Past Conferences

2022 Conference

Beyond the Behavior: Understanding the behavior of children, adults and ourselves

Keynote Presentation: Parent Coach/Teacher Coach

By Mr. Chazz

We will practice understanding behavior through the brain. We will practice truly seeing behavior so we’re in a better position to guide. We will learn how we can teach emotionally healthy habits to children.

His mission is to help adults truly see, guide, and trust children. He is pushing the needle a little closer toward world peace. He goes by, “Mr.Chazz” and he even has a song to prove it. He has been a teacher of teachers and parents. He has worked with many schools, thousands of teachers, and thousands of children. He has trained thousands of teachers in person and virtually. He earned his Master’s in Executive Leadership at American University.

Featured Presentation

By Susanne Walker Wilson

Each of us is an expert on early relational health, child development, nurturing children from birth to three, and building alliances with families. Each of us brings strengths, gifts, and resilience to our work every day. And each of us bears significant stress, occasional sorrow, daily frustration, unavoidable risk, and sometimes even vicarious trauma through our day-to-day work with very young children and their families.

When the stressors are unrelenting (like during Covid) and the risks or burdens persist over time, our bodies bear the burden, and our nervous systems may wind up ‘amped up’ or ‘shut down’ or fluctuating between the two. This feels lousy and has some big costs for us at home and work. In this presentation, we will make sense of the body’s stress response (in ourselves, in the children we nurture at work, and in the people of all ages whom we hold dear beyond work). And we will learn a variety of simple, tangible tools to reset our own nervous systems in real time in a way that builds resilience and bring us back to our best selves—ready to be the balanced, patient, energized and insightful secondary attachment figures infants and toddlers need us to be.

This talk will offer us accessible things we can do in just seconds or minutes today and every day in real-time to protect ourselves from stress (and burnout) and to live our best lives in the classroom, while home visiting, and on the job. Your examples, input, and stories will be the springboard for keeping it real.

Susanne Walker Wilson, MSW, LCSW, LCAS-A, ITFS has been a home visitor, early intervention provider and service coordinator, parenting educator, an infant mental health therapist, consultant, and trainer over the last 26 years. She’s lived and worked in inner-city Washington DC; Colombia, South America; and in Asheville North Carolina where she is a licensed clinical social worker, an Infant, Toddler, Family Specialist, a trainer for Circle of Security International, and a certified resiliency educator partnering with early educators in the classroom, with home visitors, and with families of all kinds.

Susanne’s focus is the intersection of early relational health, resilience, reflective practice, and public health prevention. A founding member of the NC Infant Mental Health Association, Susanne is now part of a leadership cohort working closely with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health that is bringing the Endorsement process for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® to her state.

A co-founder of the nonprofit, Resources for Resilience, and co-originator of the Reconnect curriculum, Susanne believes that these simple strategies for resetting one’s own nervous system in the face of ongoing stress or trauma are essential to workforce resilience in any setting and are uniquely valuable to those of us who hold infants and toddlers in our care, our minds, and our arms each day.

Join Susanne in getting real about some tangible strategies to wick away the inevitable stress of our ever-powerful work with infants and toddlers and their families made especially complicated in Covid Times.

Workshop Highlights:

In person workshops:

  • Becoming Fully Human: Reimagining Child Development, with Stefanie Horton
  • Designing Environments and Activities for Toddlers and 2s, with Sydnie Henkin
  • Learning to Learn while Learning to Move, with Sarah Barnaby
  • Supporting Gender Identity Development in Toddlers, with Alexandra Martinez
  • Achieving a Secure Start: Using the Circle of Security Parenting Intervention as a Roadmap to Secure Attachment, with Barbara M Stern
  • Building Blocks of Toddler Cognitive Development: Learning Activities Through Play, with Simone Taylor
  • Creating Global Citizens, with Robin Hancock
  • What do parents of very young children worry about? with Melina Gac Levin
  • Empowering and Supporting Families through a Culturally-Sustaining Lens, with Allison Tom-Yunger , Annlady Jorge and Scharisse Sierra
  • Exploring Sensory Activities with Toddlers, with Debbie Silver
  • “Love is an Action”: Teaching Towards Equity and Change, with Stephanie Roer and Ari Puleo
  • Parent Support Groups: Why Investing in Parent Support is Critical to Whole Child Care, with Gabrielle Felman and Sarah Piel
  • Supporting Social/Emotional Development In the Wake of the Pandemic, with Lesley Koplow
  • Biting and Hitting and Dumping Oh My: Exploring the Challenging Behaviors of Toddlers, with Debbie Silver
  • Exploring Their Worlds: Seasonal Exploratory Activities for Infants and Toddlers, with Brittany Wallace and Stephanie McGillen
  • Choosing Relationship Over Control: Towards a Liberatory, Anti-Behaviorist Approach to Supporting Young Children, with Soyoung Park

Virtual Workshops:

  • Sensory Development: Implications for Classroom and Clinic, with Gil Foley
  • Creating Engaging Environments, with Michelle Barnea
  • ERP 101 En Español: Una Introducción A los Conceptos y las Prácticas Emocionalmente Responsivas (ERP) with Margaret Blachly
  • Falling in Love with Children & Families, with Stephanie Kelley
  • Writing For Toddlers, with Carol Zeavin
  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (this workshop will be in Spanish), with Emily Rodriguez
  • Secure Attachment as a Protective Factor –An Introduction to Circle of Security Parenting and Classroom Approaches, with Susanne Walker Wilson
  • Emotionally Responsive Practice: A Path to Infant Toddler Mental Health Description, with Gabriel Guyton and Laura Martin
  • Supporting Parents When Children Need Early Intervention, with Laura Araman
  • Using the FAN – a Tool for Building Relationships and Connection, with Tori Graham
  • The Genesis of Inquiry, with Beth VanMeeteren, Sherri Peterson, and Sonia Yoshizawa
  • Supporting Families and Children with Developmental Variations, with Tanya N. Miller
  • Supporting Positive Behavior: Proactive Strategies to Set Children up for Success, with Lori-Ann Mangal