Sunday, April 30, 2017

TIME WELL SPENT
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What an interesting journey this has been since being in the Early Childhood program. This program has taught me so much personally and professionally about myself. I can admit that starting this program I wasn’t as open-minded as I should’ve been. I thoroughly have enjoyed the many resources that this program has provided. The many resources has taught help me to become very open-minded towards this diverse world. I am so excited to provide the children and families that I work with the many teachings that I have learned within this program. The three deeply felt leanings that I will definitely take from this program is it is so important to effectively communicate with children and their families, building a great community of practice will help me accomplish many goals, and having and being an anti-bias educator is the most important. My long-term goal is to implement my capstone project in my local community so that parental involvement can become better within the Head Starts. I also would like to continue to learn about Early Childhood education so that I can strive to be the best professional I can. As this program comes to an end I have to say that I have had the best teachers and colleagues. With so much positive feedback I could not have finished without the amazing support from all my teachers and classmates. I wish you all well and I am so thankful for all you have provided to help me in the completion of this program.  Dr. Embree thank you so much! Thank you for the tips and the push that I needed to finish this program. I appreciate you. 


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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

My personal Blog: http://danamsecs.blogspot.com/

UNICEF is a very important international organization to me. The website provides many programs to help the safety of children. UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child (UNICEF,  n.d). I chose this organization because they believe in a better world for the potential of every child. I believe that every child deserves a healthy childhood with a good education. My job requires me to make sure that my state regulations are enforced to keep all children safe. I live that UNICEF commitment to children remains strong despite the complexities of the world (UNICEF, n.d.). One job opportunity that I would be interested in for UNICEF is a child protection officer.  This job monitors the implementation of policies and programs. This job seems similar to what I do as a licensing official now.

Job Qualifications:
·         University degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, Government, Public Administration, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, or other relevant disciplines, with specialized training in conflict resolution
·         Five years of relevant professional work experience in the field of Child Protection.
·         Field work experience
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.unicef.org/

Save the Children is another international organization that I am interested in. Save the Children invests in childhood every day, in times of crisis and for our children future (Save the Children, n.d.).  I chose this organization because it focuses on the lives of young children for the future. This organization is committed to using programs and operations to keep children safe in the United States as well as around the world. My local community actual has a Save the Children Head Start program that is very successful toward school readiness. I work closely with them to make sure that all state regulations are followed for the safety of preschoolers. A job opportunity that I would be interested in is a field manager. The Field Manager is responsible for the oversight, development and management of all Save the Children's programmes as well as Human Resources, finance, logistics, administration, security, representation and advocacy in the designated field area (Save the Children, n.d.)
Job Qualifications:
  • Previous experience of managing a large team (50 -100 staff)
·         Excellent communication skills
·         Masters level in a relevant subject or equivalent field experience
ChildFund International is an organization that protects the well-being of children by strengthening the relationships among children, parents, and others (ChildFund, n.d.). I chose this organization because my capstone project is about the encouragement of parental involvement. I believe that organizations that contribute to the success of children will improve the lives of children and parents. A job opportunity that I would be interested in is an Area Child Protection Officer. This child protection officer supports the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of area programs and ensures the integration of child protection principles; promotes establishment of and strengthening of Child Protection community mechanisms ( ChildFund, n.d.).
Job Qualifications:
·         5+ years’ experience in working in the human service or social services and/or with a non- profit agency, preferably community organization particularly in the Rio Grande Valley Texas
·         Ability to work with children and communities and familiarity with issues affecting their lives
·         Computer proficiency in general office software applications (i.e. Word, Excel, Outlook)


ChildFund International (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.childfund.org/about-us/

Sunday, April 2, 2017

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

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The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a very informative resource.  I chose this resource because it promotes quality education for all young children. NAEYC uses policies as well as research to strive to improve the quality of education.  According to NAEYC, their mission is to promote high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. NAEYC offer opportunities for individuals in several states.  Although I noticed that my state was unavailable, they do have  affiliates that provide opportunities on local and state levels. Membership for the advisory council as well as accreditation for several programs are only a few great opportunities that NAEYC provides. 


The US Department of Education is another federal organization that appealed to me. I chose this resource because their goal is to prepare students for educational excellence. According to the US Dept of Education their mission  is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. This resource provides great info about grants and regulations for education. I was unable to find any jobs that were available at this time, however I would love to have an opportunity to work for them. 

https://www.ed.gov/

According to National Education Association (NEA) their mission is to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world. NEA is similar to NAEYC except this organization advocates more for public schooling. This organization appealed to me because I attended public school and as a inspector I observe the many issues that public school has. It is nice to know that there is a national organization that advocates for public school. I think that having someone from this organization on my COP would benefit me tremendously because I could ask them questions on how to implement a better public school so that parents will be involved more. This resource even provide parents with links on how to help their child improve in school. 
Just like NAEYC, this organization provides membership to all individuals that are affiliated with public education.  I would assume that you would need some type of degree in order to have a membership. 

https://ims.nea.org/JoinNea/








Thursday, March 16, 2017

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

     As a future educator, I have always wanted to explore the roles of the Early Childhood community. I enjoy reading about the many organizations that are available to young children in my state as well as my local community. Many of these organizations are able to help future teachers, and others who are already teachers prepare for Early Childhood education. Since I have began this program and also my career, I have been very interested in learning more about early childhood in my local community. I was curious to know what organizations that were made available to our youth. On a local level, an organization that appealed to me was Indianola Promise Community (IPC). This organization provides educational services to families and children. Since becoming a licensing official, I have worked closely with the organization to ensure safety for preschoolers by renovating older model facilities. IPC has funded many of the facilities that I overseer and has added up to date learning materials, furniture, and play equipment. I chose this organization because I love hearing and witnessing great things been done in the community I grew up in. I also chose this organization because I would love to continue to partner with them and maybe be able to share some things that I have learned.
    
