Sunday, April 30, 2017

Time Well Spent!

I signed up to begin this program while out on maternity leave. My classes started the same week I returned back to work. My son was six weeks old at the time. This weekend, as we work to complete our last remaining assignments, my family and I are celebrating my son’s second birthday! So I have so many reasons to be thankful for today!!

This journey has truly been both challenging and rewarding. This program has provided me a chance to further my education, my personal goal for some time, even as a mother of two small children, wife, guardian of two additional children and full time Pre-K educator. This program has also given me purpose. I now feel accomplished. I set out to reach a goal, and though very difficult at times, I met my goal. I’m done!! I am oh, so proud of myself as well as all of my colleagues that I have encountered throughout this program!

Something that has stood out to me is good communication. I have already begun to focus more deeply on better communication in both my personal and professional life. Communication is so important in so many different realms of our lives and I want to ensure that my communication skills are as effective as they can be. So many of our problems can be resolved, (in many cases, before they even begin), with good communication skills.

Another concept that has resonated with me is the idea that we have to be sure that we are aware of our own biases. This requires us to evaluate ourselves often and as needed. We need to understand what is important to us; our values, our beliefs, our traditions and how they may affect the ways that we interact with others.

My long term goal is to work towards implementing my Capstone Project to some extent, if not fully. The project was enlightening for me and required me to brainstorm issues and resolutions that may actually work out and prove to be beneficial for my community. It is time to begin to address the issues underlying my community rather than talking about it. I am ready to be that change.

To Dr. Darragh, thank you so much for your instruction, your wisdom, guidance and more than anything patience. This course has been one of the most trying for me. I have had so many changes going on in all aspects of my life; some more trying that others. I have been determined to get through, but there were many times when my weary mind wanted to convince me to do otherwise. Again, I appreciate your patience and consideration. You have truly been a gem!

To my colleagues, we’ve reached the finish line. We have made it.. THANK GOD!  I pray nothing but success and blessings to you all. Stay focused and continue to strive for the best!! Much love to you all!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Job/Roles in the ECE Community National/Federal Level

Pre-K Now is an organization working to promote the idea that quality preschool education is essential to the foundation of children’s learning. The program works to further support the idea that children will only build on the foundation created through quality preschool which will raise performance in later days.    []

Zero to Three supports the idea that the earliest relationships and experiences a child has with parents and other caregivers dramatically influences brain development, social-emotional and cognitive skills, and future health and success in school and life. This organization works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. []

The National Black Child Development Institute is a national resource agency providing programs, publications, advocacy and trainings related to early childhood care and education; health and wellness; literacy and family engagement. NBCDI supports and works primarily with Black children birth through age eight and their families. Their mission is to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and their families through education and advocacy. []

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The ECE Community

I have chosen to research The National Family Preservation Network, The National Fatherhood Initiative and The National Healthy Marriage Resource. I chose these organizations because they promote my Capstone Project Challenge. My goal is to work towards promoting Family Relationships to improve the overall well-being of our society by making families whole and building everlasting bonds.

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) mission is to serve as the primary national voice for the preservation of families. Our mission is achieved through initiatives in the areas of family preservationreunification, and father involvement. NFPN provides training, tools, and resources to assist policymakers and practitioners to build on a family's strengths and to preserve family bonds so children can be protected and nurtured at home. []

The National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) is the nation's leading non-profit organization working to end father absence. According to NFI, underlying many of society's most pressing challenges is a lack of father involvement in their children's lives. NFI's mission is to equip fathers to intentionally and proactively engage fathers in their children's lives and improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers in their lives. []

The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC) is a clearinghouse for high quality, balanced, and timely information and resources on healthy marriage. NHMRC's mission is to help individuals and couples who choose marriage for themselves gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build and sustain a healthy marriage. NHMRC provides quality information, resources, and training on healthy marriage for experts, researchers, policymakers, media, marriage educators, couples and individuals, program providers, and others. []

Monday, February 27, 2017

Reflecting on Learning

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It is pretty amazing the extent to which one can be both inspired and motivated by complete strangers throughout the course of a few weeks. Though I have never physically met you all, through shared interests, opinions and passion, it seems as though you all may understand me better than the people I come in contact on a daily basis. Through our personal beliefs and dedication to personal growth we continue to stand united. It gives me great hope to know that I am not alone on this unpredictable journey to becoming a better, anti-bias educator. To everyone within the course, as well as our professor, thank you for the impact that you have made throughout this course.

