Karen Rucker, M.S.
Early Childhood/SAC Master Trainer


K6:  Professionalism and Leadership


Interested in a topic not listed? Contact the instructor, Karen Rucker, regarding the possibility of customizing a session to address your center's specific professional development needs or to address a specific age group. For additional information, click on the Contact tab or send an email to krucker@RespectingChildren.com  or call 717-314-8368.

All Age Groups

NEW!  CDA Portfolio Completion and Preparation for the CDA Visit & Exam (15 hours over several weeks)  Led by a seasoned CDA PD Specialist with considerable experience assessing CDA candidates and teaching CDA classes.  This interactive course includes live webcasts where you can ask questions and join in discussion; individual phone conferences with the instructor; and assistance in editing portfolio components. This class prepares the participant for completion of the CDA portfolio tasks including the required resource collection items, competency statements and the philosophy statement.  Guidance will also be provided in completing the PA Keys Profile, applying for the CDA Voucher (if eligible, to have PA pay for the CDA Application Fee) and completing the CDA Application process.  Discussion will be held on how to best prepare for the Family Questionnaires; finding a CDA PD Specialist; CDA Verification Visit; and the CDA exam.  IMPORTANT:  Participant must own/purchase a copy of the CDA competency standards book from the CDA Council.  

NEW!  It's Not All About You... Functioning as a Member of a Team (2 hrs - K6 C2)  Teams cannot be mandated by management. There is no book or article; there is no activity; there is no formula to make you a team. Groups of individuals become a team when members choose to be one. This session will examine elements of a team, the payoffs and how to move toward harmony in the workplace.

STARS 101 & 102 (2 hrs each for a total of 4 hours - D2.15.C2; D6.08 C2; D6.09 C2; K8.15 C2 and STARS SQ.2.1)  This course meets the requirement for STARS 2 SQ.2.1 Part 1 and Part 2.  It is an introduction to the idea of Continuous Quality Improvement which is the basic premise for the Keystone STARS Quality Rating System.  In addition to the philosophy of CQI, the process of change and how to begin your journey through the Keystone STARS system will be discussed.  The following elements of assessing and building quality will be covered: Pennsylvania Core Knowledge Competencies and Big Ideas Framework, Continuous Quality Improvement, PA Early Learning Standards, Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB) as a resource, and supporting interactions with children and families.

Leave It at the Door:  Managing Personal Stress in the Classroom (2 or 3 hrs - K6.1 C1 & K6.2 C2):  Got stress??!!?  Everyday ECE professionals dedicate themselves to nurturing children, youth, and families.  Often they are so dedicated to serving others, they neglect their own needs.  When this happens, staff can experience stress that impacts job satisfaction.  Join us as we explore tools to manage stress and maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle that are effective in reducing stress in the workplace and at home.

Maintaining Professional Interactions with Families (2 hrs - K6.6 C2 and STARS SQ.3.4.5):  Research has demonstrated that positive relationships with families support positive outcomes for children.  Join us as we examine the cornerstones of professional interactions with families and how to foster a partnership with the child's first teacher; whether it be a parent, grandparent, or other guardian. Discussion will include strategies to maintain professional interactions with families and relationship barriers.  We will also review our ethical responsibilities to families as defined by the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and apply this knowledge to map out a plan to strengthen teacher/family relationships.

Not "Just a Babysitter!" - Committing to Professionalism in ECE (2 hrs - K6.6 C2):  Children deserve practitioners who understand the importance of quality care and are committed to professionalism.  Explore what it means to be an early childhood education professional by examining criteria from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


Child Care Myths and Why We Need People With Passion in ECE (45 min - K6.10 C1):  Child care is far from sunshine, roses and butterflies.  So why are you here?!??!  Join us as we take a look at some child care myths and discover the real reasons working in ECE can be incredibly rewarding.  NOTE:  This session is typically only available as a face-to-face event.