     Another organization that appeals to me on the state level is Mississippi Early Childhood Association (MsECA). I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this organization! This organization brings early childhood professionals from all over the state so that they can learn from one another. The organization also advocate to increase the awareness of issues that are associated with early childhood. I chose this organization because I truly advocate for young children in my community. Being able to partner with others around the state that has the same passion as me, makes me want to support the children even more. The  Mississippi Association of Educators also appeals to me because they advocate for public schools and promote family involvement. I chose MAE because I find family involvement so important in early childhood education. Also I attended public school and I support any organization that strives to make a worthy public school system.

Here are the links to each organization if you would like to learn additional information about them:



     There aren't many job opportunities that I am really interested in now because I love the job that I do. I get to work closely with many different organizations and see young children daily. The only job opportunities that I would probably be interested in would be a supervisory position within the agency I work with now. My job title is a child care inspector. I would love to become a division director over childcare licensure one day. The skills and experience that would be required is a masters degree in early childhood, which I am working towards now. Also I would need at least 4 years experience as a childcare inspector.





Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reflecting on Learning
 
This class has definitely been nothing short of amazing. From all my classmates to Dr. Pickens, I appreciate all the encouraging words and advice. I have gained so much knowledge and insights from such wonderful people. This course as well as previous courses have helped me tremendously in my personal and professional growth in early childhood. 
My hope for the future is to be able to take what I have learned and implement it into my students and classroom. My hope is to continue to strive to be as passionate and understanding to my students and their families as possible. I want to continue to eliminate my own biases and remain open-minded to all things. To Dr. Pickens, thank you for your insightful comments and advice. To my colleagues, WE ARE ALMOST AT THE FINISH LINE!!! I have enjoyed learning from all of you. I wish each of you well and blessings. Keep God first and he will continue to direct your path.  Thank you! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Impacts on Early Emotional Development
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I decided to learn more about west and central Africa. Growing up I witnessed many commercials that showed the true reality of what it’s like to live in Africa. Although everything that we see in the media may not be true I honestly believe that America is definitely privileged compared to other countries. I am thankful for organizations like UNICEF that help prevent and protect the rights of children. It saddens me that children have to face such harsh conditions. Several challenges such as low food supply and incurable diseases are only a few of what children have to go through in west and central Africa.
According to UNICEF, more than 1.2 million people are facing emergency levels of food insecurity, 41% of the children under five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition, and an estimated 39,000 children under 5 years will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (UNICEF, 2016). Children are also facing the Ebola virus in West Africa.

Experiences like malnutrition and disease can have a negative impact on a child’s development. Malnutrition can not only effect a child’s physical growth but also health. Not having the proper things to eat, or even something to eat at all can have a major effect on a child’s cognitive development. Children may become mentally and physically delayed.

It really saddens me to read what many people are going through today in the world. I realize that I am truly blessed and the things I complain about could be worse. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to learn more about children in other countries. Learning more about what young children are going through leads me to want to donate to organizations like UNICEF. I am also finding more ways that I can contribute to countries that do not have the resources that we have here in America.  

 Reference

UNICEF (2016). West and Central Africa. https://www.unicef.org/wcaro/english/


Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

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Sadly today many children are being exposed to sexualization. Yes, I think that the media plays a part in it, but children learn by watching others at home as well. Today this world is definitely different than when I was growing up. Now little girls cannot be little girls anymore. I see so many little girls with more makeup and extensions than adults. It scares me to even think about the topic of sexualization in early childhood. I am thankful to have a daughter that enjoys being four. I make sure that I monitor everything she watches and even hear. I know that as a teacher I can only shield my students from so many negative things until some of them go home. Hopefully the positive images and ideas that I instill in them will stay with them even after school hours. Fortunately I do not have many examples from my personal nor professional experience that expose young children to a highly sexualized environment. At times I may see children dressing a little older than they should. Most parents that I have contact with think that dressing children in the latest fashions is what’s important. I usually see children subjected to fitted clothing in the daycare centers that I inspect. I do know that certain shows that should be innocent such as “Barbie” is not. I witnessed an episode that my daughter watched that implied sex between Ken and Barbie. It’s sad that children cannot even watch cartoons anymore without sex being mentioned.

Implications that this may have on a child’s development is that they may begin to feel that they have to look a certain way to be accepted in society. They may become influenced by the wrong things too fast which may cause them to make bad decisions. As an early childhood professional I will use these moments as teachable moments to show my students that being different is okay. I will be open to discussions and questions that my students may have. It is important that as parents as well as teachers we talk with our children. Although children may appear fine you will be surprised at what they THINK they know.