My initial interest in early childhood began as a simple desire to work with children. Through the years my interests have evolved from a teenager needing a job to a professional choosing a career. In that time frame I have continued to keep an open mind and learn about the field. This week I expanded my knowledge of the resources available and how to get involved on a larger scale. Based on my desire to learn more about and become involved in advocacy I actually focused my research on organizations that are heavily involved in advocacy and looked for ways I could get involved with larger organizations. What follows are the organizations that I chose to research and career paths I would be interested in pursuing:
Association for Early Learning Leaders
I chose this organization because it fits with my current career interests in that in an effort to enhance program quality they help to develop leaders in the field i.e. teachers. The association provides online training for teachers as well as webinars (free to members!) on various management topics and conferences all dedicated to further developing the teacher.
They do maintain a job board but it is mostly for work in other programs. I did find an opportunity that I thought I might enjoy as a part of the Association for Early Learning Leaders, Ambassador. The Ambassador is a resource specialist that helps the organizations' growth by "sharing ideas and information with the national office, recruiting new members, and facilitating the development of affiliate groups" (Association for Early Learning Leaders, n.d.). There currently is an Ambassador for the state of Texas but on the job description I would be interested in being a resource and helping others, it's what I love to do anyway. This was one of the last organizations I researched but I did email to find out the exact requirements for an Ambassador but have yet to receive the response, but I'll update when I get the information.
National Association for Early Childhood Teacher's Educators
This is an organization that I learned about in a previous course and began following. Career options with this organization are to serve on the board but there are also non-employment options to submit proposals for conferences or participate in research projects. I have several topics that I am very passionate about and I would love to submit a proposal on behalf of teachers and professional development sometime in the future. The requirements to submit proposals for the upcoming conference are membership (for the lead presenter) and topic relevancy as well as properly submitting the proposal. I consider this as a future option as I want to continue to learn more about teacher education/professional development and with an ultimate goal of becoming a trainer I feel that the opportunity to submit a proposal with the possibility of presenting it at a conference would be a huge step career-wise.
Zero to Three
Zero to three is an organization that I have consistently used as a resource for many years. I enjoy the articles which I frequently share with my staff. This is one of those websites that you go to as a resource for one topic, perhaps toddlers that bit, and four hours later you're on a whole other train of thought because there is so much information. I love the e-newsletters as well, especially the ages and stages as they are a wonderful resource for first time parents. On this website I did find a few career options, of course they are not in my area, but nevertheless the position of policy analyst. This person is involved in advocacy, policy and research as they will be required to raise awareness to current issues, stay abreast of policy changes and coordinate with other organizations. This job also requires the applicant to be able to sit at and work on the computer for long periods. The applicant will need to know policy and early childhood systems as well as have strong interpersonal skills, be responsible, multitask and enjoy working at the state and county levels. If this were available in my area I would apply for this job as policy and advocacy are two of my passions and other than sitting at the computer all day it sound like an opportunity to be involved in it all.
Zero to Three . (2012). Retrieved March 26, 2013, from www.zerotothree.org
National Associaion of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. (2013, March 26). Retrieved March 28, 2013, from www.naecte.org
Association for Early Learning Leaders . (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2013, from www.naccp.org