected on the interactions within our own practice and created connections to which interactions we tend to see and which interactions we would like to see more in our classrooms.

We also discussed resiliency and how supportive relationships and active skill-building in early childhood, strengthen the foundations of resilience. She showed us factors that contribute to and support resiliency. We enjoyed her in-depth discussions on research that shows the single most common finding on children who end up doing well, have had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver or other adult.

To learn more about Harvard’s Science of Resilience and why some children can thrive despite adversity, please click on this link.

As your Early Childhood Education Coach I am here to help you focus on these simple interactions and work as a collaborative team to enhance your practice. We need to remind ourselves that what children need for learning is simple and deep. Together let’s explore in depth Fred Rogers’ six basic necessities of learning (PDF).

The Fred Rogers Institute has a 20 year history of looking for the helpers, respecting the unique and essential contributions they make to children’s lives, and supporting and uplifting their work. Informed and inspired by the legacy of Fred Rogers, the Helper Awards are an opportunity to honor and recognize the individuals who care for children in ordinary and extraordinary ways in their daily and professional lives. If you know of an early childhood “helper” in our community, would you consider nominating them for this incredible opportunity?

I am so thankful to know so many “helpers” here in Indian River County. In our “neighborhood” there is evidence all around us as we elevate and promote the highest quality early childhood development and education. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve alongside you all.

Wishing you the best,


A group of students sit with their teacher at a classroom table
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