My work in the field of early childhood education began in high school simply because I wanted to help pay for many of the activities during my senior year. As I began looking for jobs I followed the example of my parents in choosing something not because of the pay but because it was something that I am interested in and I ended up as an infant room caregiver. This began my career and I spent over 10 years teaching in various age groups and capacities with my favorite being pre k and kindergarten. As Kagen and Kauerz (2012) noted this field has gone from invisible to the center of attention and being a part of this shift I have grown in my idea of how I want to impact early childhood education and understanding my role.
As a teacher one issue that has always bothered me was the lack of professional development opportunities for early childhood teachers. So when I consider my professional goals in a course on policies I find that easy to answer. My overall goal is to improve the lives of the children and families that I serve. In order to achieve this goal I must look to my team and work to develop them (goal 2). And my third goal is to continue to advocate for young children, teachers and families.
Each of these goals will help me as I learn more about early childhood systems and subsystems. In the past two weeks alone I have learned about new subsystems from classmates that may help me in achieving my own goals. In order to help my families and children it is necessary to know what services are available and work to connect them with those services. By the same token seeking out and encouraging professional development among my team is a necessity. I want to help them find trainings that are going to speak to them so that they can implement it in the classroom. Advocacy is a must because no one knows what teachers need more so than teachers. We have to speak up for early childhood and make sure that we stay the center of attention to continue to create policy and build early childhood systems.
Reference Kagan, S. L., & Kauerz, K. (Eds.). (2012). Early childhood
systems: Transforming early learning. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.