I began collaborating with colleagues in 1990 when I first became a consultant. Each of the books I’ve co-authored, the videos I’ve co-produced, and the projects that I’ve worked on have been the result of extraordinary collaborations — Powerful Interactions in the truest sense. Through our connections we extended each other’s learning to create resources that have had a positive impact on the field of early childhood.
With my longtime friends and colleagues Amy Dombro and Charlotte Stetson, we collaborated to write the book Powerful Interactions. In many ways, this project was the culmination of work we had done together on curriculum, observation, and assessment. It’s so exciting to us that the field has responded with so much enthusiasm to the three steps of Powerful Interactions: Be Present, Connect, and Extend Learning. What we hear on a regular basis is how such simple ideas can be so hard to do. However, when we take the time to be intentional by using these three steps, we can make such a huge different in the lives of children.
Almost as soon as the book was published, new ideas and new collaborations about Powerful Interactions were emerging. While Childhood Services of Arkansas State University was using Powerful Interactions as the focus of large state workshops for teachers, I began collaborating with Diana Courson (of ASU) on what has become the foundation for our new book Coaching with Powerful Interactions (authors Judy Jablon, Amy Dombro, and Shaun Johnsen). At about the same time, initiated by Alan Taylor (Vice President of SouthWest Human Development of Arizona), Laura Ensler (founding director of FirstStepNYC), joined Amy, Charlotte and me to create a statewide Powerful Interactions project in Arizona called “Creating Connections”.
Shaun Johnsen of Murray Hill Studios has been a terrific collaborator and through him I’ve learned so much about using video as a professional development tool. We use video to document moments of effectiveness and then invite educators to describe their decisions and the impact they have on young children.
To see samples of our video work, please visit www.murrayhillproductions.com