EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

  • My Grocery Trip was Cause for Pause...

    I typically do most of my shopping at a discount grocery chain downtown and then stop at my neighborhood store for the few items they don’t carry. This practice is rewarding for 2 reasons. First, I usually save quite a bit on groceries and second, I’ve found it interesting to observe the food choices made by a variety of families. We always hear about food deserts and unavailability or the high expense of healthy food choices, which inevitably affect the growth and development of young children. ...

    by Debra Pierce | @easycda
    Friday, 20 July 2018
  • 4 children

    How to Help Students Who Fall Between the Cracks

    One of the most heartbreaking conundrums in any teacher’s life is a student who does not quite qualify for special education services, and who is failing or almost failing. Often these are the students who struggle to learn how to read at grade level or succeed at basic math or even develop the necessary school skills to manage their learning tasks. As they grow older, these students often shut down, are disruptive, unmotivated, and frustrated until they finally become at-risk for dropping out ...

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    by Julia G Thompson | @TeacherAdvice
    Saturday, 14 July 2018
  • Where Has All the Singing Gone?

    If I were to believe my early childhood students, singing with children is passe. Being a small sample (this class has thirty students), perhaps I am being overly harsh. But then again, prior classes had also moved into the dizzying array of YouTube videos for preschoolers. Blingy, fast-moving, cartoonish music videos have become the go-to resource for finding music and movement activities for young children. These have supplanted the older, Fred Rogers, style of meeting children where they ar ...

    by Gail Multop @gailmult
    Friday, 13 July 2018
  • Let Your Students Lead

    Letting go of control in your classroom is difficult. As teachers, we sometimes have a hard time letting go of control. As we consider management issues, keeping everyone engaged, and the constant pressures of pacing guides and state testing, the easiest solution seems to be for us to take control in any and every way possible. This often leads to the development of many teacher-centered classrooms. These are classrooms that are planned, controlled, and paced around the teacher, not the stude ...

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    by Chad Ostrowski | @chadostrowski
    Thursday, 05 July 2018
  • happy kids

    Enjoyment: The Forgotten Lesson Plan Component

    I once taught in a school wher we had to use a standardized lesson plan template that was a helpful guide, but was pretty limited to just the basics. What was missing from that lesson plan template—and indeed from any lesson plan template that I have ever seen--is a section devoted to adding in enjoyment. We all know that when students enjoy their work, they perform better, stay on task, learn more, forge stronger connections, and tend to stay in school longer. If these are the benefits, shoul ...

    by Julia G Thompson | @TeacherAdvice
    Friday, 29 June 2018
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Avoiding Bumps Along the Way by Debra Pierce

The Verification Visit with the PD Specialist has a specific structure. You must bring your Professional Portfolio and the Competency Standards book to the Verification Visit. The pages in the back of the book will be used during for the Observation, the Review of the documentation, and the Reflective Dialogue.

The PD Specialist will look over your documentation, verifying the CDA training and the contents of the Profession Portfolio. The PD Specialist will be using p. 20 of the Comprehensive Scoring Instrument (at the back of the Competency Standards book) to record evidence from the Professional Portfolio. This would include verifying your CDA training, the number of Family Questionnaires collected, the Resource Collection, the six Competency Statements, and the professional Philosophy Statement.

There are two parts of your documentation that are extremely important and if they are incomplete, inaccurate, or missing, your CDA will be put on hold until it is corrected.

These two include:

1. The CDA training hours. If there are not enough hours accounted for (and the candidate has not    received a waiver) or the training is not from an   accepted source (See the section in the Competency Standards book that describes “Acceptable Professional Education”).

2. The first aid/CPR certification. This certification must be the type the Council requires (infant/child “pediatric” CPR) and it must not be expired.

The PD Specialist will wait until the end of your Verification Visit to tell you if either of these two problems exist and explain that the Council will be sending a postcard with the required procedures in order to continue your CDA process. This must be completed within 6 months of the date you received the “Ready to Schedule” notice. If not, your CDA will be forfeited.

Are There Any Other Issues That Can Put the Brakes On My CDA?

Yes, there are. One of them can happen early on in the process. If you are working in a child care program, you will need to decide on a CDA setting endorsement. This would be either infant/toddler or preschool. You will indicate this choice when ordering your Competency Standards book from the Council for Professional Recognition.

That book will be tailored to earning a CDA for that specific endorsement, including your Resource Collection, your Competency Statements, your Professional Philosophy Statement, the Observation, and Verification Visit.

Be sure to let the center-director know you have made this choice. It is critical that your classroom placement and the endorsement you choose match and stay the same until after your Observation and Verification Visit.

If your classroom is changed, you may not have the same age group as before, which would mean the materials ordered from the Council would not be valid for this new classroom. You would need to purchase another Competency Standards book for your current setting and classroom.

If you are a “floater” in your child care program, you will need to be proactive, as well. Moving around from one classroom and age group to another will simply not work when earning a CDA.

Furthermore, you and the children in that room need to get to know each other well and you need to be very familiar with the routines and environment, so you can act as lead teacher on the day of your Observation. The parents of the children must know you well enough to complete the Family Questionnaires.

Tell your director that if she wants you to earn your CDA, she will have to support you with this. If you aren’t getting the cooperation of the management in maintaining a particular setting through your CDA process, you may need to find another place to work that will.

As you work on your CDA, remember there is     support and help. Getting started is often the hardest part… just knowing where to begin. Staying         organized is the key and having some step-by-step help doesn’t hurt, either! Check out the new CDA Prep Workbook and pre-assembled binders on my website.

Your stress will be gone in no time. I promise!

Visit my website at easycda.com