My most passionate hope for my future as an early childhood professional, all other early childhood professionals, and for the children and families with whom I work or will work, is that we strive to stay passionate about our purpose in children’s lives. It is imperative that we understand the importance of positively impacting the children that we encounter, because in many cases, we are all these children have.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

In West and Central Africa, statistics show that nearly two out of every 10 children, never reach their fifth birthday. Children are dying from malaria, diarrheal diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles. In addition to their already unfair circumstances, children have their rights violated on a daily basis to an extreme extent.

The country is experiencing extreme violence from a Nigerian militant Islamist group known as, Boko Haram.  The group has an ongoing fight/mission to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state. Boko Haram has caused havoc in Africa's most populous country through waves of bombings, assassinations and abductions. Boko Haram has robbed 1.3 million children of their childhood. Its violence has forced thousands of children out of school. Children are being displaced, abducted, raped, maimed and killed. Over 5,000 children are unaccompanied and separated from their parents. I cannot imagine what these children may be going through emotionally. I am sure that they are afraid and emotionally unstable as they do not know what to expect from day to day and in many cases from minute to minute. Their villages and families are being torn apart and destroyed daily.

Exploring this website makes my heartache to read about all that these children are going through. It makes me appreciate the relationships that I experience with the children that I encounter from day to day. I want to do all that I can to ensure these children have positive impacts in their lives. In many kids, the kids within our program are not as bad off as those in West and Central Africa, but they experience more in their little lifetimes than some adults. In many cases these children are neglected and unaccompanied in a sense and often times have to be dispersed among families, if family members are able and willing. Articles such as these make me want to do all that I can to ensure the safety and well-being of all children while in my care.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

Unfortunately, I have encountered a few incidents that have resulted from premature exposure to sexualization of early childhood. Within my first year of working with Preschool, I had a little boy draw a picture and smirk as he tried to quietly explain to a friend that he was drawing a bed so they could have sex. The comment really caught me off guard. I felt that he knew that the term was inappropriate because he understood that it was not something that he should say aloud.  I had to explain to the little boy that the term “sex” was not something that we talked about at school. At departure, I explained to his mother what he had said in hopes that we were able to address the situation and ensure that we did not have to address the situation again. It is such a difficult situation because I really did not know how to approach the mother without her feeling as though I was accusing her of doing anything wrong or making her feel bad as a parent. She explained that the term probably came up from her older son that she was having trouble with and she would be sure to address the situation.

Just recently, I took my daughter to see the movie “Sing.” At one point in the movie, three small bunnies, turned their backsides to the camera and began to “twerk.” Of course everyone in the theater though the idea to be funny, even my own daughter was extremely tickled. Though entertaining, it struck me as odd. It made me think of other children movies that expose children to different types of sexualization. I’m not sure where movie productions began being comfortable with so much sexuality in children genre families, but each year is gets worse and worse. I have had the discussion before with colleagues and some feel as though the children’s movies add brief adult moments within the movies to keep the parents’ attention as they watch the movies with their children.  Either way though, I feel as though it’s inappropriate and expose children to things they should not be exposed to so early. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Evaluating Impacts on Professional Practice

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After much thought a situation that came to mind would be someone dealing with racism. As with many isms there are many issues that may arise within a person. An individual may be left with feelings of incompetence, unworthiness, and even feeling incapable depending on the given situation. As a result, when encountering someone of the same background within the classroom, one may over compensate.

For example, an African American, female teacher goes in for administrative position within her program. During her interview, her male, Caucasian director makes multiple sarcastic remarks about her racial group that has nothing to do with her progress within the classroom. He also goes as far as, stating that the teacher’s coarse hair would probably scare the majority of his parents off anyway. The teacher finds that offensive because the dominant group within the center, families and employees alike, is Caucasian.

As a result of being turned down for the position, the teacher may now feel the need to prove herself. She wants to show that rather than be judged by the color of her skin and overall outward appearance, she wants to be judged by her abilities in the classroom and rapport with the children and families that she encounters. The teacher uses her situation as motivation to move forward and leave an impression on everyone that she encounters. She does so well that she is recognized and awarded teacher of the year award within her community.