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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in early childhood professional

Posted by on in Early Childhood

transitions

This summer (kicking and screaming) I am a parent in transition.  My oldest son is entering 7th grade and heading to the Jr. High.  Reflecting on this transition I am calling it the '2nd Kindergarten' as it is evoking similar emotions as when he started Kindergarten a few years ago....

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

While reflecting on my own emotions with this transition it has provided me an opportunity to review the practices, systems and supports we have put in  place to support students, families and our community and successfully bridge the role of PreK and K.

Community Connections

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

I have been teaching Art, Music and Movement to college students for a while. There are certain concepts we try to get across to practitioners that are important to ECE professionals, and encouraged by our professional organization, NAEYC. One of those concepts is the idea of open-ended activities.

What are open-ended activities?  Do you put out a mass of materials and say, “Go get ‘em”, like one workshop participant opined? If you change materials, are you being too “teacher-ish”?

Well, yes and no…

Because many tend to think, in this post-social media age, that each question has a right and a wrong; that the right is might, and the wrong is way too strong, we have trouble seeing the grey areas. Perhaps I’d rather say the value areas. In art, adding white or black to a color changes its value. When we consider concepts, our values may change a tiny bit or a lot, depending on what is added or subtracted. So, as Diane Kashin has written, there is a continuum between a concept such as “open-ended” and its opposite. Open-ended might mean throw the lot of your materials on a table and see what they do, and closed might mean giving children directions and materials, saying what they must do with them (generally not recommended!). But in between, ah, there is a rainbow of values!

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

preschool teacher

“I just have to pass this course! I’m sending you some assignments I forgot to do at the beginning of the semester and I hope you’ll accept them This has been a horrible semester, with my aunt passing away and my Internet not working. And then, I got the flu at midterm and …”

upset

These emails (and even personal visits!) are coming in a steady trickle. My students are suddenly realizing their lack of attention, effort, or organization has now resulted in a crisis situation. For the majority of these desperate cases, I had never been clued in on the life events at the time they occurred, when I might have been able to help. No. Not until now, four days before grades are submitted.

Of course, when at all possible, I try to be accommodating and offer some assignment due date flexibility when a student truly needs it. But those requests will come at an appropriate time and will have a legitimate reason. Those students will honor the extension and appreciate the support.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

kidswalk2

By Karen N. Nemeth, Ed.M., Pam Brillante, Ed.D., Leah J. Mullen, M.A.  

What do we need to see in early childhood education now and in the future? Our hands can reach back to help our colleagues move up, but our eyes have to look forward to the early childhood classrooms of the future. The days of fragmented programs where children and teachers are divided according to special needs and special skills are over. Silos don’t work. Isolating children and practitioners from each other is bad for early education.

All teachers of young children must be prepared for children with DECAL:

Different
Experiences
Cultures
Abilities
Languages

Addressing diversity can no longer be about a few buzzwords when we actually still consider diverse people as “others”. There are no non-diverse classrooms! Diversity is about the uniqueness of each and every young child – not about the many vs. the few, or the normal vs. the.....

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

shareasimage 22

Many in the early childhood field would agree that the momentum surrounding early childhood education throughout the country seems to be building in our favor. On local and national levels, in the media and the government, with educators and politicians, early care and learning is in the news. This is exciting, but I'm torn because although the polls are showing that a majority of Americans believe in the importance of early education and care, I wonder if change is actually on the horizon.

We in early learning and development have known for years, backed by science, that the early years are critical. We also know through research findings that professional learning is a key component in consistent high quality care. Many in the field have been shouting these facts for years! In fact, I'd argue that although our field has made recent strides forward, historically we've been moving at a snail's pace. We need a sense of urgency - now is the time for a monumental push (and perhaps a shove!) Stacie Goffin is calling on us, within the field, to develop a "collective will or a shared passion for creating an alternative future" for tomorrow's children. (Dahlin)

Did you notice in the first two paragraphs that different terms were used? Early childhood education, early care and learning, early education and care, early learning and development... why are there so many? Do they refer to the same thing? Why is it that in nearly every state there are various early childhood systems working individually, disconnected from others doing similar work. I've always questioned these "silos" that seem to be deep-rooted within our field. Why reinvent the wheel ourselves when we can tap into our field's greatest asset...each other!

Last spring, the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences released the Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 report calling for the transformation of the early childhood workforce. 

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