After our last blue jeans meeting

I have completed and posted all of my assignments now so I thought I would reflect a little bit on the class as a whole.  I think this class was one of my favourites although it was not easy and there are a lot of self reflection pieces it was a class that I feel like I needed at this time in my life.  Through lots of tears and research I believe I have found my voice more then I have in any other class so far.

Although I had lots of trouble with the technology piece of this course it did get to be easier near the end and I learned a lot of new technological things.

I found it hard to keep up on commenting on my classmates posts I would do one or two days that I commented a bunch but other then that between trying to figure out the technology and completing the weekly activities I did not find the time.  Commenting more was one of my goals I set at the half way point and I did not achieve that goal.

I am happy to be done this portion of the program and I am excited for the next steps of practicum (what ever that may look like).

Basic Needs

I strongly believe that Everyone should have their biological/physiological basic needs met.  This believe especially applies to individuals who are dependent upon others.  Including children, elderly and individuals who are unable to care for themselves.

Biological/physiological  basic needs are:

  1. access to clean drinking water
  2. food
  3. shelter which includes warmth
  4. clothing
  5. A safe place to sleep

…children are rarely seen as the major victims of poverty

https://botf.ca/uploadedfiles/Public/SocialJustice/Issues/Poverty/Resource/overview.html

How can this be when we know that children who live in poverty more likely feel like a failure, and have a sense of hopelessness about their future.  Children who live in poverty and do not have access to their basic needs have a high rate of developing mental health problems.  If there is something we as a society can do to prevent children developing mental health problems then I believe we should.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today

-Stacia Tauscher

170,000 children in our province of British Columbia are living without one or more of their basic needs. ¬†That is one in five children who live right here in our province. ¬†That’s children that come to daycare with hungry bellies, or exhausted because they do not have a safe or suitable place to sleep. ¬†We all have the means to help by donating, volunteering or by informing families that we feel are at risk to the correct resource to help. ¬†As shown below many families that are in need of such services as the food bank are not utilizing them.

Locally here in Cumberland their is a great program provided by the Cumberland Community School Society called “The Cumberland Food Share”. This food share is being used by many families in the community by delivering food and supplies to 21 families weekly and by an outdoor food pantry that is available 24/7 for anyone in need. ¬†This program was put together out of need when the current pandemic closed the school. ¬†The closure of schools meant that 51 students in the community of Cumberland alone lost access to regular meals through the hot lunch program. ¬†The Cumberland Food Share is helping to make sure that these students as well as many others have healthy, fresh food to eat. ¬†There website is www.cumberlandcommunityschools.com there are many different ways to provide help to these individuals.

Small things do make a difference in providing help and a solution so please get out there and help children who are at risk and who are hurting silently.

A person is a person no matter how small

-Dr Seuss

 

References

https://bctf.ca/uploadedfiles/Public/SocialJustice/Issues/Poverty/Resource/overview.html

https://proof.utoronto.ca/food-insecurity/

Cumberland Food Share

https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/our-work/ending-child-poverty/what-are-the-effects-of-child-poverty

 

Philosophy Statment

Children’s development unfolds at varying paces and through interaction with the world.

-Lucy Sprague Mitchell

My philosophy is ever changing and fluid. Always learning not only through professional development but also from children.  Then putting my philosophy into action and my practice.

A balance of a family first and a child first approach.

Providing a sense of belonging in a safe environment and a safe connection.

Celebrating uniqueness, individuality and the beauty of diversity.

Giving children the freedom to explore and learn by providing nuturing guidance.

Providing unstructured, open ended nature and outdoor play and exploration.

Respect, connection, love, understanding, exploration, creativity and learning.

I am continuously learning along side the child.

 

