Tuesday, April 16, 2019

From Teaching to Thinking - Webinar anticipation

I love FREE professional development because well being self employed my PD budget comes directly out of my pocket! 

I am a huge fan of Ann Pelo and Marge Carter two amazing role models in early childhood education. I have seen Ann a couple times present seminars on her inspirations from Reggio - my favorite about a block project still sticks with me about the benefits of 'risky play' for children and the use of ladders in her program to allow children to build really tall structures!  I have also read several of Marge Carters books - so am excited to see them collaborating on one together! From Teaching to Thinking looks like an awesome reflective book and I am totally adding it to me reading list! You can purchase it here from Childcare Exchange.

I n the meantime I am looking forward to tomorrows webinar - likely wont be able to tune into the whole thing live cause working with the little's and wishful thinking that quiet time will last that long but will catch the rest on replay later on
You can register for the FREE webinar here:
They offered three pre-reading articles that are lovely to get the thinking going! 

This quote from Ann's story in the above article really resonated with me:

“You’re smart,” she said, “and you’re going to waste your intelligence and your education by working with children. Do you really think you’ll make an impact on children’s lives by working in child care? Stay in the academy and do research; that’s the way to make a difference.”

I can still remember my high school councilor having a similar conversation with me trying to talk me out of going into Education at all let alone into Early Childhood Education ... even at 17 the irony of this coming from someone who they themselves were working IN the Education system!
Early Childhood Education 30 years later is still very undervalued field that people try to talk those passionate about entering into it to think long and hard about. A vocation that most people think 'anyone' can do and yet there is an extreme shortage of skilled early childhood educators because while many people 'enter' the field few REMAIN in it for their full career. Most of those I graduated with 30 years ago have long since moved either entirely out of education or into more lucrative branches than early years!  
30 years gone and we are continuing to advocate for our profession and push for the realization  that working with children takes a VERY strong skill set that not just 'everyone' can do and to do it well and for a sustained period of time it is paramount that you be engaging in continual professional development as key to not only continued passion but the emerging understanding of the REAL importance in the work we do as we discover just how formative the early years are on brain development and life long success in children!
A vocation that is worth far more resources for those engaged in it than are allotted to it by government and stakeholders!  

Yet the work out of Reggio Italy and other European neighbors give us hope all across the world that making early childhood education a priority and investing in those who work in the early years is achievable -  change is possible!

Love this quote from the Re-imagining our Work  article and look forward to reading more from this series too!

"Even with expanded national attention to the importance of early childhood education and multiple state initiatives funding preschool, it is still a very challenging time to work in the early child-hood field. After some initial excitement, we ‘old timers’ wonder if perhaps things were better before people recognized the value of our work. That recognition hasn’t significantly increased wages, only the stress and requirements (Carter, 2014)."
Another resonating quote from the above article .... I worked for 17 years in publicly funded preschools before choosing to leave and work in my own small private home-based early learning centre for EXACTLY because of some of the points touched on in this article - the increased expectations specially for amount of PAPERWORK in order to prove program requirements and benchmarks being met in order to be able to justify funding to stakeholders was exhausting! The bureaucracy and politics of the large centre work environment was increasingly stressful and the rising ratios and reduced resources due to funding 'shortfalls' was hard both emotionally and physically on ones state of well being!  

Sometimes the saying 'bigger is better' is a true oxymoron and for me none more so than when it comes to childcare - after 17 years of working in increasingly larger 'bigger is better' childcare programs after moving away from that setting to work from home in a small personalized setting I have become a huge advocate for HOME BASED childcare as an untapped resource in our communities that could truly be the solution to the childcare crisis we face here in Ontario and I imagine other regions if we just looked at ways to directly license and support this sector to ensure that 'quality early learning' was front and centre everyone's programs we could create so many 'licensed' childcare spaces and at a fraction of the cost to both create and maintain than the larger counterpart programs! 

After reading the above articles I really am looking forward to tomorrows webinar! Hope you can join me and than we can talk more afterward!
Have an amazing day
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life 

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