MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference, Friday, November 5, 2021, at Washington Episcopal School, 5600 Little Falls Parkway, Bethesda, MD. Join us for workshops and faculty fellowship!  View a complete description at this link of the conference presenters and workshops. Schools may download a copy of the registration form or use this Google Form to register their faculty. Conference registration deadline is October 25, 2021.

We are excited to be together again and will continue to monitor conditions to ensure we can gather safely. All state and local mandates will be observed. It is the expectation that conference guest are fully vaccinated and face coverings will be required.

Keynote Address: Helping Students Learn to Celebrate Self and Others

Erica Thompson, Assistant Head of School for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School.

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that she is someone today.” Stacia Tauscher 

“Children want the truth. Children deserve the truth. And children can handle the truth.”  Carole Boston Weatherford

These two quotations are the inspiration for the keynote address. Our youngest students are developing their individual identities. Each day they are learning something new, developing habits, and picking up cues and clues. As educators we are instrumental in that development. Each child should be celebrated for who they are, but they are also beginning to recognize  who they are relative to others. Growing bodies of research have shown us that students notice differences at very young ages. How can we work to celebrate those differences and learn about each other? How can we give young students the facts and information that will help them understand themselves and those differences? Sharing stories from her personal as well as professional life, Erica will engage our members about how starting these conversations at the youngest ages is essential to our work as we develop students to be confident, empathetic, and successful in our schools and beyond.

Erica Thompson is Assistant Head of School for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School. She has over 25 years’ experience in various capacities at  independent schools. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her MA in teaching and curriculum from Loyola of Maryland.  She has presented workshops around areas of Diversity and Inclusion locally and nationally. Additionally, she is a parent to two teenagers (who have informed her work). She is passionate about helping students on their identity journeys and working with teachers to help facilitate that journey.