Time Well Spent

I cannot believe that we have completed this program! I will miss the discussion boards and reading your insightful blogs. This program was very interesting for me because I was able to apply the information that I gained immediately into my professional life. I chose to work with toddlers because it was the only age group that I had never worked with. I wanted to have experience with the entire spectrum of the preschool, ages two and a half to five year olds.

The Early Childhood Development class was very practical for me because I was able to use the information from that class in my toddler class. It made me a more competent toddler teacher. The other class that I found fascinating was the Instructional Strategies for Adult Learners class. I would love to be an adult trainer/instructor and the different learning theories and strategies were interesting and useful to know as a future adult instructor. The third class was the Capstone class. It made sense of all the classes that I had taken in the previous semesters and showed how relevant they were in the real world.

I hope to become an instructor at a community college and continue in the early childhood education field. My long term goal is to continue to help children access early childhood programs wherever I am.  I have enjoyed interacting with all of you in our blackboard discussions and blogs. I will always be thankful for your interesting views on the different topics that we worked on. You all pushed me to become a better teacher, communicator and student. I hope to collaborate with you in the near future.

Dr. Embree, you have been a great teacher and you have pushed me to do the best that I can. Thank you for your patience! I have enjoyed this class and I will definitely keep you posted on my future endeavors.

My email is fidelisrague@yahoo.com . Thank you all and God bless!

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Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

The three international organizations that I looked at were first:

The United Nations International Children’s’ Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

This organization which is headquartered in New York City was founded on the belief that all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfil their potential to the benefit of a better world (unicef.org). The agency works to ensure that pre-natal care is available to all mothers so that they can have healthy births and have access to clean water and sanitation, health care and education. This is achieved in conjunction with governments and committees who design and implement inter-sectoral evidence based early childhood development programs and policies that help young children reach their full potential by supporting families and communities (unicef.org).

I found one position that I feel that I could qualify for, and that had something to do with early childhood development. The position was a consultancy assignment for the Finalization of the National Early Childhood Policy for the government of Angola. This consultancy is to provide the country with a National Early Childhood policy that will secure an environment conducive to better service delivery to Angolan children from 0 – 5 years of age as they attend early childhood centers. The minimum qualifications required for this position are a Master’s in Education and /or Child Care, Education Management, Child Protection or Political Science or another field related to the rights and development.

The second organization that I chose to explore was the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).This organization was created in 1945 on the basis that political and economic agreements alone are not enough to build lasting peace. Peace would be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity (unesco.org). The nation members come together to mobilize for education so that “every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development” (unesco.org). I found one job that I think I could qualify for and that was the position of Team Leader (Training and Educational programs). This position falls under the authority and direct supervision of the Director of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), and within the framework of IIEP’s short term strategy. The incumbent will lead and coordinate the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of IEP’s training programs.  The qualifications for this position were and advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent degree) in education, social sciences or related field and at least 10 years in the field of training and education. Five of these must be acquired at international level. Excellent knowledge of English and French, and a good working knowledge of the other. The position is in Paris, France.

The third agency I looked at was the Child Fund International. Child Fund exists to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities (childfund.org). Child Fund  aims to change the underlying factors that prevent children from fully experiencing the  rights to support , protection and care they need to grow up healthy and strong (childfund.org). I looked at their career opportunities but did not see any opening that I would qualify for. Most of them have a monitoring and evaluation experience requirement that I do not have.

I feel that we will have many opportunities after this program based on the openings and the requirements that are required.

References

Child Fund International (n.d).Retrieved from http://www.childfund.org.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (n.d) Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (n.d). Retrieve from http://www.unicef.org.

 

 

 

 

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

I found three organizations interesting because of their commitment to the early childhood field. The first one was the Arlington County Human Resources Department.

