Getting Started with the Tele-Class

Me reading with the children

Welcome! I’m so glad that you’ve taken the first step in making your days more joyful and smooth.  Now all you need are tools and practice.  I can supply the one, and you’ll be in charge of the other.

Your first step (after reading this page) will be to introduce yourself to the other folks who are on this journey with you.  In the menu to the left you’ll see the link, aptly named “Introduce Yourself Here.”  It can be hard to keep everyone straight at the beginning, so you can use the introductions to remind yourself of who’s who, as the online discussions get going.  Next, you’ll want to read the pre-class reading The Big Idea, and then read the Main Reading for class 1 if you have time before the first call. Before all that, let me tell you a bit about what to expect.

What the Classes Will Be Like– There are four components to this class: the Readings, the Videos, the Calls, and the Discussions. Let me talk a little about each one, so you’ll know what to expect.

The Readings– Each week’s reading has two parts: the Main Reading, and the Extras.  It’s best to read the Main Reading before that week’s call if you can, and then the Extras you can read through slowly over the course of the week as you work on incorporating the main ideas into your life.  Feel free to post any first impressions or questions the readings bring up, in the comments at the bottom.  That’s nice feedback for me!  You may see comments from folks in past classes there as well; just a nice reminder that we’re part of a larger community.

The Videos Each week (except one) has 10-15 minutes of video footage of me interacting with the kids at my (former) home daycare, Rainbow Bridge.  We will watch that Main Video together during the call, and you’re not expected to watch it beforehand, although you’re welcome to if you want.  Most weeks also have at least one Extra Video, which are clips of me singing little songs or playing little games that fit in with that week’s topic.

For the Main Video, you’ll want to “pull up” the video before the call starts, by pressing Play and then immediately pressing Pause.  This will let the video load on your computer so that everyone’s video plays smoothly as we watch it together.  You can make the video larger by pressing the little squarish icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the video.  If you have any technological problems, please let me know right away.

Finally,  I want to give many, many thanks to Lisa McVicker of Prosperity Media for doing the filming and editing of all of the video footage! She was the inspiring force behind the creation of this class, when she saw my work with children and insisted that I put it out into the world.

 

 

The Calls– The conference calls are the heart of the class, one each Sunday for six weeks, 12:00pm to 1:20pm Mountain Time (that’s a 11am start for West Coasters, 2pm start for East Coasters). You can get directions on how to make the calls by clicking “How to Make the Calls.” If you can, try to make the calls through a land-line phone to help minimize static.

Here what the classes tend to look like: we spend the first few minutes checking in. The first couple of weeks this generally consists of me making announcements, but as the class progresses this expands into more sharing.  After checking in, we go on to the current week’s topic. I talk a little, then we watch the video together. We watch a chunk of it at a time, stopping for me to talk about what’s going on, and for people to ask questions. Then when the video is over it turns into a general discussion, where people can ask questions about the topic, or about anything that’s going on in their home or in their play program. We end with me talking a little bit about the assignment, and then say goodbye.  I’ll upload a recording of the call within an hour of the class ending, and post a link to it in the “Recording & Discussion” section of each week.

If you won’t be able to make a call live, please let me know that by shooting me a quick email at faith@joyfultoddlers.com.  This just lets me know that you’re still “checked in” and engaged with the class.  Some people are never able to make the calls live, and that’s fine, but if you don’t make a call live, then try to listen to the recording as soon as possible after the call ends, so that you’re still doing your assignments and engaging in the online discussion with everyone else.

 

The Discussions– Each class has an assignment, generally along the lines of, “take these ideas and try them at home, then report back.”  You are invited to share your experiences each week with your fellow participants, in the “Recording & Discussion” link for that week.  Please do your best to check in twice each week, once by Wednesday, and then again by the weekend, where you can either post your own comment, or reply to someone else’s comment. There is not as much time for real discussion in the phone calls as we might wish, so the online discussion is the place where you can really get to know and support one another, brainstorming for ideas and cheering each other on.

I will sometimes take questions and answers from the class discussion and recycle them into blog posts. If I do that, I am always careful to take out any names and I often shorten the questions considerably. I may also use excerpts and comments in other writings, such as my in-the-works book. I will also change names, etc. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

That’s what the class is like!  I’ve done my best to present the materials in as many different ways as possible, so that whatever your learning “style” is, I hope we hit on it. I realize that not everyone can make the calls live, and not everyone has lots of time to share in the online discussion, but please do your best to check in now and then and let us know that you’re still part of the group, and still engaged. Because we can’t see one another in class, those small notes can make a big difference, letting us know that you’re still involved.  As I mentioned in my Welcome email, what you get out of the class depends entirely on what you put into it.

That’s all for now. Go ahead and click on the “Introductions” page, and let us know a little about yourself. And talk to you on Sunday!

Warmly, Faith

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