Yesterday I got a new grandson. A cute little guy who will come home to two older sisters. As I was holding him in the hospital, I was thinking about how early childhood has evolved since my own children were infants. I wondered if we are improving as a nation in caring for our most active learners. Having worked in early childhood for almost 30 years, I have definitely seen highs and lows. There have been times that I have been encouraged by the promised commitment to early childhood only to be disappointed when the support wanes after a few years. I do, however, think that we are improving. Early childhood educators are getting the word out and studies are showing that investments in early childhood do pay off. I think that good parents nowadays are very good parents. There are a lot of resources for them that were unavailable to me. The mothers of my grandchildren know so much more than I did as a new parent. As I held that little guy yesterday, I was thinking how lucky he is to have caring, nurturing parents that have a solid knowledge of early childhood development. I wish all kids were that lucky.
Manager of Educational Programs, Excelligence Learning Corporation
University Clinical Instructor
Credentials and Accolades:
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education
1996 Utah Teacher of the Year
1998-1999 President, Utah AEYC
2011 Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Utah
John Funk has worked in early childhood since 1979. He taught preschool, 1st and 2nd grades and kindergarten. He worked as an early childhood specialist for a large school district and managed early childhood services for Salt Lake CAP Head Start. He is past president of the Utah AEYC. As an early childhood, reading, and literacy consultant for the last decade, he has written on early childhood subjects and products for McGraw Hill and Leap Frog. He served on the editorial panel for Young Children magazine published by NAEYC.
Currently, John is the Manager of Educational Programs for Excelligence Learning Corporation, and he teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management, reading methods and supervises student teachers at the University of Utah.