Saturday, July 1, 2017

Reflecting on Learning

My greatest hope for the future as an Early childhood professional and for the families and children I come across is to provide hope and be able to change the lives of the families and children I come across.  There is so much to be done in this field to continue to create a change and deal with the issues of inequity in the system.  I just want to make sure that every family, and every child I come across I make some sort of positive impact on their lives so that they too can be positive and have a great outlook on the future of their children.

I want to say a special Thank you! to all of my colleagues and teacher for making this class such an amazing experience for the feedback and insights provided they have definitely allowed me to retain great information to push forward in this field.  I want to wish you all much success in you future endeavors and finishing here at Walden it was a pleasure to work with you in learning so much!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Impacts On early emotional development

The Region that I chose to study is Eastern and Southern Africa. The reason why I chose to learn more on this region is because I know that part of the world does suffer from a lot of struggles especially in the children and I wanted to learn more about what exactly they have to deal with.  One of the most known struggles that the region suffers from is low income mostly in the regions of (Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia).  Children in low income can suffer from many things, they may not get the proper food and clothing they need and it can affect them mentally.

 A lot of low income families go without the essential things that they need in life and a lot of times the children go without and this can affect their growth and development.  Another thing that this region suffers from HIV “ Eastern and Southern Africa is home to half the world’s population living with HIV; 48 per cent of the world’s new HIV infections among adults; 55 per cent of the world’s new HIV infections among children” UNICEF (2011).  This sort of infectious disease can affect the child’s longevity in life and because children’s immune systems aren’t as high as adults they can suffer from the disease more heavily than adults can.  Their real chances of survival as a young child are slim with this disease.

 One last thing I wanted to discuss that children suffer with in this region is their education, a lot of children are deprived of the proper education in this country whether it be their families not caring enough to put them in school or it not being available to them.  Education as we know is very important especially when you reach the school age and are supposed to be at a certain level, with this lack of care it can seriously hold a child back from their full potential and growth.  A child must grow progressively and not getting the proper education can seriously stop that and take a mental effect on the child, especially when around children who are at a higher level. 

Reading and learning about the children of Eastern and southern Africa really opened my eyes to what children suffer with from around the world.  It is really sad to hear about and read, but it just makes me want to go harder as an educator for the children I come across and beyond to help ensure they are cared for properly and get the right opportunities to help promote healthy growth for them.  I will continue to learn about the struggles faced everyday by children and do my part to help begin to prevent and alleviate what I can, because change can be made with us. 







Reference:
UNICEF (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

  • Share your reaction to the topic of the sexualization of early childhood.
While reading the article and hearing more about the topic of sexualization in early childhood, it made me sort of uncomfortable in a sense.  Mainly because when it comes to children and the topic of sex I don't necessarily think young children should be exposed tot the topic at such a young age.  Also the many different ways in which children are using sexualization and hearing the examples shocked me.  I also think that there is really no way for us to stop children from being exposed to the topic, children learn so much from much, school, other kids and their environment and it is our job as educators and parents to be mindful of that. Although we cannot stop them from being exposed to such things we can take the necessary measures ourselves in those times to educate them properly and pay close attention to them.

  • Provide three or more examples, from your personal or professional experience, that further illustrate the exposure of young children to a highly sexualized environment.
In my own personal life when I was a kid my parents didn't exactly monitor closely what me and my brothers watched on television so one day my brother discovered porn on television or something close to it and he would watch it when my parents were not looking and we never told on each other so they never found out he was watching he had to be around 11 or 12, but one day he got caught and got in trouble and my parents had a talk with him about it and he was really embarrassed but ever since then he never tried to sneak and watch it.  Another thing I remember is while working in the daycare center I was working in the school age room and One of the kids were singing the "sexy back" song by Justin Timberlake, reading the article immediately made me think of this because when this song first came out a lot of children were exposed to it as I noticed.  It was really catchy, but anyway the little girl singing the song in the classroom had to be about 8 and I asked her where did she hear that song she said it's always on the radio when my mommy brings me here.  Another instance in the same classroom there was a girl dancing we were having a Christmas party and we were playing all kinds of music mostly Christmas music and the little girl was dancing very adult like.  She was about 11 or 12 and one of my coworkers came to her and said where have you seen dancing like that and she said on a music video at home, her mom lets her watch it.  Those were just a few examples I witnessed and they all have to do with the exposure of sexualization in early childhood.

