Time Well Spent

I can hardly believe that this is the end. Over the course of the program I know there have been times when I was more engaged and thoughtful about my participation and then times when I was overwhelmed with life and  felt as though I wasn’t giving it my all. I share that because on the weeks where I just wasn’t feeling like participating I would read something someone wrote and often get a new idea and energy from their perspective. I appreciate the work of everyone in the program. I am feeling a little emotional as this is the end. I am excited to move forward and wish everyone the best of luck.

3 things I’ve learned from this program

  • Advocacy comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be on the news or be in a huge public forum to be effective.
  • Big picture – looking at how everything we do has a larger impact. intended and unintended consequences.
  • More to learn – this is not the end of my learning. As Louise Derman-Sparks said we will never be finished learning, there is always another perspective, more knowledge to gain, and then going back and questioning what we initially learned and how what we have learned since has changed that view.

I have many goals that are transforming over time. The most important thing for me is to stay passionate about whatever I am doing. I have seen educators loose there passion and stay in the field when they would be better off making a change. I don’t want that to happen to me. My goal is to learn about as many areas in the field as I can so that I am aware of the big picture and the far reaching consequences of what I do.

Thank you again to everyone. It has been a great journey and I am excited to move on to the next phase. I am sure that you all are just as excited. My best to you all!

 

 

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Time Well Spent

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

Children International is an organization that works all over the world to end poverty. They focus on health, education, empowerment, and employment to stop the cycle of poverty. Currently, there are no openings that I would be interested in, but I am interested in the organization and believe that it working with an organization to help end poverty would be extremely fulfilling.

https://www.children.org/learn-more/employment

International Child Advocacy Network

This organizations focused on breaking the science and cycle of abuse. All members are volunteers and although I appreciate the work the people do, I am not sure I would be the best person to interact with anyone who has abused a child.

The following was taken from the website:

the only way we can prevent child abuse and domestic violence is to break the cycle of abused children growing up to become abusers or individuals who are unable to protect their children or themselves because they don’t know how.

We believe that we must deal with domestic violence equally along with child abuse because it is clear that domestic violence is a form of child abuse and that many of those who are either victims or abusers of domestic violence were either abused themselves as children or were raised in violent home.

How do we do that?

Yes ICAN believes that the only way to break the cycle is to intervene at all levels of the abuse cycle.

  • The child
  • The victim
  • The survivor
  • The prepetrator
  • The parents
  • The students
  • The teachers
  • The governments
  • The media
  • The culture

Through education:

  • By providing the most current information and statistics about abuse.

By providing parenting information

  • Current parenting techniques.
  • Accurate child development facts.
  • The parents
  • The students
  • The teachers
  • The governments
  • The media
  • The culture”

http://www.yesican.org/about-us.html

Child Advocacy and Women’s Rights International is an organization that works to educate, enable and empower women and children to help end the cycle of poverty and strengthen communities. They spread social justice and promote women’s rights around the world. Another great organization. Honestly, while I am interested in all these organizations I wouldn’t really want to work for any of them at this time. I am really focused on what I am doing in my own school.

http://www.cawri.org

 

 

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

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

This blog assignment immediately made me think of the Secretary of Education who it seems was appointed without any real knowledge or experience. Sadly, it seems some of the most important jobs at the federal level do not have standards that need to be met before someone is appointed. So, I first went to the U.S. Department of Education to see if there are any job openings there. At this moment there are not. However, there was information regarding hiring/recruiting. Apparently, you have to create an online resume through USAJOBS. Then, if a job becomes available you have the opportunity to apply for it through the system. Unfortunately I was unable to locate any information regarding experiences, expectations, or openings that have been available in the past.

The next place I looked was The Children’s Defense Fund. This is an organization I became interested in after hearing Marian Wright Edelman speak at a conference back in the 90’s. The mission of the CDF is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. – See more at: http://www.childrensdefense.org/about/#join-our-team

Currently, the CDF has 4 openings. The one I’m focusing on is Executive Director. The list of responsibilities is extensive and it is clear from the qualifications needed that a lot of thought has gone into what it takes to have this position. While there is nothing specific about education on this list it seems that most likely a person with these specific qualifications would have some sort of degree.

  • Demonstrated commitment to issues impacting children and families;
  • Evidence of significant leadership capacity to manage a large team of 15 or more staff primarily located in Los Angeles and Oakland with 5 years (minimum) of senior management experience;
  • Engaging presence and ability to effectively partner in child advocacy, policy, and philanthropic communities in California;
  • Experience in non-profit fundraising and/or an entrepreneurial spirit a plus;
  • Superb organizational and interpersonal skills combined withthe ability to set and manage priorities and competing demands;
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire, motivate, and organize people into effective teams and monitor progress toward goals;
  • Proven ability to design and implement multiple projects and programs;
  • Experience developing organizational budgets and providing fiscal oversight;
  • Experience with city and state-level legislative and budget advocacy
  • Understanding of the principles of community mobilizing and organizing;
  • Excellent communications skills with the ability to effectively convey CDF’s mission to a variety of constituencies and creatively engage key partners in the programs, activities, and advocacy work of CDF on the local, state and national level.

