Time Well Spent

I cannot believe that I am actually managing to graduate before my children. It is a journey I thought was never going to end. There were times while pursuing this degree I felt overwhelmed and that I could not do it. These past 8 weeks I believe have been the most challenging both personally and professionally. There were days I sat here overwhelmed, tired, and feeling like I was never going to be able to complete the assignments especially after my husband and then my son were involved in car accidents a week apart. Yet, here we all are ready to end one journey and start another.

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Things I have learned that I would like to share:

1. The importance of communication and how many different ways there is to communicate. In order to be a successful educator you need to have an open line of communication with the family so that you can develop a positive relationship. This will benefit the child the most.

2. I learned about the importance of a Community of Practice. Before this course I had never heard of this type of collaboration. I am glad that I learned this term and what all the benefits can be from this type of collaboration. I hope to take the Community of Practice that I developed for this class and make it real so that we can work together to improve the quality of education and care for our young children.

3. I also learned that being passionate about your work in not a hindrance like I once thought. In fact to it is a necessary component for an early childhood educator. With all the stressors that we encounter on a daily basis passion are what are going to keep you focused and on the path to meet the goals that you set for yourself as an educator.

A long-term goal for me is to promote the center/school that I work for so that I can build enough enrollment to start a first grade class. We currently have children 6 weeks-12 years and a charter kindergarten class. We are licensed for first grade and with the strike that has been going on with the local school district I believe with the right promotion I can become the first of our six centers to start a first grade class. Wish me luck!

I would like to thank all my colleagues and professor this term for all the support and feedback. I have been greatly motivated by much of what everyone has contributed. Everyone’s contributions have been enlightening. This is a bittersweet ending. I am glad to be completing my course but sad that I will no longer have the interaction with my peers. I am not sure where my future leads especially after being promoted twice in the past 9 months but without my coursework at Walden University I would not become the director of one of our locations. I still have a lot to learn but I will take what I have learned during my studies to help guide me into running a successful and quality program. Good luck to everyone in your new adventures!

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Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

The three organizations that have appealed to me are as follows:

1. Strongsville Early Childhood PTA (SECPTA)

The SECPTA is an organization that the company I work for works indirectly with. We attend their yearly open houses for the local preschool, kindergarten, and childcare programs. They share information with us throughout the year on events that our parents or educators may be interested in. It is an organization I look forward to building a better relationship with to see what other ways we may work together and benefit each other throughout the year.

2. Positive Education Program (PEP)

The PEP program is another organization that I currently work with. They have representatives come to the center at our or the parents request to help us with behavior, discipline, development issues. They work with both the teachers and the parents to help educate them on different techniques to use with the children to help them better cope in the classroom and/or at home. I plan to continue to work with them as I continue my career in early childhood education.

3. Cleveland Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC)

The CAEYC is a professional network that is about improving the quality of services for children and their families as well as the availability of services. They are about advocating not only for the children but also for the professionals who work with young children. They are also working to help expand knowledge and improve skills. I have had no involvement with the organization but I will be looking into it as one to get involved with.

Job opportunities that have interested me are that of a childcare provider, which I have help for the past 17 years working with toddlers. In the past year I have been promoted twice and I now hold the position of Administrator (Director) at the center I currently work at. These are two positions that I have always been interested in and now I have fulfilled both. A third position that I briefly considered looking into is that of a child life specialist. I have worked with a few due to my son’s medical disabilities and at one time I had considered looking into applying for the position.

For that of a childcare provider and Administrator (Director) I have already fulfilled all of the necessary training and educational requirements necessary to hold these positions successfully. For the position of childcare provider you are required to have your high school diploma or GED. You are also required to complete 45 hours of in-service training in your first 3 years and maintain current child abuse recognition, first aid, cpr, and communicable disease training.

For the position of Administrator (Director) you have to hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to education, social work, child development, or a related field. You must also complete an administrator class within your first six months and maintain all licensing requirements.

For the position of child life specialist you must have a bachelor’s degree, 10 college-level courses in child life or a related subject, a minimum of 480 hours of child life clinical experience under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets certain qualifications. This cannot be paid work experience. Then you must apply to take the certification exam.