We Got This

Well one more class left for us to go.  What a wild and crazy road it has been.  I am so happy to have met all the wonderful women who are helping to make this world a better place for all children.  I am fortunate to have been able to build a community of people and make connections so that we can help and support each other!  I have learned what anti-bias means, and I have also learned about terms like oppression and equity.  I am so fortunate to have had been able to continue my education and be a part of this journey with so many wonderful peers, teachers, and support!!  Thank you all…one more class WE GOT THIS!!

 

As I move forward I would say that my biggest passion is that all children have equal access to high quality programs.  It is my dream that all children in the world have a chance to live without bias, stereotypes or oppression.  I hope that we can change this world for future generations were we can learn to live together as a human race, not separated by the differences that tear us apart.  This is going to take a lot of work; it will challenge many people to think outside of the box.  We will have to advocate for the rights of all children, and we will have to  challenge society on a whole to think about the environment in which children grow and live in. 

I wish you all the best of luck in what ever you decided to do after school….you are all rock stars, and I know we can make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

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Life In Kenya

This week I choose Kenya as a place to discover.  While I have never been to Kenya, I often think that I would love to do missionary work someday, and I know that some of the outreach in my church is in Kenya. 

As I was exploring the UNICEF site to understand what life is like for a child in Kenya, first, I found out that there is a high rate of infant mortality, this is due to lack of a health system, extreme poverty, AIDS and malaria.  As many as 96 children may die any given day in Kenya.  This is so sad.  Many children are also become orphans because their parent die from HIV/AIDS.  Many children live in orphanages, live in the streets, or even become the heads of their own households at an early age to take care of younger siblings. 

UNICEF is working hard to ensure that all children’s rights are protected.

As I was reading the information about Kenya what hurt my heart is the unfortunate conditions that these children are living in.  And that many children in our own country could be facing some of these hardships as well.  I find it hard to think of children not having access to things like health care, school, and even clean water and food to drink.  I can only imagine the stress that this would have on a child’s emotional wellbeing or their development.

I feel that children living in these harsh conditions would feel that they are in constant stress.  Along with the fact that many do not have the nutrition that they need, their physical development may not be like a typical child.  Many issues like; stress, lack of health care, lack of food, disease, and poverty, would all contribute to negative growth and development.  I also believe that these children would have compromised social/emotional development, and would perhaps live in a state of flight or fight for most of their life’s. 

So, what does this mean for me as a professional?  I feel that what I have learned is the issues that are effecting the children in other parts of the world are also effecting children in our own backyard.  We need to remember that there are many influences that can either support or have negative consequences for children and their overall wellbeing.  We need to think about every aspect of a child’s life to understand what influences are present, so we can help them where they are at.  I also feel that I have learned that we need to remember to advocate for all children, not just the ones in our own care. 

 

UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/kenya/health_4136.html

To Sexy ??

Today I was sitting with a friend and thinking about what I was going to write in my blog post.  I shared with him what the article was about and he told me that he sees this everyday with his son who is in high school.  He told me that his son gets notes from girls asking to be his girlfriend and he even said that one offered to have sex with his son if he would.  THIS IS NOT OKAY!!

Yesterday I was talking to an aid who comes into the center I work at, she works with a little boy who has autism.  During the school year she is a social worker in the school, she told me that a thirteen-year-old girl came into her office and was worried that she may be pregnant.  HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN.

I believe that the media has a lot to do with this and today many young girls feel that they need to look a certain way, act a certain way, or have certain things to feel loved and liked.  And honestly, the boys are just learning to treat girls with disrespect, and look at them as objects.  THIS MUST STOP!

What I really thought about was the ageism, and how I feel that this is an aspect of that very -ism, that has taken over how people feel about themselves in our society.  On one side, our society says when we get older, we need to fight it and be young.  Then when we are young, we are told to be older, more mature.  But what hurts even more is that children are being forced into adulthood without being able to be children, innocence has been lost.  As a result, I think that girls often think less of themselves, and boys no longer know how to resect girls.  The question I have is what will our society look like if this does not stop? 

Classism in the Early Childhood Field

 

As an early childhood professional, I believe that classism is something that I have faced in my profession as well as my life.  For most of my career in this field, I have had a lack of insurance coverage, low wages, and many times felt that people did not understand the importance of the role I have in the life of children that I work with.  As a matter of fact, more than once I have been referred to as a babysitter.  And honestly, most families do not realize that I am educated and am working towards my Master’s degree. 

How does this effect the work that I do with children? I feel that I have come to accept the fact that I may never be paid wages that reflect my education, I love the work that I do and I feel that I do the best I can ever day in making connections and building relationships with the children and families that I work with. But it is also hard due to high staff turnover, because as a teacher I am always working with new people, and the children also have to re-adjust to new teachers. 

I feel fortunate that most of the families I work with now do apricate the work that I do with their children. They understand that I am more of a baby sitter, but this has also been made possible because of parent education as well as a level of professionalism that I try to show parents.  I feel that the issue of classism in the early childhood field is connected to many of the issues within our field.  Advocacy and parent information do help, but I would love to see where early childhood professionals are treated like teachers who work in 4-12 public school programs.