We did it!

Wow it is amazing how fast time has gone by. So many sleepless  nights, struggles, joy, anticipation, and love all for this one shining and fantastic moment. I first wanted to say how proud I am of each and every one of you. Through these last few years I have had the opportunity to work with you and to see us all grow, struggle, and share our life. We became a family here and we all have grown so much since day one. I can say that from the first day till now I have grown and have learned so much wonderful information. We all finally made it! WOOOHOOO!

There are so many things I have learned during my time here.

  1. The child will always come first! At the end of the day we are all here for the children. Everything we do, we do it with for future and safety of the children we work with and advocate for.
  2. Families are just as important in any process we do. Without the families support and understanding, we would be faced with a lot of difficulties. We should always remember that even though we think we understand the child the best, the fact is that we do not. So, working with families and building relationships with them is crucial to our job.
  3. This is a big one. Our learning never ceases! We will always be learning, growing, and evolving. Researchers are constantly finding new information about children and their development. It is important that we always stay on top of new information and be aware that this field will always have something new.

One of my long-term goals is to get my Doctorates in Education and advocacy. I will achieve that goal as times progresses.

Thank you! 

Thank you all for always being supportive in the things that you have said to me. Thank you for sharing your ideas, stories, and lives with us everyday. I wish everyone the very very very best and hope to one day read articles and research with your names on them! I hope to buy books written by you. Most of all I hope to collaborate with you all in the future! 

To all of my wonderful teacher:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have all challenged me and have helped me through this process. From encouraging words to honest feedback, you are a major part of our journey and without you all we would have not been able to succeed. I wish I could thank you in person! Thank you all again and I hope that you continue inspiring and helping others that are entering this field! 

My contact information is

Tainashey@gmail.com please contact me any time you want!

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International Organizations

Three international organizations that I found that relate to play are

The association of Play Therapy:

My professor shared this association with me.

“APT promotes the value of play, play therapy, and credentialed play therapists by advancing the psychosocial development and mental health of all people and sponsoring and supporting those programs, services, and related activities” (Association of Play Therapy, n.d).

This organization promotes play and also supports those who are advocates for play. Even though they focus mostly on children who are experiencing psychosocial difficulties, the Association of Play Therapy can be helpful in helping me with my challenge and making it successful.

International Play Association:

“That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

That member governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities  for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.” (International Play Association, 2016). 

This organization works on over 50 countries and promotes play. They collaborate with other organizations and have seminars and conferences to help educate others.

Rights to Play International:

“We use play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities”(Rights to Play, n.d). This organization is great and shows different ways to help promote learning through play. They work with communities that are at a disadvantage and teach young children about health, education, and peaceful communities. This organization would be great to work with because it can help show the effects of learning through play in other countries.

I think a job that I would like to do is be a event coordinator for the rights to play organization. Even though this is not a job, it would be a great way to advocate for learning through play. I also would be able to help children in other countries and be able to teach others about learning through play..Some skill I will need are being able to communicate with others. Make connections and be able to network with other people. I would also need to be educated about other countries and also about learning through play.

References

Association of Play Therapy. (n.d.). Why play therapy? Retrieved

from http://www.a4pt.org/?page=WhyPlayTherapy

International Play Association.(2016). General statement. Retrieved

from http://ipaworld.org/about-us/general-statement/

Rights to Play International. (n.d.). What we do. Retrieved

from http://www.righttoplay.com/Learn/ourstory/Pages/What-we-do.aspx

 

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

This week we were asked to look for three organizations on a national and federal level that relate to our topic of choice.

The first organization I have chosen is The International Play Association. 

There are many great things happening in this organization. A quote that the Association used that really caught my attention is

“The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;”

This quote made me realize that this is a organization in which I could use in my CoP and also use for future references. According to the Associations, their purpose is to ” The purpose of IPA USA is to protect, preserve, and promote play as a fundamental right for all humans” (International Play Association, 2014) . This Association promotes recess and encourages play in school.

The second organization I have chosen is the National Institute for Play. Their vision is “We envision a near term future where all existing scientific research related to human play — currently scattered across a range of scientific disciplines and only partially identified as human-play-related — is integrated and the field of Human Play is a credentialed discipline in the scientific community” (National Institute for Play, n.d.). This Organization focuses on play and is a great advocate for play to use in my project.

Finally, I have picked a organization called PlayWorks. This organization focuses on allowing children to play during school hours. The website explains that

Playworks’ vision is that one day every child in America will get to play—every day. We are changing school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. We offer an essential opportunity for children to explore their imaginations, to connect with other kids, and to stretch and grow physically, emotionally and socially” (Playworks, 2015).

