Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fun day out!

I was very thankful to have a day out of my small apartment. With two snow days and being cooped up in my small apartment I was starting to go a little crazy! So today I was thankful to get outta the house with my sister and nephew.

My little nephew is three and soo precious! He tried to put a pair of his daddies undies on like a shirt and watching him try and figure out how to get them on over his head and through his arms was quite hilarious and very interesting! It showed the persistence that he wasn't going to stop until he figured it out!

We had a fun day in Emporia shopping an while at dinner my nephew told the waitress that it was his mommy's birthday (on Tuesday) so that was fun. You know the singing and the whole nine yards. He also enjoyed the dessert mommy got!

Attached are a few pictures from the day.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Male Teachers in Early Childhood

 Ran across this posting on Facebook and of course I had to check it out!

This is something I'm always interested in reading up on simply because this is the position I'm in.  You can click on the link below to read more.

More men in the early childhood education sector would not only bring a range of benefits for children, but could improve staff dynamics and encourage fathers to become more involved with their child’s education, a new survey shows.

A more diverse workforce, with men represented as well as women, is seen as being necessary to expand the quality of early childhood education for children and bring different viewpoints and ways of working to the ECE profession and the sector.

The size of the early childhood sector and its workforce has grown exponentially over the past decade and early childhood teaching has become professionalised with more qualified early childhood staff than ever before, but no significant increase in male representation has occurred. Despite being a country that internationally is recognised as being at the forefront of gender equality, there have been no sustained initiatives to address the gender imbalance in the ECE sector.
A survey was done and these are some of the results...
The aim of the survey was to determine whether those in the sector wanted to see more men in the workplace and what benefits or disadvantages it could bring. The results show that the majority would like to see more men in ECE. Not only was it believed that more men in the sector would bring a range of benefits for children, but it could also lift the overall quality of teaching by introducing gender diversity, improve staff dynamics and encourage fathers to become more involved with their child’s education.

A more diverse workforce, with men represented as well as women, is seen as being necessary to expand the quality of early childhood education for children and bring different viewpoints and ways of working to the ECE profession and the sector. However, the results also reveal some worries expressed by a minority of respondents about how increasing the number of male teachers may impact on job security and the sector as a whole. Some expressed concern that there may be fewer employment opportunities for women, that men might get special treatment or be given better jobs, and that men, who had not proven themselves to be capable of basic care-giving, might be employed as teachers.

The majority of respondents would like to see government play an active role, in some way. The survey results present a clear message to the government that it needs to assist to help create change. Many respondents felt the lack of men in ECE was a social issue that needed to be recognised as some other gender inequalities have such as the need for more women in Parliament or in professions such as law and medicine.

The results show that people in the ECE sector and teacher education welcome men and see there is a need for men to be involved in working alongside female teachers. A commitment to gender equality in early childhood education public policy, teacher recruitment and workplace practices would bring a new dimension to quality in early childhood education.

The question was asked, "Would Having More Men Make a Difference and How?"
A small minority of respondents feared a change for one or more reasons, mostly it would seem, because they are comfortable with the current gender bias and worry that the involvement of men could be negative for women. For example:
  • Could make it worse for female teachers. Male teachers might demand higher wages which would be unfair on the female teachers even though they might be on the same level of qualifications and experience (Teacher-Led Centre Service)
  • It could create potential difficulties in leadership as males tend to dominate leadership in all other education sectors (Teacher Educator)
  • Exposure to a broader range of thinking / ways of being is always good for learning. We don't want the field to be overtaken by male dominated thinking, however, as women have worked long and hard to be heard and have influence in our society (Teacher Educator)
Just found this study interesting!

Males in Early Childhood Education


After I posted the last entry I was checking it to make sure it made sense and didn't sound ridiculous and realized that this technology piece is crazy!  I have started this blog - and while I don't know if anyone is going to follow it and read what I am writing - I have found that I am able to control this blog from my crazy is that!  The saying sure is true..."there's an app for that!"  It will be very convenient for me though to keep up with this new project of blogging by having it available to me on my iPhone.

Have a blessed day!

Technology in the Classroom

I was reading my chapter for a class I'm in - Creative Experiences and the topic was Technology and using it to promote creativity in the classroom.  When I think of technology in a classroom it is probably the basis for how a lot of teachers function.  In a public school everything seems to be computer based these days from report cards, grades, email, lunch counts, attendance counts, and the list goes on.  There are many times that powerpoints are used to discuss topics during lessons, videos to help supplement a topic, and overhead projectors to aid in instruction.  In a typical classroom many teachers simply would not know how to function without basic technology.