Lastly, I looked at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). I mean, it seems like the most obvious place to begin when talking about early childhood education as the NAEYC provides accreditation to programs. The current job availabilities didn’t interest me as they aren’t really for someone with a background in ECE. The current openings are all related to marketing, customer care, and legal. They do however have a career center where you can post your resume and search current job openings in centers around the country.

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

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

The three programs I chose are

  1. Child Care Resource Center (CCRC)
  2. The Outdoor Classroom Project (OCP)
  3. Department of Social Services Child Care Licensing Program

The reason I chose these three programs are because they each play a different role in the ECE community.

The first, CCRC, provides assistance to families needing to find childcare and help with financial assistance. This allows parents to work and support their families while contributing to the economy.

The second, OCP, is a program that I absolutely love. They provide education and consulting services to programs with the intent of increasing outdoor time for children. They design outside spaces as well as work with educators to see how the outdoor classroom can benefit all children.

The third, DSS, provides licensing for ECE programs. While I think that licensing requirements should be left to ECE professionals, I do believe that the they have an important job as they check out parent complaints and sporadically check in on programs.

Three jobs that interest me within the field

Outdoor Consultant –  Working with programs to enhance and utilize the space they have

Director of an outdoor ECE program – Overseeing a program, which would be predominantly outdoors

Licensing Analyst – While most people seem to dislike the people from licensing, I think the problem is that they do not have a background in ECE. A licensing analyst would be much more effective if he/she could look at the program like an educator and give useful feedback.

I have the education for each of these roles, but more importantly is I have a passion for what I do, which means that I can do more than the job requirements.

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Reflecting on Learning

As someone who always knew I wanted to be a teacher, I am very happy to be on this journey. My hope is that I never become stagnant and always am working towards making the world a better place for everyone. I hope that I am always questioning my thinking, taking time to reflect upon the choices I’ve made, words I’ve used, and interactions I’ve had. My expectations for myself are high. That being said I expect that I will take plenty of missteps and hope that I acknowledge mistakes and work to rectify them.

Reflecting on Learning

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

I decided to take a closer look at Costa Rica. A good friend of mine will be going over spring break with her 11th grade students and I thought it might be interesting to find out a little more about what it is like there. Upon first look the numbers looked good. They have a low mortality rate for children under the age of 5. The majority of births are attended by skilled healthcare professionals and birth registration is high.

It wasn’t until I looked at early childhood development and education that I felt the percentages needed some improvement. However, I am looking at these numbers with the view of someone from the United States, which means that I am not looking at any percentages with the culture of Costa Rica in mind. That being said, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be good for the percentage of children who have books in their home increase or that children attend secondary school for a longer time.

My biggest concern though was in regards to child protection. 45.6% of children 2 to 14 have experienced violent discipline within the past month. That number is much too high and I believe that it should be a concern regardless of culture.

https://data.unicef.org/country/cri/

 

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

This has been a concern for me for many years. I have had parents come to me upset that they cannot find underwear or jeans that are not low rise for their 4 year old girls. It is unfortunate that the clothing marketed to children in many ways sexualize them. It is absolutely  inappropriate. Often the tv shows, commercials, and music children are exposed to have a sexualized nature. After reading Levin & Kilbourne’s (2009) introduction, I ordered the book. I am interested in what steps they suggest we take in protecting our children. There is a book by Susan Linn that also talks about how the industry markets to children and there is also a website dedicated to fighting it http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org

Here are some facts from their webpage

Research links sexualization with some of the most pressing and common mental health problems for girls including eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression and poor sexual health.
Sexualization and the objectification of women in the media is also associated with
body dissatisfaction and appearance anxiety.
Sexualized messages are prevalent across a variety of mainstream media that target children including TV, the internet, games, movies, music and
magazines.
The top twenty shows among teen viewers contained some sexual content, including 8% with sexual intercourse.
On average, music videos contain 93 sexual situations per hour, including eleven “hard core” scenes depicting behaviors such as intercourse and oral sex

 

I urge everyone to become involved. CCFC has had some success in shutting down some toy campaigns such as the Pussy Cat Dolls, a burlesque troupe turned singing group whose lyrics include “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me; Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?” Two days after CCFC started a letter writing campaign Hasbro shut down production of these dolls.

Levin, D. E., & Kilbourne, J. (2009). [Introduction] So sexy so soon. The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids (pp. 1-8). New York: Ballantine Books.

Linn, S. (2004). Consuming kids: The hostile takeover of childhood. New York, NY: New Press.

The Sexualization of Early Childhood