A Job I found interesting on the Playworks website is for Program Manager. Although this may seem like a long shot, I think it would be a great opportunity.Here is what is required:

About the position:
The Program Manager will oversee the planning and implementation of Playworks’ comprehensive school-based play and youth development programming. This includes training and oversight of program coordinators, developing new training for program staff and facilitating the implementation any new or modified programming. This is a full-time, exempt position which reports directly to either a city executive director or a program director.

 

Responsibilities include, but not be limited to:

  • Overseeing the Playworks’ programs, planning and implementing sports based programming during recess, lunch, and after school at elementary school sites.
  • Manage and support 8-12 program coordinators.
  • When applicable, support AmeriCorps program coordinators including tracking hours, organizing and participating in volunteer service activities, encouraging completion of term of service, etc.
  • Participate in curriculum development.
  • Organize and facilitate staff trainings.
  • Perform evaluations of program coordinators according to Playworks’ protocol and oversee curriculum implementation during school year to ensure program coordinator fulfillment of expectations and responsibilities.
  • Serve as primary contact person for school administrators.
  • Mediate program issues with schools, staff and principals and program coordinators.
  • Serve as volleyball/basketball league coordinator and contact person which includes additional evening hours.
  • Additional league responsibilities include creating league documents and schedules, as well as recruiting and training of volunteers.
  • Participate in hiring of new program coordinators.
  • Assist in special events, field trips, etc.
  • Represent Playworks in the community and work to build new relationships.
  • Support administrative staff and executive director and/or program director as needed (paperwork, grant writing, etc.)
  • Represent Playworks in building community relationships and supporting national expansion through various special projects such as development of curriculum for specific student populations, building relationships with new funding sources and developing training for new sites.
  • Support Playworks local training efforts.

 

Qualifications:

 

  • Successful experience as a Playworks’ program coordinator or similar experience such as a background in youth development with a variety of skills and approaches to sports and play.
  • Self-starter with strong organizational skills; proven ability to handle multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to interact with diverse communities and community organizations.
  • Ability to manage and support staff.
  • “Get It Right” attitude as well as someone who seeks and incorporates feedback.
  • Strong computer skills, ability to use existing technology to achieve desired results and proficiency in MS Word, Excel, and internet based programs.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Versatility, flexibility, and a willingness to work within constantly changing priorities with enthusiasm.
  • Ability to thrive working both independently and within team settings.
  • High professional standards with the ability to see big picture and manage practical details.
  • Must be creative and passionate about youth work. Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed.
  • Proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used is required in addition to a valid drivers license.
  • Sense of humor and resourcefulness essential.

Although I may not meet all of the qualifications as of yet, I am on the way of meeting them and being able to accomplish a job like this.

 

References:

International Play Association. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.ipausa.org/join.html

National Institute for Play. (n.d.). Retrieved from  http://www.nifplay.org/

PlayWorks. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.playworks.org/

 

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

There are many organizations all over the world that are able to help us achieve our goals. They are there to help up find information and they also have some of the same goals and passions as we do.

There are three organizations I have decided to focus on because they went with my topic and my challenge. My focus for my Capstone is on play and ways we can increase the use of play in schools as a main way of learning.

The first organization I have chosen is The Children’s Village:

The Children’s Village is a great organization that is based in NYC and they focus on helping families and children who come from underprivileged backgrounds. I picked them not only for this, but also because their aim is to help children and families succeed.

Another organization that I have picked is called Kaboom! https://kaboom.org/

I really loved this website because it focused on the importance of play with children! This non-profit organization is amazing! the organization goes to different places and helps create places where children can go and play. They also have a whole section dedicated to becoming an advocate for play. Even though their focus is on creating a place for play in cities, I feel that this organization can be a helping point in helping parents understand the importance of play and also can be used as an ally.

Finally, I have decided to use NAEYC as part of my team.

NAEYC is a great organization in general. The fact that they are focused on creating schools for children that use play based learning to help children is perfect for me. They help school become accredited and also have valuable resources and advocates to help. NAEYC can help me with by providing me information and also helping me with the administrative portion and also helping me find information that will help me with promoting my ideas.

Some other organizations that I am still researching are Rights to Play and and Play Core. Both of these focus on the importance of play. Rights to Play is more of a international organization that teaches children from different cultures through play. While Play Core, provides more organizations that have similar beliefs about play and how it is beneficial.

