Friday, June 30, 2017

When I Reflect About My Collegial, Professional Learning Community

Three downfalls of being apart of the professional learning community are:

1. The lack parental involvement that is sometimes present.
2. Misrepresentation of student's true needs.
3. The lack of funding needed to properly ensure that individual needs are met.

One goal that I have created is:

I want to effectively and efficiently represent the children and their families in the field of early childhood education, and I will provide the best information and resources that I can to make their development successful.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My Hypothetical Family Situation

For this assignment, I identify myself as a parent who is about to adopt a three year old little boy (Jacobe) that has just recently been diagnosed with autism. Both of his parents were killed in a tragic car accident and he does not have any family who is willing to adopt him with the severity of his condition. I am currently married and we currently have a 6 year old daughter. He does not have any siblings from his parents but has been separated from his grandparents. They felt as though they were to old to care for their grandchild. I am currently a speech therapist with my own practice and my husband is a marketing executive for Apple. Due to our financial successes, we feel as though we are equip with the resources to adequately care for a child with special needs. The knowledge and experience that I hold as a speech therapist in Early Learning and with special needs children, also qualifies for being great foster parents. English is our first language and is also the first language of Jacobe.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Political Will to Improve Early Childhood Systems

Advocates for Special Education are using effective strategies to collaborate with school districts, families, and educators to make the most informed decisions in regards to students needs. The advocates make voices for parents and explore various avenues of concerns that may be present. They look for opportunities that may be missed or are not funded by the school district, and ensure that the parents are afforded that greatest opportunities for their child. There are not any credentials that are to be verified in order to be an advocate, so it is important that the parents do their research and background investigation to ensure they can meet their needs. The collaborative efforts with the school can make a huge impact on the successes of the student.  

Parents feel a sense of security when the advocate is familiar with the school district that their child attends, and that they are informed about how the school district operates. The comfort that parents feel from having an advocate that can make informed decisions for their student makes parents at ease. Advocates do typically charge fees, but there are ways to assist with the cost. 

The part of this work that appeals to me the most is the research and knowledge that goes into collaborating within the field. The work that gets put into the meetings that make the best decisions for the children. Also, comforting skills for the parents and making them understand the decisions that are made for the child. 

Image result for special education advocates

Friday, June 2, 2017

Parent, Family, and Community Engagement

The use of family and community engagement is very vital to early childhood. Children and educators are valuable assets to a child's  academic achievements. Community involvement and family stability will always be a major contribution to a child making adequate progress.

Professionally, I have gained a greater appreciation for family involvement. It is a known fact that having adequate family support makes a student successful, but the family is just as needed for the teacher as they are for the students. Teachers are able to gather background knowledge about the family and home environment and use this knowledge to use in the classroom. Parents hold key information about children that teachers need to know in regards to a child's learning style.

These stories are very helpful to the field of Early Childhood to share various perspectives within the field and give insight and ideas to the field. The resources that we share with each other are more valuable than anything because they are based upon experiences. Parental involvement will always have a great lasting impression upon the community of early childhood. The use of parent's experiences helps to open up various avenues of teaching and researching students characteristics.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Quality Programs for ALL Children

I think that an emphasis has been placed heavily on early learning programs and ensuring that they are accessible to ALL populations of students. Two states that I recently researched offered 6 free hours of pre-k for parents to have their children enrolled in prior to starting kindergarten. In Georgia, it is the Georgia Lottery Pre-k Program and in Florida it is VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). These two programs offer free support at any daycare center in the state to properly prepare students for entry into Kindergarten. This will help the parents who can not afford traditional daycare expenses or who are on a waiting list for an already full Head Start Center.  - (Florida VPK)   - (Georgia Pre-K)

I think this emphasis on preparation for Kindergarten is extremely necessary and will increase in upcoming years. This support from the government gives parents that may not have the financial stability to send their children to traditional daycare centers, an opportunity to prepare their children for school.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What Resonates With You About Early Childhood Public Policy and Advocacy?

Why did you choose this specialization?

The specialization is near and dear to my heart due to my passion and strong-will towards children and providing their families with adequate resources. I want the to ensure that children are supplied with the tools necessary to be successful in grade school through adolescence. An education is a precious piece of knowledge that will open the doors to future endeavors and create a vast amount of opportunities. Public policy and advocacy speaks to implementing change in the field of early childhood. Ensuring that policies are complacent with the current needs that are to be met in the school system. Also, advocacy gives educators the opportunity to be a voice for the students, families, and the community that the schools are located in. To speak to the school boards and ensure that the voices of the pubic are heard. 

Why are advocates essential in the early childhood field?

Advocates are essential to the early childhood field to be the voice to the public, as I mentioned earlier. There are times when there are issues that the community would like to present before the school board, but lack the research and knowledge to make the information substantial. Just as an attorney represents a defendant, a advocate represents the thoughts of others. This is essential for change in this field and bringing awareness to things that may go unseen. 

What do you hope to learn about public policy and advocacy?

1. I hope to learn adequate strategies to obtain issues of concern from the community.

2. I hope to become an effective communicator and person of trust to reach out to the community and supply resources of useful information. 
3. I aspire to bring about change that impacts lives and makes this field even better than it was prior to my presence. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Adjourning from Groups

"In the "adjourning" stage the project is coming to an end and the team members are moving off into different directions" (Abudi, 2010). This has been found to be very challenging for me when I have worked with family or when working with a team that I have grown to gain a great relationship with. When working with a team, rapport and friendship can easily be developed without any intentions on it happening. I had the best experience when training to work for AT&T. We had a week long training in Boyton Beach, FL. We were in a classroom with these team members for eight hours a day. Went to breakfast together, lunch, and even had dinner and outings. We were all there for the common goal of training for our position, but when the training was over we all had to leave and head to our various stores. This was difficult. Also when leaving from my family trip, it was all planned out and we all accomplished the goal of a successful trip, when concluded we all had to leave and head our separate ways. 

I think that adjourning from my Master's program will be just as difficult. Many of my colleagues have been in all of my classes and we are evolving together. Some have even reached out outside of class and had questions. When the conclusion the this class and this program comes, it will be bittersweet. I know that we will all have a degree and be successful but I will miss the journey that we were on.