Gender, Sexuality, and the Family: A Three-Part Series for Early Childhood Educators

February 27, 2023 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST
March 13, 2023 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
March 27, 2023 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
Online
$36.00

During the early childhood years, children begin to develop a conception of gender, sexuality, and family. However, there is often little space for teachers to talk about the questions and behaviors that come up in their classrooms, or how to explore these concepts with children in their curriculum and pedagogy. Parents and family members often feel in the dark as well, with little opportunity to discuss and collaboratively develop strategies for working with their children or young people. 

To open up this conversation, The Jewish Education Project is bringing in the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute to offer a series of workshops for early childhood educators designed to spark discussion, facilitate the creation of shared language, and provide educators and the resources they need to make their classrooms safe spaces for the development and expansive exploration of identity.  

The Jewish Education Project, in partnership with Project SEED, a program of Westchester Jewish Community Services, is excited to be hosting a three-part web series for early childhood educators to learn about and grapple with topics of gender, sexuality, and family in the early childhood classroom.  

Registration is limited, reserve your spot by February 26, 2023. 

For more information contact Sasha Kopp: skopp@jewishedproject.org 

What is PDI?: 

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI) is a public-private partnership that brings together a range of city agencies, a consortium of private funders, and the nation's largest urban university to build a comprehensive system of professional development for individuals who work with young children in New York. The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute leads the work to establish and implement an early childhood workforce system to ensure funding, standards and competencies, career development resources, qualifications and credentials, professional development (training and strengths-based coaching), and program quality assurance and improvement for individuals who work with young children throughout New York. 

 Learn more about the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI) here.  


About the Workshops:  

Session One: Introduction to Gender in Early Childhood - Monday, February 27th, 2:30-4:30 PM ET

In this workshop, we will learn about and discuss gender development in young children. Through discussions of how rigid gender roles and stereotypes can limit children's growth and self-expression, we will collectively develop strategies to facilitate expansive gender performances and to create inclusive classrooms which support a variety of gender expressions. We will also discuss a variety of ways to resist the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes and strategies for working with family members who are struggling with their children's gender non-conforming dress or behavior. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • By the end of the session, participants will... 

  • Reflect on their own gender identity and socialization 

  • Deepen understanding of gender and bias (e.g. gender binary and patriarchy) 

  • Identifying tools and strategies to teach with a gender justice lens (curriculum, environment, family engagement, responding to children’s questions, addressing children’s biased behavior) 

 

Session Two: Curiosity & Consent: Introduction to Early Childhood Sexuality - Monday, March 13th 2:30-4:30 PM ET 

Young children often have questions about and want to explore their body parts and the bodies of others. In this interactive workshop, participants will develop strategies for fostering children's feelings of comfort about their bodies while setting limits to help children develop a sense of boundaries. Participants will explore what it means to help children develop healthy relationships and will learn strategies for teaching consent, respect, and encouraging children's sense of bodily autonomy. 

  

Learning Objectives: 

  • By the end of the session, participants will... 

  • Learn strategies for teaching consent, respect, and encouraging children’s sense of bodily autonomy 

  • Building a culture of consent in the classroom, connecting this to dismantling the patriarchy 

  • Develop strategies for fostering children’s feelings of comfort about setting limits with their bodies 

  • Facilitate children’s ability to name and describe their own bodies and choose how they want to use them 

Session Three: Fabulous Families: Engaging and Including LGBTQ+ Families - Monday, March 27th 2:30-4:30 PM ET

In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of supporting children by representing and including all families in the social and cultural community of the program. Focusing specifically on LGBTQ+ families, this workshop will help educators consider both deliberate and inadvertent messages about belonging contained in their programs' written material, environment, teaching, and educational practices. To create a more inclusive environment in their classrooms and schools, we will introduce concepts and language to talk with families and our staffs about sexual and gender identities, the legal structures that are involved in defining families, and discrimination targeted at people who do not conform to gender or sexual norms. We will also identify curricular opportunities to teach about family diversity and develop strategies and activities to teach children a more expansive understanding of family. 

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of the session, participants will... 

  • Discuss the importance of representing and including all families in the social and cultural community of early childhood programs 

  • Learn the language to use when talking with families and colleagues about different sexual and gender identities 

  • Identify curricular opportunities to teach about family diversity and develop strategies for teaching a more expansive understanding of family 

Milo Giovanniello
Milo Giovanniello

Milo Giovanniello (they/them) is an educator and organizer working for racial and gender justice, and a therapist in training with a focus on supporting queer and trans disabled survivors. As an educator and facilitator for the past 9 years, they have gained experience facilitating conversations with young people and adults about racial and gender justice, identity and gender exploration, sexuality, and consent. They hold a BA in education and sociology/anthropology from Swarthmore College and are currently a second year MSW student at Smith.

Kate Engle
Kate Engle

Kate Engle (she/her) is a facilitator and consultant who partners with institutional leaders to explore how racial and gender identities impact individuals, relationships, and communities. She is committed to unmasking the consistent patterns of oppression that manifest in education and nonprofits, and challenging the ways that progressive institutions and individuals replicate these patterns. 
 
Kate works as a trainer with organizations including the Center for Racial Justice in Education, Bank Street’s Center on Culture, Race & Equity, Mary Pender Greene Consulting, and the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. She taught 3-year-olds for 11 years in New York City and has an MSEd in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College.

Jim Clay
Jim Clay

Jim Clay (he/him) has been an early childhood educator for over 40 years, starting out as a teacher’s aide in Head Start, and later becoming an assistant teacher and then finally a lead teacher in a community-based program. The birth of his son and parenting responsibilities took him out of the classroom and eventually to becoming a center director. He quickly learned he did not have the skills for program administration so completed an MS in Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street. Along the way, he provided plenty of training for the teachers at his school. Almost all his years in early childhood education have been in Friends education, and currently he serves on the board of the Friends Council on Education. Throughout he has been a founding member and active facilitator of the LGBTQ Interest Forum (Caucus) of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, writing articles for Young Children and leading workshops at the annual national conference - all to promote a good working environment for LGBT educators, support the parents of LGBT children, and help to create the right educational environment for children who will later identify as LGBTQ.