A Reflective Moment-pg 5 in text

  1. My vision for working with children is…¬†¬† ¬†When I opened my own family childcare centre I envisioned a home away from home and I would be in the role of caregiver in that environment, I think I created that for my children and families. I thought that when I moved work places into a more of a centre feel with multiple staff it would be a little bit harder to stay true to that vision but I think with a little tweaking and obvious differences I was about to recreate that bond with the children in my care. ¬†My true passion is helping children with challenges and I think as I continue my career I will always be seeking positions that make this possible.
  2. In three years, I see my greatest strengths with children to be… ¬†I believe that patience is one of my greatest strengths in life and with children. ¬†In the next three years I hope to expand on my learning and continue to learn all I can about early childhood education this learning will be a strength as I will have many tools to pull on when met with a challenge.
  3. I envision the early learning environment as… ¬†Collaborative. ¬†In need of some improvements especially in the province of British Columbia. ¬†A challenging and engaging work environment. Demanding on an emotional, physical, intellectual level. ¬†Rewarding.
  4. I see children as…¬†Curious, imaginative, filled with wonder, funny, loving, inspiring, innocent, sponges that soak up information, explorers, capable, expressive, spirited, ¬†competent.
  5. I view children’s families to be… ¬†Important to understanding children in my care. ¬†Informative. ¬†Experts on their child. Sometimes in need of support and guidance with no judgement attached.
  6. I suspect that cultural diversity will…¬†create more accepting environments. create more learning opportunities for children, families and educators.
  7. I envision my colleagues as…¬†having a¬†Different prospective then my own, a sounding board for new ideas, supportive of each other, ¬†having more or less experience than I do which creates an opportunity to learn from each other, respectful, thoughtful, and passionate about the early childhood education field.

Part 2 of the Program Model and Approaches assignment- The Discusssion

Montessori, Roots of Empathy, Aboriginal Headstart and Bank Street.

As I was telling my group about the Bank Street philosophy I realized although there are no Canadian centres that have adopted this model the philosophy has some similarities to Reggio. A couple examples of these similarities are:

  1. The environment a child learns in is very important and is at the root of the two philosophies.
  2. Educating the “whole child” and all domains of development.

When we met as a group I was not sure what the guidelines or regulations Bank Street operated under so I had to go back and do some more research and I was still not able to find anything on licensing or regulations. I did however find that the student to educator ratio is 7:1. Based on my previous research and the fact that the school is nursery-grade 8 I would guess that it is regulated by the education system.

While reading Katy’s research on Montessori programs I was surprised by the “sensitive period” within their philosophy. ¬†This means that children are only taught a new skill if that skill is developmentally appropriate. ¬†I did not know much about Montessori prior to reading Katy’s post but I had a preconceived understanding that it was an aged based developmental milestone program which I have now learned is incorrect. ¬†When our group met I had not yet read Juanita’s post on the Roots of Empathy program but when she was speaking about the program she was so pationate about the philosophy behind the program. ¬†Something she said that struck me was “empathy is not taught it is caught” she had come across this quote while doing her research. ¬†The founder of the program had described empathy this way. ¬†The quote for me embodied the purpose for creating this type of program model. ¬†Both the Roots of Empathy and the Aboriginal ¬†Headstart are fairly new programs which makes sense to me as they both seem to be programs cantered around social and emotional well being of children. ¬†The social and emotional domain of development seems to have a new found focus within the Early Learning community. ¬†Bank Street, Montessori and Roots of Empathy are all models that include school aged children which I really love. ¬†I don’t know why a model, or program, that works for early education should change when a child becomes school aged. ¬†This provides a continuity and community all through a child’s educational journey.

I like pieces of each of these programs and I was surprised about how much I agreed with many aspects of the Montessori philosophy.  The best fit for me is the Aboriginal Headstart.  The family-first approach imbedded in the philosophy fits with my own philosophy.  As well as the emphasis on celebrating children for who they are and what they bring to the program.  Sheena wrote that educators work on empowering families within the Aboriginal Headstart program which is so inspiring and powerful.

 

Program Models and Approaches Assignment- Bank Street Model

Bank Street Model

When I was researching models and approaches I chose this model because I had no idea about what it was and because I came across this quote “children’s development unfolds at varying paces and through interaction with the world” (https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/scope-report-learning-play-lilana-web.pdf) I thought this quote really spoke to my own view of children and their development.

The History of Bank Street Model

In 1916 an educator named Lucy Sprague Mitchell put together a group of psychologists, anthropologists, educators, social workers and medical professionals to study children’s development. ¬†This group of professionals were called the Bureau of Educational Experiments. ¬†The goal was to find out what types of environments best supports children’s development, and nourishing children’s potential. ¬†The data gathered from this study was then meant to be used to educate other professionals to recreate these successful classroom environments. ¬†Mitchell documented that through her observations she discovered that children are explores above anything else. ¬†In the class room children are reaching out and exploring everything they can get their hands on. Therefore ¬†the environment that they learn in should be “…big enough, varied enough; to call forth all their young powers of sense and imagination” (https://eduate.bankstreet.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=books). The reason why it is called the Bank Street Model is because from 1930-1970 it was located at 69 Bank Street in New York City.

