Monday, April 24, 2017

Time Well Spent

When I first began the masters in early childhood studies program through Walden about two years ago, I was very overwhelmed. When I looked at the list of courses, the time and effort it would take, and all of the requirements need in order to retain the degree, I was not sure how I would be able to balance everything that I had going on in my life such as work, school, children, my children’s school work, family, and all the other obligations that I have. There were many days when I would come home after a stressful and long day of working with children, parents, and employees. School work was the last thing that I wanted to focus on, but I am that I stuck it out. A big part of me is glad that I am almost well a few assignments away from being done with the program because I will time to settle down and not be some overwhelmed with school. The other part of me is uncertain because I’m not sure what my next step should be. Some major questions that have seemed to running across my mind is do I continue on with school and enter into the doctorate program or should I stop and take some time off.  The mountain is a representation of the sacrifice, challenges, how I had to continue to climb to reach the success that I have in my career and life. 

We were asked to share three things that we learned from our course of study.

Connections

I have learned so much from my classmates that I have made a connection with because of this program. I have made connections with people that I have exchanged numbers and other information with. In the end we have all played some part in the others’ growth and development in this field. I have learned so much information through our discussions and blogs posts. In our Trends in Early Childhood course, we were asked to make connections with different people who work in the field from different parts of the world. I learned that many parts of the early childhood systems in other countries are somewhat similar to our own. Early childhood professionals continue to struggle to be accepted, valued, and recognized for the important work that we do. In most cases, we need to fund our own studies or professional development opportunities. There is also concern about what is considered to developmentally appropriate. Children around the world do not get to play as much and are forced into learning and they are not ready for at younger and younger ages. We also have similar concerns for budgeting and paying quality teachers much need salaries.Through blogging, I have found like minded educators throughout the country and around the world. Their posts and ideas have been informative and have influenced the work I have done in my own classroom. It is amazing how technology has impacted and changed so much and how it continues to connect us in different ways with people we would never had any contact with.

Research
Throughout the program, I have really learned what it means to actually do research.
In our research competencies course, I had designed a research simulation on infant friendships. Before I never had an understanding how to properly read a research article or that there was a specific way or method to do so. I also didn’t understand the concepts involved in designing a research study, but completing the simulation made it clearer. If there was not so thing as researchers, we would not have the necessary and informative information that we are currently using to guide our practices with children. I learned that we are in our way researchers we are doing some type of research every day when we are being asked questions and try to find the answers. When we experiment with new materials, techniques, and even new activity in our own classrooms, we are still doing research. I want to continue to encourage children that I will work with over my whole career to become research and acquire learning by experimenting and asking questions.

Last but not least, I learned that play is essential for development.

This concept is not news to me, but my research especially what I found in this capstone class strengthened my belief that early childhood programs should be play based. Play keeps children physically and mentally healthy. Through play children learn about relationships, differences, empathy, and playing role play. Play helps children process both good and bad events that occur in their lives. Play even helps children learn those important math, science, social studies, gross and fine motor skills, as well as literacy concepts that lay the foundation that is necessary to be successful in school. One of my goals would be to advocate for play and acceptance (diversity). This capstone course has helped me develop a way to do that.

To end this blog post, I want to personally thank all of my classmates for being supportive, sharing their experiences and life lessons along this long journey. It has been an honor to build relationships with each and every one of you.  I want to thank all of the professors for making this a learning process that can really help us in this important field we are in. I also want to say thank you to Dr. Dartt for pushing and pushing me to think more and more and giving me the necessary feedback to make my Capstone challenge even better. Because of the feedback, input, and suggestions, I have others who are focusing and willing to help me to take on this challenge. I am so excited about this! I wish nothing but the best to all of you. I hope you continue to reach for the stars. If any of you would like to keep in touch with me, my email address is shanabethune2002@yahoo.com. I hope that we can keep in touch and continue to be a part of the growing and learning in this field. 

P.S.

Can you please let me know if you are going to move on into the doctorate program or if this is the last stop? 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: International

This was an interesting assignment, as I would not have thought to look into or apply to international companies. Although I do not have an interest in finding a new position right now, I definitely might in the future, and I will know to widen myself to more possibilities. I think that any of these organizations would be wonderful to work for as you would help to change the lives of     children around the world.
UNICEF is a great organization that “works for a more equitable world by fighting for the rights of its future: children.” They work around the globe for health, safety, policies, communication, and research for children. UNICEF employs committed professionals “to work in our five focus areas: Child Survival and Development, Basic Education and Gender Equality, HIV/AIDS, Child Protection and Policy Advocacy and Partnerships. We also employ staff with expertise in administration and finance, human resources, information technology, supply and logistics as well as external relations and communication” There is a LIST of jobs available here,  and one job specifically that sounds interesting is available in NY which requires a master’s degree, two-five years experience, research, writing, and computer skills.

Save the Children works in 120 countries through education, health, emergency response, and advocacy. They have approximately 1,000 people working in the areas of US headquarter positions, in US field-based positions, and internationally. A position available currently is a temporary executive assistant in DC.  This is a fast paced office manager position. I think that this would be an excellent way to get your foot in the door, experience the organization,  and see what other positions might be a good fit.