  • Explain the implications this may have on children’s healthy development. Include ideas you might have, as an early childhood professional, to best respond to these concerns and to reduce the negative impact on children.
A lot of the exposure to sexualization that children may have can impact their healthy development if not properly addressed by the educators and parents/guardians in a child's life.  Things could happen that cause them to be exposed to sexual acts at an early age and to learn the wrong things about sexualization that can affect them in a bad way mentally.  Some ways that can help to prevent these things is to monitor what children watch on television and always notice the signs.  Pay attention to children and their behavior and if they have questions answer them.  Do the best you can as a parent or educator to pay close attention to children, because we have the ultimate say so in what they watch and what they are exposed to in a major way.  

  • Describe the ways in which your awareness of the sexualization of early childhood has been influenced and/or modified by studying the topic this week.

 I wasn't as aware of the sexualization in early childhood as much before this week.  I didn't really think about the long term affects it can have on a child.  But reading the resources this week really opened my eyes to the topic and ways to limit the exposure in a negative light to children.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Evaluating impacts on professional practice


       I have never really personally experienced any "isms" in my own life There are a few that i could experience as I go on in this Journey in the early childhood field.  One could be racism I am an African american woman and I know that living in California there are many different races and classes of people, and not everyone here is accepting of people from different races I have noticed this to be much more with older individuals because they do come from a different time.  While working in the early childhood field There could be certain parents or children who are not as open to people of different races and that could pose a problem with me as an educator.
       When working with children and families it is important to gain and build a working connection because that is the foundation to teaching and working to help the growth of the child.  If I were in a situation of racism I feel I would be extremely uncomfortable and distant from the children and families and It would affect how I do my work.  It would also be very distracting to think about and work with and that could affect the other families and children that I work with.  I do hope I never have to go through any situation like this, but it is a possibility it could happen working in a field that is as culturally diverse as the early childhood field.  This is why it is important for myself to be open and to work diligently to connect and find ways for families and children to trust me and be open with me. Knowing my passion and expressing that to them and how it will impact the children can help to get the families to working with me positively towards a common goal of the child's healthy growth and development.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Observing communication

  • Provide an account of your observation.
I went to a local park and I observed a mother and what looked like a 3-4 year old girl interacting on the playground.
  • Describe what you noticed and learned.
During my observation I noticed the mother was very attentive to the child which is great, she also was vocal and engaged with the child in play, but when the child would try something a little risky like hang from the monkey bars the mother was extremely cautious she stood there and told her to "be careful" and she then told her after a while to come down she doesn't want her to fall.  Even though she was standing right there that could still happen.  She was very nurturing and cared a lot she followed the little girl around the park to make sure she was okay and she was very little so it was necessary.   
  • Make connections between what you observed and the effective communication strategies presented in this week’s learning resources. What could have been done to make the communication more affirming and effective?
With the interaction I noticed the mothers communication was very effective, the child was listening to her and responded positively to the mother, I would have been more playful with her because the mother seemed very tense at times and you could tell she was extremely cautious which could have scared the child to fall or something.  She could have been a little more playful and not so much watching the child but more so playing with her.  She as doing this at first, but it turned as time went on from playful to just monitoring and following the little girl to make sure she didn't get hurt.  
  • Share your thoughts with regard to how the communication interactions you observed may have affected the child's feelings and/or any influences it may have had on the child's sense of self worth.
In this instance I feel the mother showcased a lot of care, but it also could have put fear in the child that maybe she will fall.  This is why I mentioned the mother could have been more playful still interacting and watching the child but in a less stressful and cautious way so that it does not distract the child from play.  
  • Offer insights on how the adult-child communication you observed this week compares to the ways in which you communicate with the children. What have you learned about yourself this week with respect to how well you talk with and listen to young children? In what ways could you improve?
I am somewhat similar to the mother when I am observing children, but I am more playful and interactive with the child.  I have learned this week that I am very attentive to children for the most part, I like to ask them questions and address things that I see.  I do however want to work on being more attentive to listening to their curiosity and addressing what I observe.  Sometimes as adults we overlook things as kids being kids and it is important to know some things are more than that such as gender associations or curiosity and questions on race.  As adults we have to be attentive to this and ask our own questions that could help the child in the long run to better understand and to approach things differently.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Creating Affirming Environments

