Diversity Educator and Writer. Keynote Speaker & Workshop Facilitator
Colleen Iasiello has been teaching in public schools for 17 years. She holds a degree in Elementary Education and endorsements in Early Childhood Education and middle school Language Arts. Colleen wrote and implemented a pre-school program for a church, had her own pre-school in Japan, and taught American culture in the Japanese schools before moving to Oklahoma. She is currently teaching Kindergarten at Ranchwood Elementary in Yukon, OK. She was an instructor for Great Expectations, teaching Methodology classes and How to Teach Diversity to Young Children, at several colleges in OK. She was an instructor at the Edmond’s Art Institute, teaching African Doll Making Classes. She has led several book studies for both her colleagues, as well as the parents of her students. She has completed several Leadership Academies: Leadership in Education, Partners in Policymaking, and the State Superintendent’s Master in Education Program. She is certified in Core Knowledge and has completed the School’s Attuned program. She has received several grants over the years to enhance her effectiveness in the classroom. She is an active advocate for children with disabilities and inclusive practices. She has provided professional development classes for her school districts to included What Great Teachers Do Differently and How to Reach the Hard to Teach. She has written for the Respect Diversity Foundation and the Oklahoma Disability Council through The Oklahoman Papers in Education Program. She and her students are four-time winners in the Respect Diversity Art and Poetry Contest. In 2008 she was selected one of Oklahoma’s top 3 Early Childhood Educators.
Teaching Diversity to Young Children– Children begin recognizing differences as early as 6 months. This is a developmental stage. Children start placing value on these differences from the adults around them. Most adults don’t know how to answer those “embarrassing questions” often asked loudly in public! We tell children not to look, not to point, and quickly steer them away. Ultimately we raise another generation who don’t know how to act around a person with a disability. Don’t understand cultural differences. We all tend to fear things we don’t know or understand. There is another way…let me show you how to teach children joyfully about diversity!