UNESCO works to build  peace, end poverty, and establish intercultural dialogue.  Education is one of the ways to reach these goals. They are looking for people in the fields of education, science, culture, communication, and administration with experience and high values. They want people tofluent in English and/or French.  There is a job search that is available here. The areas of job opportunities come under the headings of professional, young professional, general service, consultant, or intern.
 References:

www.savethechildren.org/‎

http://en.unesco.org/

https://www.unicef.org

Saturday, April 1, 2017

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

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

 I always been appealed with NAEYC because there is so much information they give on their website. I like how NAEYC promotes high quality education for children. According to (NAEYC, 2017), the mission statement promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. The NAEYC advances a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The current job opportunity is available is Instructor/Early Childhood Education. The job requires Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education; or Master’s Degree in related field with 18 graduate credits in Early Childhood Education. This position requires prior teaching experience, preferably in both an early education setting and a community college; strong familiarity with educational technology is also required as well as excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills; Must be able to work independently and have experience with program coordination.

Association for Childhood Education International (acei.org, n.d.)

The Association for Childhood Education International.  ACEI is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization.  This organization is interested in sharing new approaches to the education of children and ensuring that these approaches are delivered in ways that enhance children’s individual skills and abilities and provide opportunities for success in life (acei.org, n.d.).  Their mission is to promote and support in the global community the optimal education, development, and well-being of children ages birth through early adolescence, and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others who are committed to the needs of children in a changing society (acei.org, n.d.).  Their vision is that every child in every nation will have access to a quality education.  This education will prepare children to become responsible and engaged citizens and ready them for life in a changing world (acei.org).  I could not find any job opportunities for this organization.  However, I did find that you can be involved by joining the organization at varying levels and cost.  By becoming a member it would be easier to be kept informed of upcoming job opportunities which may come up.  It would also be a very rewarding and educational experience.

The National Child care association (NCCA)

Professionals in the early education field provides services to communities and families in need. The professionals also provide services to those who are also interested in the ECE field. It would be very interesting to be an advocate for this organization because it seems competitive in ways of competing for clients. The services are good for children and families. This Site does not show job listings but a great organization to pursue.

I have always thought about relocating, so I started looking for jobs at Tennessee Department of Human resources website. The position that caught my eye was the Child Care Program Evaluator. This position stood out to me because I believe that teachers and or administrators always benefit from consistent training. This position requires you to oversee facilities. I would have to evaluate these facilities making sure they are following proper protocol and up to date on certain paper work.

Qualifications and Salary

·         Starting salary is $2,369 
·         Great benefits
·         A bachelor’s degree in the early education field or administration
·         Experience working with children
·         Professional experience in inspection of facilities
·         Assisting teachers at a licensed facility

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Association for Childhood Education International– As I was doing my research for this assignment I came across Association for Childhood Education. I love this organization right away. This organization stands for learning environments that stimulate the children’s cognitive development. According to Association for Childhood Education International, (2017), the mission is to promote innovative solutions that challenges and inspire action that creates sustainable futures for children, and the youth across the world. I believe this organization is all about making sure children are reaching their highest potential. The vision ensures every child across the nation has a high quality education. Association for Childhood Education International, (2017), we believe each child possesses a unique set of gifts and talents. The educators are invested in the education of children that value each child as a unique and special individual. I didn’t see any job opportunities but there are volunteering opportunities available. The volunteers has to follow the rules the organization provides.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)– I always been appealed with NAEYC because there is so much information they give on their website. I like how NAEYC promotes high quality education for children. According to (NAEYC, 2017), the mission statement promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. The NAEYC advances a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The current job opportunity is available is Instructor/Early Childhood Education. The job requires Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education; or Master’s Degree in related field with 18 graduate credits in Early Childhood Education. This position requires prior teaching experience, preferably in both an early education setting and a community college; strong familiarity with educational technology is also required as well as excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills; Must be able to work independently and have experience with program coordination.

Zero to Three Early Connections last a Lifetime– I was appealed to Zero to Three because they resonate with NAEYC. Zero to Three connects with children from their early years that includes their overall well-being. According to Zero to Three, (2017), works to ensure babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. I understand how critical it is that babies are developing strong cognitive developments right in the beginning.   Zero to Three, (2017), have advanced with proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources. It’s about learning about new communities, and everything they have going on with supporting children. I noticed they have plenty of job opportunities across several states. One of the job opportunities that I’m interested in is Director of Early Childhood Programs.  The required qualifications are to have Master’s degree in early childhood development, early childhood education, child psychology, or similar, 10 years of work experience related to the field of early childhood, and be able to demonstrate commitment and interest in culturally diverse setting.  