The Philosophy of Bank Street Model

Bank Street Model based centres, like most philosophies, have a morning meeting, calendar time, outside time and a flexible topic that is being discovered. This topic is based on the children’s interests as they are child-centred programs. ¬†There is a large emphasis on the child as a whole and educating the child in the domains of emotional, social, physical and intellectual. ¬†Educators that work within the Bank Street Model believe that cognition and emotions must be equally supported in teaching situations. ¬†In this way the learning that occurs is interdisciplinary. ¬†The classroom setting is a collaborative experience. ¬†The child is valued and encouraged to be a learner, teacher and a classmate. ¬†Families are encouraged to volunteer and are incorporated in the child’s education. ¬†This family feel is evident at many levels from volunteers in the class room, to fundraising and from being apart of the hiring committee to a family bulletin board in the centre. ¬†Scaffolding is evident within the Bank Street philosophy by observing, guiding with questions and encouraging curiosity. ¬†Hands- on and experience- based learning is an integral part of this model. ¬†It is believed that play is an important piece of a child’s learning and development. ¬†There is a strong feeling of progressive teaching and education in action in the Bank Street classroom. ¬†New studies are being put into practice and providing a setting for on going teacher training, educational research and a continuous development of curriculum and materials.

Quality Indicators for the Bank Street Model

Program: Bank Street Model- experience-based, interdisciplinary, collaborative, educating the whole child.

Values: ¬†Valuing and reinforcing the child’s integrity as a learner, a teacher and a classmate.

Experiences: Children are invited to experience their environment through exploration imagination and play

Outcome:  Children are developing at their own pace and supported to develop across all domains ( emotional, social, physical and intellectual)

Current/ or Local Scene of the Bank Street Model

Today the Bank Street Model has moved from 69 Bank Street to West 112th Street in New York City where there is a graduate school to train teachers; a full program of children’s services, including the school for children and an array of out reach programs for the community. ¬†The school for children is broken down into three different programs one program for nursery- kindergarten, one for grade one- grade four and the final program is for grade five- grade eight. ¬†I also found a website for a centre in New Jersey that has a Bank Street based model. ¬†There are no local examples of the Bank Street Model I could not even find anything in Canada at all.

References:

https://eduate.bankstreet.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=books

Why Bank Street?

https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/scope-report-learning-play-liliana-web.pdf

Dietze, B., & Kashin, D. (2016). Empowering pedagogy for early childhood education. Toronto, Ontario. Pearson Education Canada INC.

week # 5 reflections-ethics

On the website Focus on Ethics: Ethical Issues-responsibilities and dilemmas I thought the questions of “Does it concern right and wrong, rights and responsibilities, human welfare, or individuals’ best interests?” very helpful. ¬†When answer no to these questions it is not an ethical dilemma but if yes is answered to one of those questions then there is an ethical dilemma. ¬†This is laid out nicely and easy to understand and to put it into practice. ¬†Also the step by step to ensure the best decisions on the website CECE- Ethical Decision Making was also very helpful. ¬†A couple of points within the steps that stuck out to me was:

  • Avoid making assumptions about the motivations of others
  • Document your decisions

This step by step process seems like a long process to go through when faced with an ethical dilemma but I think it is valuable.  I especially like this because I like to think about things before I react.  This website will be very helpful for me as I continue my career.

The example of the ethical dilemma of a child needing to nap during the day vs. keeping that child awake during the day so it accommodates their family life at home was an interesting example as I have always viewed this as a philosophical view rather than an ethical dilemma. ¬†I’ve in the past viewed ethics as common sense. ¬†Asking myself throughout my practice if I am protecting the individual’s privacy or rights. ¬†I would proceed based on how I would like others to treat me and my privacy. ¬†Through my learning in this class and this program I have learned the importance of having a code of ethics written down and unified. ¬†Everyone has different comfort levels. ¬†The idea of whatever I am comfortable with is universal to all individuals is not a very good ethical code to work by.

