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Archive for the ‘Professional development & preparation’ Category

Melissa Perry

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Melissa Perry. I currently reside in Salem, Mass., and I am newly employed at the Salem YMCA. I’ve been in early childcare education for just a little over 12 years.

To ensure any level of job satisfaction, this field requires a love of children. The most important benefit of being a childcare worker is the satisfaction of knowing I am providing quality care in the preschool setting where children can learn and practice the language and skills they will need to develop and grow.

I am proud to be a part of a group of individuals who do what they do because they love the job and the students, not because of the desire for a dollar. I am proud to be in a position where I am a mentor for those who need it, or a much-needed, positive authority figure to help guide the way. I like being part of something that people can’t possibly understand until they set foot in a classroom and teach. (more…)

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Shelby Holt

 

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Shelby Holt and I work as a K2 Teacher & Grade Level Leader at Match Community Day Public Charter School in Hyde Park, Mass. I studied early childhood education at university; however, I’ve been in the field since I was 16!

After my father’s encouragement to discover a fitting career path during high school (maybe so I’d remain a bit more focused on my studies!!), I found my first internship at a Head Start program in Framingham, Mass. Since then I’ve remained passionate about early childhood education: I’ve been teaching and leading in Massachusetts, New York, and London since 2008. (And being a big sister — I’d like to think that I’ve been an early childhood educator since 1990.)

I feel an adrenaline rush each morning when my alarm goes off. As I drive to school I make a myriad of decisions for how the classroom will feel and look that day. Every job is important, but being an early childhood educator means that I get to help all the children in my class prepare to be successful in the future. I’m sure anyone reading this can recall a particular moment from their time in kindergarten. So much of it is magically formative. I remind myself that each day I could cause a breakthrough memory in a little heart. (more…)

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As we blogged this summer, the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development is hosting a terrific exhibit called “The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children.”

The exhibit is a dynamic professional development experience, a multimedia immersion in the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning that was developed in Northern Italy. Reggio sees children as crucial partners in their own education. Reggio also focuses on using the world — nature, neighborhoods, art, and artistic materials — to engage children.

At the heart of the exhibit is an effort to share innovations in early education to ensure that as many children as possible have teachers who are well-versed in Reggio’s creative, instructional strategies.

Early educators from across the region and the world have been attending the exhibit and participating in related workshops and events. (more…)

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Shamica Dade

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Shamica Dade. I am the lead teacher/director at Square One in the Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) Program on Main Street in Springfield, Mass. I have been in this field for almost 20 years.

Early education and care is the foundation for all future learning. At this stage in life children learn to trust their educators and make connections with peers in a safe and secure setting. It is very important for me to make the children and families in my classroom feel that we are a family, and that we support and lean on each other. That connection and bond allows the parents to feel empowered, which is a skill they will need throughout the education of their child. Children feel loved and important and that they matter. These feelings will help to shape how they see themselves and their role in their education.

For me, every child should feel in charge of their learning, and every parent should feel that they are in a partnership with their children’s teachers. These are the skills and feelings I try to develop in every family that I work with. I learn just as much from each family as they learn from me. (more…)

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“Leading the Way,” is a series featuring the next generation of leaders in the field of early education and care.

Tatiana Roll

Tatiana Roll started her career in education early, teaching her sister and her stuffed animals when she was still a girl.

Teaching, she says, “was just something that was always a part of me.”

At Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Roll majored in elementary education with a concentration in early education. She went on to Boston College where she earned a master’s degree in early education.

“I knew in my heart that it’s where I was meant to be. And I just felt so much passion and love for what I was doing every single day. I knew that this was just what I was meant to do,” Roll says.

She taught in pre-K and kindergarten classrooms in New Jersey and Washington, D.C., even teaching in the preschool she attended as a child, the Sundance School in Plainfield N.J.

For Roll, teaching in urban schools has yielded career-shaping insights:

“I knew where in the world I wanted to be, not just geographically but demographically. I knew that being a teacher is so much more than teaching kids to be what they want to be in the world and giving them the tools. Teaching is also a social justice position.” (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

“The recently passed state budget is one of the best ever for high-quality early education. As advocates, we will be pushing state administrators to get this funding out to families, educators, programs and communities.” – Amy O’Leary, Director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign

As our blog readers know, this year’s FY19 state budget is the first in 10 years to surpass the pre-recession high point (FY09) of state funding for early education and care.

This fall, Strategies for Children (SFC) will be paying close attention to two key items in the budget.

#1 Preschool implementation grants

Since FY16, Massachusetts lawmakers have awarded preschool planning grants to 18 communities that have all completed preschool plans.

Now state leaders have taken a first step toward implementation by awarding grants to turn preschool plans into action. The new FY19 budget includes $5 million for implementation grants — funds that must be spent by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2019).

Communities are paying attention – they are busy revisiting their plans and getting ready to apply for this funding. They are sending their thoughts to the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and asking the department to issue the grant RFR (Request for Response) as soon as possible. (more…)

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This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Sheri Rios and I am the Preschool Director for the Elizabeth Peabody House (EPH) preschool in Somerville, Mass. I have worked for EPH for 18 years.

I have always felt a connection with children, “I get them and they get me.” My very first job, when I was 14, was babysitting, and I have been on that path ever since. I did two years of early childhood education at Somerville High School, and I worked as an assistant at EPH’s Peabody Ames Preschool. I returned to EPH a few years later after I had my first child. I worked my way up from preschool teacher, to lead teacher, and then director.

My childhood was tumultuous, and I lived in foster homes for two years as a teenager because of abuse and neglect. I feel that time in my life has molded me into the parent, educator and director I am today. I was blessed to have my Nana in my life becasue for every horrible thing that would happen, she would make up for it with love and affirmation. I realized that every child needs at least one person in their life who loves them unconditionally. (more…)

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