Time Well Spent

Rogers

 

The journey to get to the point we are at this week started for me about 6 years ago, with a credential for Inclusion. After I completed my credential I was awarded my BA, and now this week I am looking at finishing my MA.  I look back at my time in this program for the last year and a half and I am amazed at how I have grown as a teacher and a person.  I have meet so many wonderful people in many various parts of our world and I have seen what a huge field the early childhood profession is. 

Three things that have changed me because of this program:

1.       I am a better person/teacher.  I have had many opportunities to do reflective work in my classes and I have learned more about who I am and why situations affect me the way they have.  I can question myself and explore why I have bias and now have the tools to change my perceptions.  I also have tools to help children have an anti-bias view of the world and can empower them to be proactive and seek justice.

2.       I have learned that children in the world face many challenges when it comes to equality and quality of early childhood experiences.  Today I can hold conversations about why these issues exist, and what we can do to help resolve the issues.  And not just the issues that children in my own community face, but children all over the world. 

3.      I have learned what the importance is of sharing information and working with other professionals is the field of early childhood.  I have learned that it does indeed take a village, and that we all have something important to contribute.  I realize that I have been in a community of practice for over the last year and a half, and have meet some incredible wonderful, passionate people.  I have learned the importance of conflict, and that together we can make a powerful change!

 

I want to thank everyone who has been in this with me since the first class.  All my Professors, who challenged me to be a better person, and all my peers who have helped me understand and see different perspectives.  I have been able to meet people from around the world, and hope to keep some of that correspondence going.  I hope to be able to help others as they work through their programs as some have helped me. 

As this chapter closes I know that I will move forward, and God has some big plans in my life.  I am not too sure of what those plans are yet.  I would maybe like to get a Doctrine someday, but for now I think I am going to get involved with some organizations within my community, state, and national level. 

On a fun note, I look forward to being able to catch up on some books!

 

I wish you all well……and good luck!!

perspective

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Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

There are three International Organizations that I found that I feel are great resources:

1.       Global Child Development Group:  This organization with the support of UNICEF prepared a series of three papers that addressed the outcomes for children in poverty ridden countries.  They offered suggestions on interventions, and have since 2006, have continued to update their findings and write new papers.  There overall mission is to help children under five receive the education they need so that these children can have optimal child developments.  The specialize in child who live in countries where there is a high amount of poverty.  On the web site you can find many resources including publications and events. 

I feel that I was drawn to this organization because of their mission, I feel that the information they share could be applied to children anywhere in the world. 

http://www.globalchilddevelopment.org/events

 

2.       UNICEF: This organization is not one that is new to me, and one that I have used many times for information.  I feel that this is an amazing organization, and that they do so much for children around the world.  UNICEF has been working for over 70 years, and in over 190 countries.  Their main mission is to promote the rights and wellbeing of every child.  The work that they have done cannot be captured by a paragraph on this blog, I feel that everyone who has an interest in child should spend some time exploring the content. 

 

UNICEF is an organization that I have known about for years.  I feel that they are a great organization that helps all children and they have contributed in so many ways to improving the life of all children. 

https://www.unicef.org/about-us

 

3.       ACEI: Association for Childhood Education International.  This is an organization that has been around for 125 years.  One of their core beliefs is that education is essential to human development.  Today they focus much of their work on meeting the needs of the world most fragile children.  ON their web site they have many resources available, they have publications and they explain more of the history of the organization. 

 

What interest me most about this organization is the fact that it has been around for so long. 

https://www.acei.org/

 

International Job Opportunities.

 

Field Support Specialist (UNICEF)

This job would be in Hatti.  This job would include planning, designing and implementing programs. 

This person would be responsible for disbursing funding.  And this person would also act as the local focal education person for the Child Protection program.  I do have the schooling requirement, but lack the 5 years of experience in social planning, and unfortunately do not speak Creole. 

 

ECE Teacher in New Zeeland

First, New Zeeland do I need to say more?

This job opening is for a new preschool that is being opened.  There were not many details on the job posting except that the school would be opening early 2018. 

https://www.eteachinternational.com/teaching-in-australasia-and-pacific

 

EYFS Teacher

This job would be in Switzerland.  This position would be one in which I would work with children and their families, and as part of the Early Years team.  The requirement is a Bachelor’s Degree in Education as well as three years of experience, which I have.  Housing and Flights are both provided, and a two-year contract. 

https://www.seekteachers.com/job-detail.asp?job_id=31323

 

What have I realized? I have realized that there are so many opportunities in the world for me to use my education to help all children in the world receive quality education.  The sky is the limit so to say.  Many possibilities, I can travel the world, and go almost anywhere.  IT is very exciting. 

