Professional Learning while Social Distancing

            Strive recognizes that professional learning may not be top-of-mind during this unprecedented time.We are viewing this work-from-home opportunity as a gift of time to engage in intentional professional growth. Perhaps you need to catch up on documenting your Continuous Professional Learning (CPL from the College of ECE), or you want to achieve some of the goals you have set. Now is the time.

The Strive Team, along with incredible community partners, created this curated list of professional learning opportunities, while maintaining strict social distancing of course.

Firstly, Strive has great online resources on our Members Section including a Program Overview from All Kids Belong, Art-Full Wellness from HOTO Art Therapy, and Karyn Callaghan’s incredible speech from the 2019 Literacy Conference… just to name a few. We are looking into unique ways to continue to offer you live digital PL over the next few weeks as well – so stay tuned to our Social Media platforms and the website for registration.

We also wanted to offer some additional external resources that may be of benefit to you. Our hope is that this list will offer a variety of opportunities that would support goals in many pedagogical areas. As a reminder, here is how Strive defines the Pedagogical Focuses:

  • Well-Being Focuses on nurturing a sense of self, health, and wellness for children, families, and professionals.
  • Belonging Focuses on cultivating authentic, responsive relationships, positive interactions, and valuing each individual’s unique spirit and contributions.
  • Engagement Focuses on meaningful play, inquiry, and exploration, as well as the role of the environment in the co-learning process.
  • Expression Focuses on fostering communication and expression in all forms.
  • Leadership Focuses on organizational culture and engagement, as well as personal leadership skills.



Finding Fred is a 10-part series about the life, thinking and work of Fred Rogers, and what lessons can be gleaned from his legacy about how to get by in today’s chaotic world. Episode 1, A Genius of Empathy is particularly good.


Hygge in the Early Years is a charming, weekly podcast embracing Hygge (the Danish concept of coziness and comfort that produces feelings of wellness) to improve on self-care and happiness for Early Childhood Educators.


Playwork is a podcast for people who love to play! Each episode features interviews with playworkers, educators, and play theorists working to create dynamic spaces for play. There are only a few episodes so far but they are really interesting, especially if you have an interest in the adventure play movement.


The Good Ancestor Podcast considers how to create a legacy of healing and liberation for those who are here in this lifetime, and those who will come after us. Host, Layla Saad’s interview with the Executive Director at The Conscious Kid, Ramon Stephens, on parenting through a critical race lens is really excellent.


How Preschool Teachers Do It is a weekly podcast hosted by Early Childhood professionals and advocates Alison Kentos and Cindy Terebush. They use evidence-based research and practice to address a variety of contemporary issues in Early Childhood Education. They have been putting out a lot of great content around the pandemic over the last few weeks. Time Out By Any Other Name Is Still Time Out is another fave.


The Early Education Show examines the policies and politics of education and young children. It is based in Australia but many of the themes are universal.


The Thriving Children Podcast weaves central themes of movement, play and connection, as crucial ingredients in the early years of life through each episode. Alfie Kohn, Lisa Burman, Marc Armitage have all been guests.


All In The Mind is a weekly podcast looking into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behavior. While not focused on Early Childhood Education specifically or exclusively, it definitely informs and overlaps our work. Check out the episodes on Childhood Trauma and the Brain, The Art of Neurodiversity, The Power of Compassion and What is My Child Thinking? an exploration of the latest developments in neuroscience that reveal the intelligence and enhanced consciousness of infants. Or if you’re an animal lover, On Being a Dog.


Smart People Podcast is a weekly, interview-based podcast that features well respected thought leaders engaging in insightful conversation on topics such as psychology, leadership, education, relationships, and more. The episode, How Your Stories Change Your Reality with Educational Neuroscientist, Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath is INCREDIBLE!


Invisibilia by NPR is an all-time favourite. It looks at the unseeable forces that control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. The whole show is incredibly well researched and produced but Season 3 was a real standout. They dubbed it their concept album built around the central idea that, “the world you think you’re living in, is not real.” Check out the episode, The Culture Inside about unconscious bias, and the two-part episode on Emotions.