References
Association for Childhood Educational International. (2017). Bright Futures for Every Child, Every Nation. Retrieved from http://www.acei.org/

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/

Zero to Three. (2017). Advancing the proven power of early connections. Retrieved from https://www.zerotothree.org/


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Reflecting on Learning

“Anti-bias work provides teachers a way to examine and transform their understanding of children’s lives and do self-reflective work to more deeply understand their own lives” (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010, p. 2). My hope for the future is to continue to provide support and respect to all children and their families that I work with in my classroom. I hope to continue to gain knowledge to be able to become a resource for the community to help share anti-bias work I feel will be valuable for any early childhood classroom or professional.

Once again, we have reached the end of another course. This class has been very instrumental in helping me inspire to reach and connect with a diverse group of people. It has also helped me form my own positive thoughts about how to build partnerships with families in my years as an Early Childhood professional. I am very appreciative for all the kind words and feedback from all of you. It is with great thanks that I must say to my colleagues as we also work in partnership to brighten the lives of any diverse child and/or family we encounter. Thanks for your support, comments, discussions, and feedback in this course. I wish you continued success on the journey to completing and obtaining our Master’s. I would like to wish everyone the best as we all move on to our next and final course. I have enjoyed working with all of you and sharing ideas and insights with each other. I can truly say I have learned a lot from everyone.

Reference

Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and
Ourselves. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

The area of the world I chose was West and Central Africa. I chose this area of the world because I was curious to learn more about people of African descent. I also wanted to know what is happening with young children in this area of the world. Some challenges of the world children in this region face is malnutrition, AIDS/HIV, risk of early death due to preventable cause, poor health and hygiene (poor water resources), low food supplies, female genital mutilation (with babies as young as 3 months), wars within the country.

With such devastating challenges, it can have detrimental effects on children’s wellbeing and development. Children likely will be malnutrition or sickly due to poor nutrition, water supplies, and no help with stopping preventable diseases. Also, they may be subject to emotional instability. I gained many insights from this assignment. It is hard to read about and see that children all over the world suffer from the same things, but in different ways and to different degrees. For instance, children in the U.S. may suffer from poverty, but not as bad as some children in other countries such as Ghana.  I have learned personally and professionally is that children all around the world are dealing with circumstances that can leave a scar on their development and emotional well-being. This assignment was a great eye opener to what is taking place around the world.

Reference:


http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/westandcentralafrica.html

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

The subject of sexualization of early childhood is a subject and a realization that we must deal with in today’s society. “Young children in this generation are exposed from an early age to vivid messages about sex from the media and culture” (Levine & Kilbourne, 2009, p. 3). Children are learning about sexualization and an early age but do not understand the concept at this young age. “Girls learn at a very early age that they are judged by the way they look, and boys are taught to judge girls by how close they come to a fake,” impossible, and shallow ideal” (Levin, & Kilbourne, 2009 p. 2). Sexualizing girls is nothing new, it has been happening for a while now. It happens all the time in the media, on television, and in the clothing industry. It is so sad to know that we are super-sexualized generation of children. Children are being exposed to sexual messages in several ways. It is happening through television, videos, advertisement, marketing, internet, and adults. There are a lot of beauty pageants that are just for younger toddlers and preschoolers’ age in which they are wearing a lot of makeup and extreme which puts into their mind how they suppose. A lot of young children’s innocence has been clouded and taken their childhood away.

I can relate to this issue as young children in our classrooms are being sexualized by their parents who buy sexy and revealing adult outfits for themselves as well as their very young children and use excessive make-up and lipstick on young children. A lot of parents especially the younger parents encourage their children to move and dance in a seductive way. Young children are being exposed and allowed to watch inappropriate videos, movies, and television. Children are being exposed to sexual acts in their surroundings from adults and from social media. Children are practicing what they have seen from surroundings, peers, and even adults.  

When children are exposed to sexualization on a regular basis, they internalize these messages which in a matter of time impacts children’s healthy development. The lessons children learn from the unhealthy and negative messages helps shape their gender identity, sexual attitudes, values and their ability to form healthy loving relationships. The super sexualized child does not have healthy self-esteem and can present pathological sexual behaviors such as sexual abuse, pedophilia, and even prostitution. “These messages affects children’s overall development and can lead to eating disorders, depression and violence” (Levine & Kilbourne, 2009, p. 2).

It is important that educators help decrease the negative impact by guarding children from the endangerment of the media. Adults need to support and supply trust, fostering and providing nurturing experiences to decrease the negative impact on children. “It is also important that adults help children answer questions and clear up confusion concerning difficult issues” (Levine & Kilbourne, 2009). It is important that adults set restraints to how much media children are exposed to.

Studying about sexualization of early childhood has deepened and infused my knowledge of the concerns and its impact on children. “I am better equipped to help children in my care grow up sexually whole and healthy and to support children to survive and thrive in a sexualized world” (Levine & Kilbourne, 2009). My knowledge of sexualization has been increased tremendously.  I learned a lot about how the role that the different types of media play regarding the sexualization of children. It has been brought to my attention, that we do not think about how much damage and negativity such as music and videos can impact their gender and healthy development.

Reference


Levin, D. E., & Kilbourne, J. (2009). [Introduction]. So sexy so soon: The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids (pp. 1-8). New York: Ballantine Books.