A job I want in the future is to be the head of a day care center. For this job, I would need to have a lot of knowledge about child development and also be able to work with families and help them with their needs. I would need to gain information about local agencies that I can partner with and also refer my families to. I would need to be patient, kind, and non -bias. I would need to make sure that I find different ways to accommodate all children. Most important, I would need to be able to be honest and be a good problem solver.

A job that I found that seemed interesting to me was Program Director in CT. On the website, it said that I would needs a “Minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in child development, early childhood education, human services, business or related field with supervisory experience. This position requires demonstrated skills and abilities in a management capacity relevant to human services program management. Courses in public administration to include budgeting, personnel, and supervision are helpful”(Idealist.org).

I think that for this position I would need more that what they have mentioned. I think patience and a background in administrative work and also a understanding of the system are necessary.

Thank you!

Thank you all for your wonderful words of support, advice, and opinions these past eight weeks. You all have once again helped me realize different things about myself and have helped me grow. I am so glad that I had the chance and opportunity to get to understand all of your passions and hopes for this field. I look forward to continuing hearing all of the wonderful things I know you all will accomplish.

My hope for my future and for the children and families I work with is simple. I hope that one day all the children and families understand the importance of anti bias education. I hope that we can one day live in a world where children and families do not have to worry about their differences or feel rejected or a victim of bias and prejudice. I hope that one day I will be able to make a difference in the children and the families I work with lives! Thank you again everyone and good luck with your next class!

Impacts on Early Emotional Developments

While exploring the UNICEF website, I decided to focus on the Philippines. I picked this location because I had went their on vacation with my husband. While I was there, I saw a lot of poor families and children in the streets and people who did not have homes. While there, I wondered about the children and how many children are struggling in the streets of the Philippines.

One challenge that I found on the website that the children in this area are facing are malnutrition. Children are suffering from a lack of food in certain villages and are not being given enough food. According to Mcauliffe & Jensen ” The government of the Philippines, working with the EU and UNICEF on a five-year project to reduce stunting and anemia in women and children, set u[ an innovative programme to detect dietary problems and deficiencies” Mcauliffe & Jensen, n.d., par. 4).

This problem might affect children of the Philippines because hunger can cause many things. First, it can cause children not to develop in a healthy way both physically and mentally. Secondly, emotionally, these children may not be able to attend school or if they do, they may be too hungry to focus and be apart of the lesson. For families, there is a constant worry about their children and where the next day’s meal will come from.

Personally, I think it is great that there are organizations that are working on helping these families and children who are in need. I also am very grateful for being able to have food everyday and being raised in a environment that always provided for me. I can’t even begin to imagine the struggle that the children and the families face day to day. Being hungry is something that effects your whole being. It is emotionally, physically, and cognitively draining. This made me realize that you never know what is happening in children’s lives. We should always be sensitive and make sure we find out as much as we can so we are able to help the families and children that we work with.

References

Mcauliffe, A., & Jensen, C. P. (n.d.). Duck eggs help mothers feed malnourished children. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/philippines/reallives_25100.html#.Vsm_Yr95PDc

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

In today’s society, unfortunately sex does sell and it is portrayed everywhere. Children are constantly being exposed to messages of sex and how they should be. From the music they hear to the movies they watch, there is always something giving children very inappropriate messages and altering the way that they think and feel. Children are like sponges and respond to the environment around them looking for cues on what they should do and how they should act. Parents today, are going to have a harder time in protecting their children from these messages because they are everywhere.

The article that we read, was not very shocking to me and just made me feel sad for this generation of children and for the future generations. The article talks about children losing their identity and trying to be something they are not. Children are becoming more focused on their appearance and trying to be older than they are. Children are “struggle to make sense of all this, children are robbed of valuable time for age-appropriate developmental tasks, and they may begin to engage in precocious sexual behavior. Children encounter these issues at much younger ages than in the past, long before they have the ability to understand or deal with them” (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009, p.3).

There are many examples in today’s society that expose children’s innocence to a sexualized environment.