            For my Early childhood setting I would want it to be looked at as a place of comfort and Anti-bias.  I want it to be a place where culture is honored and respected as well as diversity.  The media segment we watched this week of exploring the early childhood educators home daycare really inspired me to think of how I would want my own setting to look like.  I would want a specific wall we dedicate to Culture and diversity on that wall we would study different countries each month and learn about them from what they wear, how they look, their own language and whatever else it is that makes them unique.  We would start with the cultures of the children and families I serve and then we will move on to Cultures outside of what they know and are familiar and accustomed to.  "An environment rich in Anti-biased materials invites exploration and discovery and supports children's play and conversations in both emergent and planned activities" (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards (2010).   
          Another area I would like to have is the play area and in this area we would have dolls and toys that were diverse, I'd want to have different races of the dolls to incorporate and show culture and so children could start seeing the diversity that is in the world Also I would want to have different costumes such as Firefighters, nurse, doctor, princess, police officer etc so that he children can begin to dress up as different professions and learn on them.  Another area would be a story time area where I would have different books that would speak to all cultures and help children to learn on cultures in the world.  I would put a world globe in this area as well as a map on the wall for us to study and begin learning the names of different countries.  This is a great way for children to begin thinking on the many different people all around and learn about countries they don't know about and even incorporate and talk about their own.  
       
          Another section would be a wall we dedicate to different careers and professions.  Not only is diversity in how we look and our cultures, but it is also in where we work and make a living from.  So it will be important to me for us to study those different professions no matter what and get the children to learning what they do and how they dress and the impact and importance they have in their field.  I want my environment to be rich in culture and be a great learning environment to diversity and explore the world.  There will be different colors and different flags that represent the countries of my own students and of countries that we learn about.  The activities we do will also incorporate Anti-bias such as drawings and paintings that I would display on the walls.  I would have pictures of the children and families in an area probably in the front of my setting so it is the first thing you see when you walk in and you get a feel of who is inside and the different children I work with.  The media segment inspired me for this because she had a wall of the children and families which is great, because it is important to incorporate the children and families so they feel more at home and welcome when they come inside.  

References:

 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).

 Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Strategies for working with diverse children: Welcome to an anti-bias learning community. Baltimore, MD: Author

Sunday, April 30, 2017

What I have learned. and special thanks..

Throughout this course I have learned so much about children and diversity. One hope that I have when working with children who come from diverse backgrounds is to be able to build a special bond and relationship so that they are comfortable.  I want every child and family to feel like they belong and are understood by me especially as an educator.  I want them to be open and trust me fully and that will be the foundation to make a real impact on a child's life.

One goal I would like to set for the early childhood field in issues related to social justice, diversity, and equity would be to be more of a leader and begin to build my own community of people who are for children and diversity and their growth and development also to spread awareness.  Helping others recognize their biases all while working on my own.  A lot of people don't know the impact we as adults and educators have on children and their growth and development and I want to make it my job to let it be known.

Throughout the course I have learned so much from my fellow colleagues and gained a lot of insight to things and I want to say thank you to all of you for your input and as well as your insight to me.  I wish you all much success in your continued Journey here at Walden and beyond!