Curiosity Daily is a daily podcast dedicated to helping you learn more about your mind, body, the natural world, and how history shaped the world into what it is today. Do you know why toilet paper is white? I do. Because of this show.  In under 10 minutes, episodes contain a unique mix of research-based life hacks, the latest psychology, science, tech news and more. The show notes always link to additional resources, research briefs and/or academic papers, which is also very cool. Check out the episode that discusses surprising new findings about the role and importance of fetal vision in the womb.


Unlocking Us, hosted by Brené Brown are weekly conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart. The most recent episode, Permission to Feel with Dr. Marc Bracket on the topic of emotional literacy is incredibly insightful and thought-provoking.


After the publication of the Early Years Study 4 back in February, author of the report, the Honourable Mrs. Margaret McCain, sat down with In Conversation host Stephen Hurley to discuss the work and the future of Early Childhood Education. Listen to that conversation HERE.


The BIG PICTURE Social Emotional Learning Podcast tackles a wide-range of topics associated with Social Emotional Learning and development. Episodes are brief and always include research-based evidence as well as practical strategies.


The Preschool Podcast provides practical advice for managing your organization, centre or classroom, as well as thought provoking content and insights about the field of Early Childhood Education. It is produced by HiMama, so occasionally has an obvious, self-serving agenda, but by and large the content is quite good.


Similarly, The Early Learning Podcast, produced by Storypark is for early learning professional looking for “inspiration on the go.” They cover a range of topics such as resilience and self-regulation.


By Leaps & Bounds: A Closer Look at Early Childhood examines how investment in high-quality early learning and care benefits children, families, and Educators as well as society, the workforce and the economy. It is produced in Michigan, but topics and themes (the benefits of play, the critical role of ECEs, etc.) are transferable.


Checking In, is a podcast that is being produced in light of the heightened emotions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.   Host, Susan David is a psychologist at Harvard Medical School who offer us strategies, a support system and an understanding voice during this time of great uncertainty.


Mental Health:

Mental Health Online Resources for Educators:

Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute:


BounceBack® is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA):

Mental Health First Aid:

Peak Resilience:

Locke Psychotherapy:

Recorded Webinar: Managing Anxiety During Social (Physical) Isolation for families (from the Nexus Health / Best Start Network):


Special Needs Resourcing:

Geneva Centre for Autism:

Thames Valley Children’s Centre:




The Brain Story Certification:


Curriculum and Pedagogy: 

City Wide Training:

MEHRIT Centre: Self Reg 30 Day Challenge

Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research: Process Art:

The National Geographic Educator Certification (Starts on April 6):

Outdoor Play as a Quality Maker of Early Learning & Risky Play Outdoors:



College of ECE:

Ministry of Education, Child Care and Early Years Act Self Test:


Reflective Reading and Perspective:

Early Childhood Education: Making Sense of Our Life’s Course


Resources for Families:

Play in the Time of Coronavirus Tim Gill (Rethinking Childhood) and Penny Wilson:

Building a Routine When Working from Home and Caring for Kids:


Independent Professional Learning:

Early Childhood Investigations Webinars:

Tamarack Institute: Webinars for leadership growth and development:

Western Continuing Studies is offering three FREE courses in April. These include everyday French, Emergency Management, Design Thinking.



How We Lead:


Truth Before Reconciliation

Get a primer in Canada’s colonial reality; a necessary first step in building just relationships with Indigenous Peoples and the land.

8th Fire: Wab’s Walk through History 

  • A quick walk through 500 years of history that ends with an invitation to talk & learn (video, 2 minutes)

How do we solve structural racism?

  • An overview of 30-years of recommendations to solve the problems of racism and inequality in Canada (PDF)

Is it really genocide? In Canada?

  • Indigenous activists, artists and journalists examine the UN’s definition of genocide alongside Canada’s history (video, 7 minutes)

Canada’s Dark Secret

  • Survivors revisit residential schools, and Murray Sinclair explains the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (video, 47 minutes)

Can you commit to 12-16 hours for more in-depth, online learning? The Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety Program is open for London-Middlesex ECEs, sponsored by the local Journey Together committee. This foundational course will increase your knowledge of colonial legacies and bias. Email for registration details. Start dates are ongoing; next available is mid-April.


We will continue to add to this list as we explore additional professional learning opportunities. Be sure to check back often!

Thanks and stay well,

The Strive Team



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