I found the definition between ethical responsibilities and dilemmas and what the difference is very informative as I was considering them the same. ¬†I’ve learned that responsibilities are mandates ie. Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia Code of Ethics and dilemmas are a choice between two actions. The needs and interests of an individual must give way to those of another when in an ethical dilemma. ¬†When I was providing family childcare I was always finding myself in ethical dilemmas or examples of ethical responsibilities. ¬†Lots of my families were already existing family friends or new friends as we got to know each other. ¬†Sometimes the professional and social lines can become blurred and that was hard to navigate. ¬†I am finding that it is easier to navigate the ethics within the work place now that I work in a centre. ¬†This is because of a few differences one being that my hours are shortened so I am rarely at work for the drop off and pick up times so I do not have that same connection with families, the second being that my own children are not involved with the children in the centre so that is easier to keep the two worlds separate.

week #4 post

This week has been stressful in terms of keeping up on my school work. ¬†Me and my family were off the grid this week so it was not easy to complete my weekly assignments. ¬†Prior to the vacation I was having a lot of trouble with my website not only did I have trouble logging in but I also realized that what I thought I had been posting actually had not posted. ¬†I wanted to retract my very first post where¬†I said¬†“I (am) excited about creating this website and it seemed pretty easy and straight forward to do” (spoke too soon) but I’ve got it figured out now and flooded my website today with all the posts I needed to complete up until today. ¬†I think also the pending Program Models and Approaches Assignment and knowing that the people in my group are counting on my part being completed before class on Monday has been another stressor. ¬†I am definitely feeling better now to have it all figured out and things up to date. ¬†Because I have been having so much trouble with my own website I have been neglecting commenting on other’s posts so that is one of my goals moving forward is to be more engaged in my classmates posts.

 

When I was reading this weeks readings I was immediately having some strong anxious feelings when reading the definition for philosophy. ¬†The idea that “(I) define (myself) by it” (Dietze & Kashin, 2016, pg 86) seems very restricting. I get this image in my mind of having to put myself in a box and that there is very little flexibility within my philosophy. ¬†When I read on and read about what “Early learning professionals’ philosophical approach is influenced by” (Dietze & Kashin, 2016, pg 86) ¬†it was a little bit easier for me to think about my philosophy and how my philosophy can be a fluid idea. ¬†I believe that in the field of ECE we are always learning new things whether in practice or in professional development so philosophies should be reflecting that new learning. ¬†Maybe putting new learning into practice is a part of my philosophy.

While working on my philosophy project I’m finding it hard to put it in words what my philosophies are. It is similar to the question of what do you feel passionate about? ¬†I sometimes have a hard time answering that question because it is just things that I gravitate toward or things that I love to do. It is more of an action rather than a theory to be written about or talked about. ¬†I also have realized I have a hard time talking about myself or my views and values I like to let my actions or how I present myself speak for itself. ¬†¬†“… your practice reflects it” (Dietze & Kashin, 2016, pg. 86) is the part of the definition of philosophy that I can relate to a little bit better.

I do think it is important to have you philosophy and to reflect on your philosophy often. ¬†If you don’t have a clear vision of who you want to be as a childcare educator than you may be swayed too easily from who you feel you are. ¬†Sometimes this could be a good thing and sometimes this could be a bad thing.

