Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) has consultative status with the United Nations whose mission is to promote and support the well-being, education, and well-being of the children around the world. They want children in every nation to have access to quality education that will help prepare them to become responsible citizens that are engaged and ready for the changing world. I was drawn to this organization because I liked the programs that they are involved in and I like their beliefs. Uniqueness, Universality, Quality, and Equality are the four core beliefs that help ACEI with its humanitarian mission.

CURE is an organization that helps children around the world receive surgical care for children with physical disabilities that serious limit their ability to play, go to school, or become a member of the community that is productive. This organization helps correct their disabilities so that the children can have joy brought back into their lives and enable to them to have fully functioning lives. This organization appealed to me because I am the mother of a child with a medical disability and I have seen firsthand how it affects his ability to get a quality education. Working together to help children of all abilities lead productive lives is important to me.

Save the Children is an organization that appealed to me because they are committed to improving the lives of children all over the world and in the United States. Their focus is on protecting the children through education. They also help to protect children from exploitation by teaching children from around the world how to protect themselves. Save the Children responds to tragedies and disasters in the US and worldwide and create kid friendly areas that help children cope. They also protect children who have been separated from their families and work to reunite them. They also have programs to improve the health and nutrition of children around the world.

Job Opportunities
Save the Children: Project Director/Chief of Party, READ Program – Bangladesh
The position is responsible for the overall project management including the supervision, administration and implementation of the READ program. A master’s degree in education or related field is required along with seven years of experience leading an education program and implementing it. Communication skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with local organizations to help implement the project are a must.

ACEI has the standards posted concerning Preparing Teachers to Teach, which requires a four-, five-year or post degree teacher preparation program with a professional study and experience recognizing the children’s unique educational needs. The teacher also needs to hold license that recognizes the various levels of education. There was not more information other than what the requirements of the preparation program entailed.

CURE did not have any positions available that were suitable for my experience and/or education. Although I would be interested in a position within their organization or even proposing an educational position that would benefit those children who are recovering from surgery maintain their educational goals.

http://www.acei.org
http://cure.org
http://www.savethechildren.org

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

Zero to Three:  Zero to Three is an organization that I have followed since beginning my studies with Walden University.  Zero to Three is a non-profit organization that provides information and research as well as trains and supports professional in order to enhance the lives of children ages birth to three.  Zero to Three provides training through the National Training Institute which provides training annually for early childhood professionals.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC):  I have been familiar with this organization for many years.  When I was just starting out in the early childhood profession my mother and I worked for a military childcare center that was in the midst of gaining NAEYC accreditation.  This organization works hard to raise the standards and ensure that children are provided with the highest quality of care. Due to the high standards of their accreditation process many families seek out facilities and programs that are NAEYC accredited.

The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET):  This organization is dedicated to making sure that those who are teaching within special education have all the support and resources that they need.  They are also dedicated to making sure that the children who have special needs are receiving the best education that is available to them.  NASET also works to help enhance and build public support for special educations of high quality.

Accreditation Coordinator with NAEYC works with the program administrators, assessors and other decision makers while going through the accreditation process.  Reviewing materials that are submitted for accuracy and monitoring the performance of the assessors while providing support to all involved. This position requires a BA in Early Childhood Education/Child Development, as well as 3-5 years of experience in the field and requires a complete understanding of the practices. There are of course office experience requirements as well as being able to meet deadlines and work as a team in a fast-paced environment.

Policy Analyst is a position being offered through ZERO TO THREE is interesting but not something that is my area of expertise.  This position requires that you work to advance ZERO TO THREE’s state policy priorities as well as conduct research and develop written materials for states along with other tasks.  This position requires that you have a good grasp on state policies and programs. Education that is required includes a Master’s degree or equivalent in public policy, social work, early childhood, or a related field.

References:

https://www.naset.org/799.0.html

http://www.naeyc.org/

http://www.zerotothree.org/

Reflecting on Learning

As an early childhood educator I hope that I can continue to make a positive impact in the lives of the children I care for everyday. It is important that they learn from an anti-bias curriculum so that they can grow and develop their own social identities. Developing positive and respectful relationship with the families is also important for their development. The knowledge that I have gained from this course as well as others will help me educate the children and dispel any misconceptions and/or stereotypes that they have developed from other adults or the media. Teaching them to be respectful of each other’s differences will help rid us of bias and learn to accept and appreciate the diversity that this country offers us.

