Professional Development

Last week I presented at the Indiana AEYC and the Utah AEYC Conferences. I am always amazed at the effort that many early childhood professionals make to improve their teaching skills. Yes, there were a few participants wandering the halls, spending the entire day in the exhibit hall and talking non-stop on the cell phone. However, these people are the exceptions. I was again impressed with the majority eager learners that were in my workshops. These people do not make much money, but still want to be the best possible influence in a child’s life. I recently read an article in the “Principal” magazine which implored principals to put nurturing teachers in early childhood classrooms. The article quoted research that states children in nurturing classrooms achieve more academic successes and have a positive attitude toward school. We all hope that our own children and grandchildren have nurturing teachers who are constantly working toward improving as teachers. I think all parents, even the ones with questionable parenting skills, want to have quality teachers for their child.

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3 responses

  1. I have worked in several preschools for the last 4 years and have found the two different types of teachers you talked about in your post. In my opinion the reason so many EC educators “don’t care” is because they don’t have to. Many people don’t take the profession seriously and so many people work in the field because it is easy to get qualified. I wish that ECE was taken more seriously and the requirements for working with children at such a critical stage were much more difficult.

  2. I agree that often those in preschool are looked down on because not only are they teachers (which in today’s society is a job that holds little esteem or regard…especially in Utah) but also people seem to assume that if you teach preschool you are not a “real” teacher. I have worked in two preschools (one in China and one in SLC) in the past three years and I have come to see that three year old teachers work just as hard and deserve just as much respect as those who teach first grade… if not more. I myself am guilty of thinking those that taught preschool were lesser teachers, but in fact they are the most important teachers children see in that they give them (or don’t give them) a foundation for learning that they will carry (at least to some extent) through much of thier schooling. If a child has a teacher who doesn’t care, which unfortunately does occur, especially with the older generation teachers, the student will not have what I think is the crucial part of an education : a love of learning, and without this, school will never be the joy it could have been. This is why everyone involved with early childhood have and should make strides to make thier teachers on the same level of those in the elementary world, including hiring standards (i.e. education level required) and salary… but that’s a WHOLE other story !

  3. I agree; many of my co-workers are in college to get a degree, either two or four-year. Although we have some people who give our profession an unsavory name, I believe that there are many, many professionals whose interests are bound up in the children and who work hard to promote a nurturing environment.

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