Professional Resource #2

  • Full name and date:¬†The Early Childhood Educator early childhood educators of BC- standing strong together. Spring 2020
  • Main Focus of Journal:¬†COVID-19 and Early Childhood Education focus: healthy spaces in early care and learning
  • Your opinion on the publication in general: This publication is well laid out and has interesting content. ¬†The content was very relevant to what is happening in the world today. ¬†The authors of the articles seem to be very committed to this project as their articles were due the same week that the global pandemic was announced and all the authors wrote informative and thoughtful articles that cooperated the pandemic in some way. ¬†I like the page “our children speak” at the start of the journal. This page show cased children’s art work and their words. ¬†To me this page is a very powerful image of how children are viewed by the staff that work on this journal.
  • Title and author: ¬†Our Children Speak: Documenting and Sharing Children’s Thoughts, Feelings and Opinions about the Coronavirus by Natalie Lucas.
  • Key points: ¬†This article for me had three main points. The first one that was evident was the need for educators to stay connected with children and their families while their centres are closed. ¬†Secondly that educators continue to provide support for families when they are having discussions with their children about the pandemic. The final key point is for this educator in particular to gain information about how the children in her centre are understanding the pandemic through documentation.
  • How the article added to your knowledge: ¬†I was drawn to this article because I am very curious about how children are understanding the international pandemic. ¬†This article is a good reminder of how we all can help children express their emotions about their world changing dramatically. ¬†As a parent to two school aged children my focus has been keeping them connected to classmates and teachers. ¬†As I was reading this article it dawned on me that early learning children also need to continue these connections and it is not as easy as it may be with a nine year old who understands the technology. ¬†These connections are important for children of any age and really people of any age. ¬†It is easy to get stuck only thinking about the people that are being immediately impacted by the virus. ¬†It is also easy to think only about your own community (circle) because our circles are much smaller now. ¬†This article expanded my awareness of the community we have between children, families and educators in the Early Childhood field. ¬†These families were very involved in their child’s learning and exploration when they were creating the documentation featured in this article.
  • How this article will influence you: ¬†I am always reminded of the fact that children pick up on way more than we think they are paying attention to. ¬†This article reinforces that fact for me. ¬†It is evident in the children’s art work and their dialogue about the Coronavirus that children are listening, obtaining, learning and understanding things that they hear and see. ¬†Especially evident in Garrison’s image of the COVID-19 virus were he drew a pretty accurate picture of what the virus looks like. ¬†This activity that the educator has facilitated for children and their families to work on while at home has inspired me to ask more of families and encourage them to become more involved in their child’s learning. ¬†I think families often don’t know how to be involved in this part of their child’s day when they are at childcare but if given the opportunity I think families would value the experience. ¬†I like to consider myself as an educator to have family first philosophy and I think this would add to that part of my practice.

Professional Resource #1

  • Name and date of Journal: The Early Childhood Educator early childhood educators of BC- standing strong together. Spring 2020
  • Main Focus of Journal: COVID-19 and Early Childhood Education with a focus on healthy spaces in early care and learning.
  • Your opinion on the publication in general: This publication is well laid out and has interesting content. ¬†The content was very relevant to what is happening in the world today. ¬†The authors of the articles seem to be very committed to this project as their articles were due the same week that the global pandemic was announced and all the authors wrote informative and thoughtful articles that cooperated the pandemic in some way. ¬†I like the page “our children speak” at the start of the journal. This page show cased children’s art work and their words. ¬†To me this page is a very powerful image of how children are viewed by the staff that work on this journal.
  • Title and Authors of article: ¬†Health and Outdoor Environments in Early Childhood Education: Dwelling in Complexities by Iris Berger and Nancy Van Groll
  • Key Points: ¬†I feel like the main idea of this article is to reflect upon and gain knowledge on how to “revise all known categories of intimacy and care”. How do we safely do this without compromising on quality care.
  • How this article added to your knowledge: ¬†I learned when reading this article that the word “crisis” is derived from the Greek word meaning a “decisive stage, in which a decisive change is imminent”. ¬†When reflecting upon this definition I have changed my preconceived knowledge of what a crisis means. ¬†I have learned to interpret a crisis as an opportunity for a shift. ¬†This shift can be positive if we have a positive mindset. ¬†The concept of a crisis has always had a negative feeling for me but now I realize it can be positive depending on which way that shift lands. ¬†The current crisis could be used as a “teachable moment” some questions that were posed in the article are “What can we learn at the time about who we value? Who is in danger? Who is deemed essential? Who is compensated for taking risk?” . These questions are the basis for thought and reflection through many different lenses including and early childhood education lens. ¬†The authors state that “the current crisis is not only a health crisis but also an ecological, social and political one” which is evident in current events. ¬†People all over the world are suffering in many different ways as a result of COVID-19. ¬†It is important especially when working in the field to remember this, nobody’s story is the same not even now. ¬†The argument is posed that it makes it difficult to respond to many layers of the current crisis in the ECE field when ECE across Canada is not viewed as a “public good”. ¬†This view causes the field to be “fragmented” within the country.
  • How this article might influence you: A sentence or idea that struck me in this article is that as a society “we romanticize wild-ness, but at the same time, crave to control it.”. ¬†This refers to the outdoor or nature aspects of early learning. ¬†We all have fenced, manicured yards which are regulated by licensing and safety protocols. ¬†I believe there is something to be said about children experiencing nature in an uncontrolled environment. ¬†I will take this image with me throughout my practice in the future and try my best to facilitate this type of nature experience. I think this is the appeal of a nature based childcare program.

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