The child and Family Services Division of the Department of Human Services (DHS) serves as the focal point in Arlington County for advocacy, regulation of, and information dissemination of available licensed child care services as well as the Project Family Program which is a program to prevent risks and ensure the health, safety, and welfare of children in child care facilities (arlingtonva.us/dhs). One of the jobs that I found that I would be interested in was the positon of Child Care Supervisor. The job is to ensure compliance and quality standards are met for child care programs and to ensure child safety and well-being in childcare facilities. The employee will be responsible for supervision of one Project Family Coordinator and four Child Care Licensing Specialists and will oversee the full range of administrative responsibilities and professional expertise in the management of the Child Care Office. The minimum requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, Child Psychology or a closely related field. Desirable qualifications are a Master’s degree in a closely related field; experience coordinating the work of others in a child care or child education/intervention field; experience formulating and administering child care budgets; experience developing grant proposals; and/or experience developing contract specifications for child care programs.

The next organization that appealed to me was the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). CEC is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. They accomplish their mission through advocacy, standards, and professional development. (cec.sped.org). Of the positions available the one that stood out to me was the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator. The coordinator provides support to the Policy and Advocacy Services programs and activities, including assisting with the coordination of the grassroots advocacy network, the communications of emerging policy issues to members, and the preparation of reports, presentations and other documents.  The qualifications for this position are an Undergraduate degree and three to five years of progressive experience in administrative positions (Policy/legislative experience preferred).

The third agency that I found was the US Department of Education (ED). ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access (ed.gov). They are dedicated to:

  • Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
  • Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research
  • Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
  • Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education (ed.gov).

The job that I found interesting was located in the Institute of Education Sciences which is within the Department of Education. The position is Associate Education Research Scientist/Analyst. It is located in the District of Columbia. The duties are to develop plans for agency support of education, research, evaluation, and statistics and oversee research, evaluation and statistics activities and reviews.

I think that all these organizations are involved in interesting work involving education and I would be happy to work for any of them.

 

References

Arlington County, Virginia Human Resources Department. http://www.arlingtonva.us/dhs

Council of Exceptional Children. http://www.cec.org

United States Department of Education. http://www.ed.gov

 

 

 

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Exploring Roles inthe ECE Community: Local and State Levels

I looked at the communities of practice in my state and county that deal with early childhood education and came up with three organizations. I also chose and international organization with a chapter in Kenya where I am originally from.

The first one was the Northern Virginia Family Services organization (NVFS). This organization is a private, nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of its clients through anti-hunger programs, child placement services, early childhood services, health and mental health services, housing and shelter, intervention and prevention services, legal services and workforce development services. Of the population that they serve, 64% fall below the federal poverty line which is $24,260 for a family of four, 84% live on less than $36,375 and 91% earn less than $48,500 per year.  NVFS’ early childhood division is committed to wellness and “embraces a comprehensive vision of health for children, families and staff” (nvsf.org). The organization runs early head start programs and also provides free services to pregnant women and parents of children ages 0-3 years old in their homes or at the centers. They also run a Head start for the economically disadvantaged children ages 3-5 years old.

NVSF, has many openings for staff members of the various organizations within it. They usually prefer bilingual applicants as the student population is 55% Hispanic/Latino, 16% African American, 14% Caucasian,10% Multiracial/Ethnic and 6% Asian. There were no openings that would fit my skills right now. This organization appealed to me because it’s mission is to ensure the wellness of the whole family. Their website is http://nvfs.org.

The second organization is the National Education Association (NEA). NEA believes that  “every student in America, regardless of family income or place of residence, deserves a quality education” (nea.org) The organization focuses on improving the quality of teaching , so that the students can achieve higher standards, making schools safer and ensuring that the students feel safe and their attendance is maximized. I belong to this association and I enjoy the newsletters that outline the various issues that are occurring in the field of education.