As for my colleagues, I want to thank each one of you for your insight and wisdom. Your feedback has been very beneficial and I have gained a lot from it. I wish you all luck as you continue your journey both educationally and/or professionally. Once again thank you and good luck!

Sharing Web Resources

The web site that I chose to research is Early Childhood Ireland at http://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie. Early Childhood Ireland supports those who have a role in the development, overall care and education in early childhood. They also prioritize the children’s interest. Early Childhood Ireland provides professional support and training for early childhood educators. They also contribute to research and public policy development, promotes quality, accessible childcare for all children, and explores and evaluates innovative and creative child-centered approaches to childcare.

The website and newsletter are very informative and cover a vast array of information. My attention in the March newsletter was Ireland’s National Pajama Day. This will be the 9th event that they have designed to help raise money for children’s charities in Ireland. This year they are raising money for the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Children’s Hospice Home Care program. They offer support to those families who have seriously ill children who are being cared for in their homes.

I am currently trying to find more information on their “free preschool scheme.” I am not sure what exactly this is but there is a press release asking for clarification to the adjustments being made and how the adult-child ratios are affected. I will clarify when I find out more.

My Supports

“Nothing is impossible the word itself says, ‘I’m Possible’!” ~Audrey Hepburn

 

My supports I have daily come from my husband, my four children, and funny enough my boss.  These are the people who I interact with on a daily basis and are there to inspire me when I am feeling overwhelmed and like I want to just give up on school.  My husband is probably my best supporter.  It is funny to think that as much of a hard as he gives me about school he has gone out of his way to make sure that I feel like I have accomplished something.  He did this after I received my bachelor’s degree this summer.  He created a picture frame with a smaller version of my degree and pictures of me and the children.  He even photo shopped a picture of me in a cap and gown and used scrap booking letters to put inspirational messages on it. It was a very thoughtful gift that hangs in our living room (he put it there not me).  He said he wanted me to know how proud of me he was, that I managed to finish despite everything going on in our lives.  I work two jobs and I am currently the sole provider for the family.  He helps by shuttling the children to their sporting and school events and has dinner ready when I come home from work.  It does not seem like much but it really does help.  I appreciate what he does try to do to make the day less stressful.

 

My children I think are truly, what keep me going.  I did not go to college right after high school instead I had a family to take care of.  I look back at what I did in high school and the choices I made and I DO NOT regret any of them but I want better for my children.  My oldest is in college at West Virginia University pursuing a master’s in education for English and Creative Writing.  My 16-year old is going to be a senior next school year and is very involved and already applying and visiting colleges.  My 13-year old is the one I need to influence quickly.  Due to medical issues, constantly in, and out the hospital he has little ambition when it comes to school.  All the teachers say he is smart he just has not interest in doing the work or staying for tutoring.  He says it is pointless because he is just going to end up in the hospital and fall behind again.  I have a lot of work to do when it comes to him.  Then there is my youngest, my daughter, I want her to get the most out of life.  I do not want her to graduate and immediately start raising a family.  I think all parents want that for their children though.  I have to prove to them that an education is important and even though my path in life has been challenging I am still fulfilling my dream.  My 16-year says that I have done it all backwards but that I am doing it and that is all that matters.

 

The challenge that I constantly have to deal with is my son’s illness.  It has put him in the hospital numerous time followed by multiple test and doctor’s appointments.  My baby boy is 13-years old and has surgery 8 times already.  When he is in the hospital I do not go to work, I stay by his side the entire time.  My husband cannot even get me to walk to the cafeteria when he is asleep.  I have seen too many children as we walk the halls that are by themselves all day and have no clue what is going on.  It is very sad to see and I refuse for that to be my child.  I have tried to let my husband stay and work half a day but my director could see how stressed I was so she would send me back to the hospital.  I am very thankful that the center I work for is very family oriented and as long as I keep the director constantly informed, then our corporate office has no issue with me taking care of my child whenever I need to.  My husband during these times cares for our other children as well as making sure that I have food.  My schoolwork has not been affected adversely because I am able to work on assignments while he is resting.  They may not be my best work but I give it all I have at the time and ensure that they are turned in on time.  This can be frustrating because although the hospital offers free internet the signal is horrible and intermittent.   I do not know what I would do if I did not have my husband to pick up the pieces for me when I have to give one child my full attention.  As for my job, I probably would have been fired by now if I did not have such a good employer who is family oriented and that I have been completely honest.  I also make sure that when I am able to I come in early or work late to show that I am dedicated to my job and it is the least I can do for them allowing me such great leniency.  As stressful as a sick child, 3 healthy children, 2 jobs, life, and school are I do not think I could get through the day if I did not have those beautiful faces to come home to or the my husband, my rock who continues to put up with crabbiness and long nights doing homework, laundry, and lesson plans.  I love them all and they make this all possible and worth it!