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

Three National Organizations that I feel are great resources and organizations:

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

This is an organization that I have known about for many years.  It has been a resource for me as well as an organization that I have been a member of.  I think that NAEYC’s position statements as well as their standards are also standards that I believe in.  I feel that they support children, families and teachers in all the work that they do.  They have a wonderful mission, and I feel that they reach so many lives with the work that they do. 

www.naeyc.org

National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)

This organization was a new on that I have never heard of before.  The reason that I listed this organization is that I believe that we should have national standards that all childcare programs should follow.  This is my personal belief for many several reasons, but the number one reason is to promote universal quality in all programs.  This organization was started in 1991, to recognize and encourage quality here in the United States as well as in other countries.   You can download their standards, as well as see what is happening in the country as far as accreditation. 

http://necpa.net/

Association for Childhood Education International.  I love their mission which is to promote solutions to educational challenges worldwide.  They have been around for 125 years.  They have many wonderful resources on their web site, as well as publications for free, and that you can purchase.  They have forums that you can become involved with as well as opportunities to volunteer. 

https://www.acei.org/

By the way: HAPPY WORLD TEACHER DAY on October 5th, 2017!!

 

Jobs that I would like to have:

Parent awareness and community outreach coordinator:

This job opening is in Arizona.  The primary task is educating parents, teachers, local businesses, and communities about First Things First.  First Things First is an initiative working towards creating family-centered, quality early childhood programs for the education of all Arizona children.  Being able to work in a team is very important in this job.  Being able to do presentations, and speaking in front of groups is a must.  While this seemed like a very interesting job, I would be lacking a degree in public outreach.   This job sound fun and interesting and has that parent education link to it, but I would need more experiences doing presentations, as well as things like creating a budget.

Family Resources Coordinator

This job is available in Washington.  This job would be working with families to help them receive services and supports.  They help children with special needs and their families reach their full potential.  I do have many of the qualifications listed for the job.  I do not have experience in social work, or case work, but I feel that I could learn this.  Overall I feel that this is a job that I would love because I feel that getting families and children the help that they need would be awesome!

Child Life Specialist

I saw many job postings for this job in the United States.  I feel that this would be a very rewarding job working with families in children on a very different level than I ever have.  This would be working with young children and their families during medical times.  They work with other specialist to help advocate for the families and children.  Unfortunately, while I will have a MA in Early Childhood education, I do not have certification or training as a Child Life Specialist.  This is something that I would have to do if I wanted to purse a job in this field. 

 

These are just three examples of the many jobs that I found while searching Nationally for a job.  Many of the jobs that I found are also jobs that are in my own state/community.  It is a good feeling to know that I could move anywhere, and that I would be able to find a job.  It was also good to realize that there are a lot of jobs out there too.

Roles in ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Here are some great local/state organizations that I have found:

1.       Valley AEYC

 This affiliate of NAYCE is right in my own back yard.  They meet once a month, have mini conferences and do a tour of centers each year.  You do have to play a membership fee.  I believe that the reason this group appeals to me is that their purpose is to promote higher standards of quality.  I have been a member for many years, I have attended meetings and I have also presented at one of the mini-conferences. 

http://www.valleyaeyc.org/

2.       Collaborating Partners

This group was started with the purpose of connecting EC professionals together to share information and to work together.  The web site has a wealth of information including link to WI pyramid model, and WI early learning standards.  There are also links for professional development, and jobs.  There is parent information and resources available.  What I like most about this group is that they are helping people come together and work together, and have a place where anyone can get information on many different topics. 

http://www.collaboratingpartners.com/index.php

3.       WECA (Wisconsin Early Childhood Association)

I have been involved with WECA for almost as long as I have been in the field of EC.  This is a wonderful organization with a lot of information and opportunities for EC professionals to learn and collaborate.  They hold a conference ever year, as well as work with EC professionals by helping pay for education as well as offering REWARD.  Their web site is full of useful information as well as information about how you can be involved in the issues in the field.  What I like most about this group is that they do want quality work force as well as they help to make it happen. 

http://wisconsinearlychildhood.org/

 

I have done many different job searches from time to time, looking for different jobs that I feel I would like to have.  Over the years my idea of a dream job has changed.  I do how ever know that I would enjoy working for a head start program, and they have many different opportunities that would appeal to me.

One that I found that I feel I would enjoy is that of a Parent Educator:

The main job of a parent educator is to build a collaboration with families to support them in being their child’s first teacher.  This is done with home visitations.  I would conduct weekly visits, and help the parents learn skills that can help them connect with their child.  As well as provide resources for them, and help them become active members in their child’s learning. 

For this job, I would be expected to travel, as well as be in classroom settings as needed.  I would also collaborate with teachers as well as other professionals in the EC field.  I would need a bachelor’s degree (which I have).

I feel that I would do a great in this job.  I get along with people well and have always been able to work with families well.  I am not judgmental, and have had a lot of experience working with young children.  I also do believe that we need to encourage families to be an active person in their child’s learning, and feel that the family is the child’s first learning environment. 

The other job that I felt I would enjoy is being a Head Start teacher:

There are many job openings right now for Head Start teachers where I live.  I feel that this would be a good fit with my education and my beliefs.  I feel that I would be helping children who need the experiences and quality of care that I could give them.  It would be working during the school year.  They do use the pyramid model and conscious discipline, both in which I have had training.  I currently use both techniques now with the children I work with.

I would have to get a DPI, which I do not currently have.    I would work during the school year and have summers off. 

 I feel like there are many possibilities available in the field of EC.  I would not mind working for an organization like Child Care Resource and Referral, WECA, or even as a state licensor.  I know that I will have at least a year commitment working where I am right now with the loop of children that I have, once they are in preschool, I will be able to explore the many other opportunities that may be available at that time. 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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?