Hello, QACP…introducing Parent Educator Jamie Cho!

Dear Queen Anne Coop Families,

I am pleased to be joining the Queen Anne community and am very much looking forward to working with the cooperative families and educators. This will be my first year with Seattle Central College as a Parent Educator and I will be working with the morning classes (three-year-olds) and afternoon classes (Pre-K) at Queen Anne Coop.

This summer my family and I relocated from the Bay Area, California to Bellevue, Washington. We are slowly acclimating to the changes in weather and cultures. I have three children: two boys and one girl, ages 9, 6 and 3. I have participated in cooperative preschools with my children, and served both in various offices through their school Parent Teacher Associations and on the Board for the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education.

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I started out working with children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities in early intervention. I pursued a doctorate in Special Education through University of California Berkeley, in which I delved into theories and studies of early learning and development, as well as parenting, family systems and cultural influences on early childhood. I was fascinated with cultural interpretations of family, parenting and education in schools and homes as well as studies of parenting psychology.

Furthermore, during this time I worked in inclusive early childhood environments, witnessed best practices (including family-school partnerships and individualized programming), and research-based practices at work. I was also employed in teacher training, instructing credential students on how to employ best practices in their classrooms with students.

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My academic studies, personal experiences, and professional work with teachers and families have strengthened my belief in the importance of families in guiding children’s early learning. I believe that partnering with families to create a cohesive educational team is essential to school success and that cooperative preschools can represent the best functioning of these partnerships.

Coop education brings together the expertise of parents and teachers to create an educational and rewarding experience for both children and adults. As a parent educator, by offering information, child rearing and educational strategies, and by building community and confidence, I hope to contribute to the growth of this community. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.

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Best,

Jamie Cho, PhD.

Parent Educator

 

 

Summer 2017 Wrap-Up: QACP News & Updates

*Expertise’s 20 Best Preschools*

QACP Made Seattle’s List for 2017!QACP_ExpertiseAward

“Queen Anne Cooperative Preschool (QACP) is a child learning center in Seattle that has been providing physical, mental, social, and emotional development to young children for over 30 years. The school primarily conducts classes for students ranging from little tots to pre-kindergarten and offers additional curriculum enhancements such as yoga, creative dance, music, and traditional tea ceremony. Parents commend Queen Anne Cooperative Preschool (QACP) for its competent teachers and community-oriented environment.”

Source: https://www.expertise.com/wa/seattle/preschools

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*Positive Parenting and Tantrums* 

Summary edited by a QACP Parent Educator

Earlier this year a QACP parent attended a “Positive Parenting” class to help understand how to manage kids and their big emotions. The class was three hours long and talked about how kids’ brains are still developing in toddler’s stage and that their emotions are triggered by their lower brain.

A few things that could help families with toddler tantrums:

Do not try to put a stop to the tantrum with threats

Do not try to rationalize the tantrum away

Understand the workings of the brain under the influence of emotions

Remain calms as best you can

Say very little

Watch for signs of that the emotional storm is winding down

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*Congrats, Pam Mcelmeel*

QACP’s Long-time Parent Educator Retires!

Pam J. Mcelmeel, M.Ed. has enjoyed working as one of the SCCC parent educators assigned to QACP since 1987. Before joining the SCCC Parent Education Program staff Pam was simultaneously completing her Master in Education at the University of Washington and parenting two preschoolers.

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Previously, as a young high school biology teacher, Pam realized that the foundations for school success were set in place long before the students reached her classroom. After moving to Washington from Illinois in 1977 with her husband she sought out a masters program that focused on school success.

Pam’s experience as a new parent in the NSCC Parent Education Program really brought the UW Masters Program theories into practice. The parent education/cooperative preschool model combined early childhood development information and research-based child-management techniques. This combination creates a community for families interested in opportunities for the parents to practice and share what they learned as well as get guidance from professionals.

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All of Pam’s post-graduate work has been in the fields of early childhood and adult education to stay current with research in both of these fields. Through the years Pam has seen many QA families benefit from the support and education they find at QACP. By helping parents strengthen their parenting techniques and confidence, Pam indirectly plays a role in guiding children toward school success. More importantly, QACP parents increase the skills needed to launch compassionate and competent citizens.

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Pam’s final year at co-op was 2016-17 and the QACP Board threw her a farewell party during August 2017.  Fun was had by all and many members plan to remain in close touch with her.  Congratulations to Pam from all of us in the Queen Anne community!

“What’s the Secret of Happiness?” by QACP Parent Educator, Kate Calhoun

George Vaillant was the psychologist presiding over the Harvard Study of Adult Development which followed research subjects for 75 years.  The study goal was to discover ‘What makes people happy?’  The only consistent finding was that successful friendships that connect family and friends are what predict people’s happiness as they make their way through the stages of their lives.

Friendships are a better predictor of happiness than any other single variable.

It is urgent that parents guide children to develop the social/emotional skills that lead to successful relationships.  Children need parents to teach them how to socialize effectively – how to make friends, and how to keep friends.

Many ingredients go into creating socially smart children. The following two skills are the most predictive for social competency:

  • Emotional regulation – Children who learn to regulate their emotions have deeper relationships than those who don’t. They also have skills to calm themselves more quickly when they experience strong feelings. Emotional regulation also involves the ability to stop, think and wait – to have impulse control.
  • Empathy – Practicing the ability to read tone of voice, facial expressions and body language helps children develop empathy skills. It is important for young children to learn to be empathetic, to see another person’s perspective. Being empathetic leads to more ability to have impulse control.

In addition to satisfying relationships, other behaviors that predict happiness include:

  • Doing altruistic acts
  • Making lists of things for which you are grateful, which generates feelings of happiness in the short term
  • Cultivating a general attitude of gratitude, which generates feelings of happiness in the long-term
  • Sharing new experiences with a loved one
  • Being willing to forgive when loved ones slight you

Kate Calhoun

Article authored by Kate Calhoun of Edmonds Community College & Seattle Central Community College during Winter 2017.  Material based on John Medina’s presentation for educators in Everett, WA on January 8, 2011, and in his recently updated/expanded book entitled: Brain Rules for Baby – How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five, Pear Press  2014.