My Connections to Play

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm. ~Bill Vaughan

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
~Plato

 

When I was younger, I was always outside.  We were constantly getting splinters from playing on the jungle gyms.

We rode our bikes everywhere that we went and most of the time we were I group just as this picture below demonstrates.  We also would most likely have someone who did not have a bike available riding on our handlebars and we did not wear helmets.

I was the tomboy out of my sisters and me so if there was a sport available to play I was there.  It did not matter if it was an organized sport or just a bunch of us from the neighborhood putting together a game.  Yes, sometimes I would be the only girl out there playing but I loved every minute of it.

When I was everyone that I knew supported a child playing. I was always encouraged to be active in doing something even if it was just playing in the yard. My mother was not squeamish about me playing in the mud or digging up worms. I roller-skated, skateboarded, and rode my bike in the street with no helmet of kneepads. When my father was not in the field or TDY, he was outside playing catch, taking me on long bike rides, or playing basketball or some other activity with me. I was always encouraged to do try an activity if I was interested in it, if I did not like it I did not have to do it again BUT I did have to finish what I started. For example, I tried cheerleading when I was in the 5th grade, I did not like it, and I thought it was too girly for me, but I had to finish out the season because I had made a commitment to the squad. After the season, I did not have to do it again. Kids were always active and outside running around, riding bikes, or something. We would be out past the streetlights coming on running home praying our parents did not notice yet, then back outside as early as they would let us the next day.

Children today are not encouraged to go outside and play. Many sit inside and play video games, play on the computer, or watch cable television. Children today have no interest in going outside and parents do not encourage it. Many times it feels like the television and video games have replaced babysitters because as long as the game is on the children are sitting there playing and the parents do not have to worry about where they are or who they are with. The children that I do see outside and this includes the children I work with at the daycare center after about 10 minutes are looking for shade and complaining that it is too hot outside and want to go back into the air conditioned building. Outside play seems to be ceasing to exist with each generation of children. Then parents wonder why children are lazy and overweight.

As a parent and educator, I constantly encourage children to play outdoors. At work, I take my class outside whenever we are allowed. If the playground is not saturated with water and the temperature is above 32 degrees, we are outside playing in the winter. In the summer is the same way if the temperature is not too hot, we are outside usually playing a water game of some sort. As a child, I did not like to be in the house, as an adult I do not like to be in the house, so my children and I are always outside doing something. They all play baseball/softball and I help coach their teams. We bike ride, go camping, fishing, hiking, play basketball in the backyard, walk to the store, you name it we do it. If the weather is nice out, my children are not permitted to sit inside the house and play video games or watch television all day. They must find something to do, my oldest son is not really into sports, and so while his siblings play basketball in the backyard, he sits outside and reads a book. I do not get mad because he is making an attempt by sitting outdoors, which usually means he is conned into playing a game with them anyways. It is important for children to engage in play whether it is indoors or outdoors. Play gets the imagination going and children learn from their environment. I personally love sitting with my children in the classroom in any of the centers and engaging them in play. It always amazes me the things they create and the places their imagination takes them, for example, a toddler turning a toy mixer that is missing the beaters and turning it into an iron to get the wrinkles out of a baby blanket. Children to this day continue to amaze me and that is part of what I love about my career.

Quote about Children

It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. ~Joyce Maynard

I want to thank everyone for all that you have offered and shared with over the past few weeks. I always find that I am learning something new or that someone has the same view as I do about something. I hope that everyone gets the most out of their educational experiences and find the career path (if you already have not) you are looking for. Working with children is very stressful and emotional but well worth the tears and sweat you put into it. Good luck to everyone!!

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