  1. Music that children listen to and the artist they admire. Artist like Beyonce, Arianna Grande, Justin Beiber, Rhianna, and Miley Cyrus are just some artist that many children listen to. These artist are great singers, but they sometimes portray themselves in a way that is not good for children. From the way they dress to the things they say in their songs. For example, my niece came up to me and began singing “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce and dancing like she did in her video. I was shocked and also angry at the situation because she was only 7 at the time.
  2. Shows on TV like Toddlers in Tiaras aim to show very young children that to be beautiful they have to look a certain way. Some of the young girls on the show have fake tans and do their eyebrows. To me, the negative effects if this is these young girls thinking that the have to wear makeup and dress perfect in order to be seen as beautiful. 
  3. My niece told me that she had to dye her hair and not get fat. I asked her why she thought this way and she said that all the pretty girls on Disney had different color hair and that being fat was very ugly and no one would like her. She said that no one on TV like Arianna Grande (her favorite artist) was fat. She said that she could only be skinny so when she gets older she can get a boyfriend and get married.

There are many implications that can happen if children think this way and are constantly being exposed to this. Low self esteem is one of the main ones I can think of. Children will constantly be questioning their looks and if they are good enough to be beautiful. They will always value others opinions over their own. Second, this type of exposure and behaviors can lead to children becoming more sexually advanced. When children try to be “sexy” or their parents dress them in a “sexy” manner, children will begin to get unwanted attention. Unfortunately, this attention can make them feel beautiful and attractive. This can cause them to seek this attention from men or woman so they continue feeling this way. The best response, is to educate children and to help them become aware. Also, talk to parents once these behaviors begin to show. Trying to help children become confident in themselves and monitoring what they see and hear, can help begin to prevent these negative influences.

I feel that when it comes to this topic, I already knew about it. This is a topic I am constantly discussing with my husband and with my family. I sometimes argue with my friend because I think they are letting their daughter be too grown for her age. She is 9 and already has her hair dyed and her eyebrows done. I feel that this just allowed me to think about everything that we show children and let them see and how much it does influence them and their lives.

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. Retrieved from: http://dianeelevin.com/sosexysosoon/introduction.pdf

Evaluating Impacts on Professional Practice

There are many typed of ‘isms a educator or anyone can face in their everyday life. I would imagine that if I were to experience any of these -isms,  I would feel very hurt and self- conscious. Experiencing -isms is something that hurts the person and can shake up their world and life in an instant. It can be carried around like extra luggage and not go away for a while.

When I first came to Korea, I had experienced racism from a fellow teacher. They had never seen a person of color and immediately thought because I am darker skinned that I was African American. She began to treat me in a very negative way from accusing me of stealing, to judging me go around telling other that they should be cautious of me because I was “black”. She was always watching me and making me feel very uncomfortable in the workplace. Because of this experience, I realized that my behavior with the children began to change. Instead of being proud of who I was, I was constantly questioning myself and defending myself. I made it a point to tell the children I was not black. I was becoming very defensive when the children would ask about me and about where I came from. I began question myself and began to take my frustration out on the children and I was not as pleasant as I could have been.

This is just one experience. There are many other -isms that people face in a daily base. There can be many consequences  of dealing with these -isms and working with children and the families. For children, they may be able to notice that you are acting differently and becoming more easily agitated. While the educator is working, they may begin to treat certain children differently based on the -ism that was being thrown at them. Also, the educator would not be as focused on the child and situations that may arise may be overlooked because of distracting thoughts. Finally, children may feed off of the energy you give and begin to act out ” when a teacher acts out of unexamined internalized privilege or internalized oppression, that teacher runs the risk of of unintentionally undermining children’s development” (Derman- Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.25).

When it comes to the families, I would anticipate me taking out my frustration on them. I feel this would happen especially if one of the families reminds me of the “person” or “situation” that made me experience this type of -ism. This is not something I would want to happen, but unintentionally it may happen. Another anticipation would be that I may say something out of anger or frustration that may hurt family or person. I know myself, and I do this when I am angry with my husband. When I am frustrated or angry, I do not really think before I speak. So, sometimes I say things that are hurtful because I am hurt. I know this is not right, but it does happen.

I think that educators are only human and we may one day be the victims of an -ism. I feel that it is important for us to learn ways to deal with this or have someone we can confide in to talk to. We as educators need to work on becoming comfortable with who we are and where we come from. This is no easy task. Everyday, we are surrounded by media and by what society deems as acceptable and not acceptable. Thinking about these feelings that I would have, makes me really think about the children and families who experience this everyday. It makes me realize that they find ways to cope and sometimes that is not easy. This is why we are here, to make that moment, that feeling, and that sadness, even if for only a moment, fade away. We wan to protect out families and have them realize that when they are around us, they are safe and their children are not going to be criticized or judged.

Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Observation

I had the chance to view my godson interact with his mother. My godson is 7 years old and he is also autistic. He is a fantastic, funny, intelligent young boy who is full of life. I watched them interact around his bed time. His mother had told him to wash up and that it was time for bed. He immediately was not happy with going to bed and ignored his mom and kept playing. He began to pretend he was a superhero and he began running around the house. His mother told him again to wash up and get ready for bed, but this time she said it a little firmer and shut the television off. Upset, he began to say no and began getting fussy with her and throwing some of his toys. Instead of her being upset and yelling at him, she calmly asked him why he didn’t want to go to bed and sat him down to talk with him. He told her that he wanted to keep talking with me and that he wasn’t tired yet. She listened to him carefully and calmly explained why it was so important to go to bed. She then made a deal with him that he could stay up for 10 more minutes if he went and washed up. Then he could come back out and talk with me for a bit more in the bed. He said okay and went to the bathroom to get ready for bed.

Kolbeck stated that “They (children)  need to feel respected, and they need to feel grounded in themselves and accepted for who they are, and heard” (Laureate Education, 2011) I though this statement related because my godsons mother listened to him and respected what he had to say. There was no punishment or forcing, there was compromise and listening. Watching this interaction led me to believe that my godson felt respected and felt listened to. He was made to feel that he had some choice and that he was able to freely say how he felt to his mother. He was comfortable with her and she with him. He may have felt that he really mattered and that his opinion is valuable in the relationship. I believe this will increase his confidence in the future an his ability to say how he feels instead of acting out.

I learned that patience is best when working with children. I also realized that finding an alternative way to deal with a situation can be beneficial to everyone. But, the most important thing I have learned is that listening is extremely important for adults and for children. When we listen, we take the time to explore our own feelings and also the child’s feelings. We don’t jump to conclusions and we do better in making decisions on how to handle situations.

I have realized that there is a lot that I have to learn about communication with children. I believe communication is something that we should constantly grow in. I believe that learning new styles and ways of communication will benefit me in the future when I work with different age groups and abilities. Looking at the way my godson and his mother interacted, made me realize that in that situation, I may not have had the same patience that she did. I believe that we all have our own strengths when it comes to communication. I am good at helping children communicate with each other. But, I can improve on my listening skills and also my problem solving skills,

Reference:

Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Strategies for working with diverse children: Communicating with young children. Baltimore, MD: Author

Children First Day Care Center

Entrance:

  • When families enter my child care home, they will be greeted by a staff member who will talk to the families about there children. Families will be allowed to ask questions and let the staff know about how the child is doing. When you walk in, you will see all of the children’s pictures and a board that says hello in many different languages. Families will also have a chance to write any important information about the child in the attendance binder that has their child’s name. Inside the binders, families will be able to find important information about upcoming events and any other information about.

Main Room:

  • In the main room, there will be the children’s art work and pictures all over the room. This will be the room where activities such as songs, reading, and other fun activities will take place. This room will have different sections where children will be allowed to explore. There will be a section that has many different types of books. The books will range from books about diversity to different type of families.There will also be a sections where children can engage in dramatic play. In this area, children will find different types of dolls that represent different races. “The toys, materials, and equipment you put out for children; the poster, pictures, and art objects you hang in the wall; and the types of furniture and how you arrange them all influence what children learn” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.43). In my main room, there will also be furniture where children can feel like they are home and they can relax and feel comfortable. Where the children play, there will be many types of toys that all the children can play with from puzzles, cooking equipment, fake phones, dolls, different dress clothes, and many other things that children can play with. Having all of these things, will allow children to be exposed to different types of playing and also the freedom to play with what they want.

Art Room:

  • The art room will have all of the children’s art work displayed all over the walls. It will have different different types of paint brushes and different art supplies that will be helpful for all children. In this room, there is also different types of music that children can listen to. From classical music, children’s music, and even Jazz music. Different types of music allows children to be exposed to different cultures and things.

Family Room:

  • This room will be dedicated to families. This room will be where children and families can bring things that represent there cultures. It will have pictures of the families and the children. It will also a place where children and families can sit during the day if the child is having a rough morning. This is also a place where children can have quiet time if they need to relax and miss there families. This room will also be for events that we have with the children’s families, For example, show and tell or family group activities.

 

In each room, there will be different posters that show all types of families and children. There will also be different languages that represent the children in my center. We want all the children to be able to feel comfortable and feel pride in there families and culture. “In addition to seeing themselves in their learning environment, children also need materials that honor diversity both within and beyond their own identity groups” (Derman- Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.43).

References:

Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J.O. (2010).  Anti-bias education for young children and          ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children