With that being said, it's the same scene in early childhood programs today.  Computers are a part of many children's preschool experiences.  You can generally find at least one computer available for children's use during center or free-choice time.  In my experience many early childhood program also have more sophisticated forms of technology present today.  With the growing use of technology in the early childhood program, teachers more than ever need to know the best ways to use technology with young children.  I find this topic of interest and will be very valuable in my career as an early childhood educator. 

Developmentally appropriate practice is an important part of an early childhood classroom and the underlying premise of all educational experiences for young children.  To have a developmentally appropriate classroom means teaching young children in ways that
  • meet the individual needs of each child and meeting the child where they are in their development
  • help each child reach the developmental goals in a challenging and achievable manner as to contribute to his or her ongoing development.  The activity needs to be attainable but not impossible for the child to reach.
  • recognize that what makes something challenging and achievable will vary depending of the individual learners development in all areas 
 When using technology in an early childhood classroom it is important to consider the developmental appropriateness of technology and young children.  Most children will see the computer as something to manipulate just as any other material in the classroom.  With the right kind of software, computers are open ended and discovery oriented.  It is also important to know that the computer would be something that is offered as a treat on occasion--not as the main form of education. 

In developing creativity, there are a variety of technology mediums that help children develop creativity.  This occurs when they manipulate, design, and express themselves using the following technology examples
  • videorecordings - children can plan and record their own dramatic presentations, dancing, field trips, and other activities around the classroom
  • photography - letting the child take pictures allow them to experience their world
  • digital cameras - great way to document the activities of the classroom
  • iPods and MP3 players - great way to include music 
  • Interactive White (Smart) Boards - such a diverse tool to use to appeal to the multiple intelligences
Another way that technology is used in an early childhood classroom is for parent communication.  This is a big piece in an early childhood classroom and with the busy lifestyle of most people these days it is an easy and effective way to keep parents up to speed on what is happening in their child's class.  There are many different ways that teachers can use technology to connect with parents
  • class website
  • electronic newsletter
  • classroom bog
  • Facebook page
These are just a few ways that technology can be used to connect with the parents of your class.  With parents being on-the-go more than ever most parents appreciate this form of communication as well as face-to-face contact with you at drop-off and pick-up.

Technology is definitely here to stay in the early childhood classroom and computers are a part of many children's early childhood experiences.  Technology can enhance the early childhood program by providing variety, interesting learning experiences, allow children to create and develop new ideas, and build on other things that children learn.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

First post!

I have decided to start a blog...just out of curiosity basically...and something I've been wanting to I figured with a few snow days to play around and start I would have some time to get it all figured out.

I have titled this blog "My Journey in Early Childhood Education" because that is what my life is right now, and hopefully will be the journey of my life.  I am currently an Early Childhood educator and student.  I am currently studying Early Childhood Education at Butler Community College and working as a student assistant at EduCare childcare center on the Butler campus.  Early Childhood Education has become a passion of mine within the last few years. 

I have always had a passion for education and wanted to be a teacher but the specifics of that have changed over the years.  When I graduated high school in 2006 I was set on becoming an Elementary Music teacher.  After studying music for 2 1/2 years I decided that music wasn't the right path for me.  I moved back home and began subbing at the elementary school in my community.  There I realized that I still did want to teach but that being an elementary teacher I could make just as much of a difference in the lives of students as I could have teaching music.  From there I got a temporary job in the Head Start program and that is when I found that where my passion lied was in Early Childhood.  I worked as an Assistant Teacher there for a while and then moved to working in the elementary school as a para, and I always knew that ECE was still what I wanted to do.  I worked as a para for 3 years and then at the beginning of this school year I went back to Head Start as an Assistant Teacher.  I also decided to go back to school in the Fall of 2012 to pursue my passion and work towards an Associates in Early Childhood Education.  Most recently I have moved from Head Start to working as a student assistant at EduCare center on the Butler campus where I go to school full-time.

Whew!  That brings you up to speed very quickly on my journey thus far.  I guess I could tell you some other things about me and what I spend my 'spare' time doing (haha I'm surprised I even know what spare time is).  For the past 5 years I have been very involved in the American Cancer Society and the Relay For Life of Greenwood County (which is where I live).  This is a community event that helps raise money for cancer patients and ground breaking cancer research.  I was the Event Chair of this event for 4 years and most recently have stepped down from that role and serve on the planning committee.  I am also very involved in my church.  I take on many roles within my church including working with the children, assisting in worship, directing the bell choir, and many other things.  I also teach piano lessons.  I have been doing this for about 2 years now and it is such a blessing.  Besides all of those things I love to make sure that I spend quality time with my family and friends.

I will wrap this up-more to come!