The third organization that I chose was the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). “ACEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation, and advocate for children” (acei.org). This is an international organization with members in many nations including the United States. Their statement of commitment is:

  • To promote inherent rights , education, and well- being of all children in their home school and community
  • To work for desirable conditions, programs, and practices for children from infancy through early adolescence
  • To bring into active cooperation all individuals and groups concerned with children
  • To raise the standard of preparation for those actively involved with the care and development of children
  • To encourage continuous professional growth of educators
  • To focus the public’s attention on the rights and needs of children, and on the ways various programs must be adjusted to fit those rights and needs.(aceai.org)

This organization appealed to me because it mainly focused on promoting better education for educators and those who are in charge of the well-being of the children in their care. I am working towards being an adult education tutor and that is why this organization appealed to me They only had internship positions openings. Their website is http://www.acei.org.

 

 

References

Association for Childhood Education International http://www.acei.org

National Education Association http://www.nea.org

Northern Virginia Family Services http://www.nvfs.org

 

 

 

 

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Communicating and Collaborating in Early Childhood Education

Hello everyone!

It is hard to imagine that 8 weeks have gone by since we started this class! I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with all of you. Your discussions were insightful and enlightening. I was intrigued by all the different experiences you all encountered in your work environment as regards communication and collaboration. I am so thankful to have had all of you in my class as this has expanded my knowledge as an early childhood professional. I wish you all success in your future classes and keep in touch!

Fidelis

fidelis.rague@waldenu.edu

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Adjourning

I had a great study group while studying for my post graduate diploma in business management in Johannesburg, South Africa. This was a nine month program and the class had four study groups that met weekly. My group consisted of working adults and so we decided that we would meet at each other’s homes in rotation and after the studying was done we would have dinner in the host home. The fact that we met at each other’s homes established trust between us and also closeness because we all felt like family, since we got to meet each other’s family members.

This group had clear goals; we were to tackle the projects and write group reports and we were very good at distributing our research between each individual in the group. The group would then put together the projects with input from each member. As we were nearing graduation we all felt like we were going to miss family members. Our last project was very hard to do because we kept thinking of the end.

We had a big graduation party for us and our family members and we were really lucky that we all got along and have been able to keep in touch since then.

The adjourning stage is essential because it signals completion and success in most cases.

I have had the honor of interacting with amazing smart ladies, and one gentleman in the process of this program. I hope that after graduation we can all continue to network and share our experiences.  I will definitely be attending the graduation since the venue is less than an hour from my home and I hope most of my colleagues will attend.

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Resolving Personal Conflicts

I am generally a non-confrontational person. This makes it difficult to confront people who are verbally confrontational. At the beginning of my career switch to teaching, I started off as an assistant in the class because I wanted to see if I would like teaching enough to continue. I was willing to do anything in the class to be considered a team player. However, this was misconstrued by the lead teacher as a lack of self-esteem and that I was “sucking up” so she always tried to get me to do really menial stuff. After a month, I decided that teaching was what I wanted to do and I was ready to take part in a meaningful role as an assistant while I pursed my Child Development Associate diploma. This teacher decided that I was not complying and she needed a proper assistant. I was very respectful and asked her what she really wanted. I was helping with the children, I was reading to them, helping them with the manipulatives, and on point as per the job description. What my colleague needed was a person that would make her feel powerful. I ended this tension by being respectful of her feelings and telling her that if she wanted, I would transfer to another class but that I thought that if we had clear boundaries as to our duties, I thought we would make a great team. She apologized for her attitude and told me that people were always taking advantage of her. We ended up becoming good friends.

I now know that fear, frustration, and relationship problems can cause people to have difficulty communicating with others. Because I took the time to know her and ask her about the cause of her attitude, my colleague was able to see that her behavior was not helping the situation. I guess I used the nonviolent communication strategy of not judging her behavior and it worked.

I have a colleague who told me that she became a better communicator when she got married because her husband was always calm. She told me that she kept a “dossier” of anything that he did that hurt her or that she did not like. Her husband used to tell her that when she used the words like “always”, and “never” it meant that she had not forgiven him completely for whatever it was that he had done or not done. That helped her to change her attitude and word choices. I guess that also made her sound less judgmental. She told me that now has fewer confrontations with her husband.

This week’s topics have helped me to be more conscious of how I say things to other people and to observe the 3R’s, Respect, reciprocity and responsiveness.

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