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Professional Goals, Hopes and Dreams

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Issues early childhood educators face in Arizona:

Some of the issues we face regarding quality and early childhood professionals are the lack of education and the resources available to fund the overall needs in the early childhood field. In Arizona we have Quality First which “is an effort that significantly improved the quality of many – but not all – early childhood care and education centers and family childcare homes, through a rating system, increasingly sophisticated feedback and incentives. The program also uses scholarships to make early care affordable for some youngsters.”

Retrieved from http://aztownhall.org/resources/Documents/103EarlyEducationFinalReportweb.pdf.

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“The government has an important role to create an aspirational environment of leadership for the overall system of high-quality early care and education by providing regulatory oversight, coordination, vision, and funding. Ideally, federal, state, county, school district, city, and town governments and tribal governments work together to set goals for early childhood education in the state in order to sew Arizona’s patchwork system into a cohesive quilt. The Arizona Constitution requires that the Legislature provide a general and uniform public education system. As such, the government should prioritize early childhood care and education, striving to make it accessible to all residents, and the community should encourage these goals and stress their importance. Overall, a more targeted role is needed at all levels of government to create a full continuum of care from pre-birth to adulthood.”

Retrieved from http://aztownhall.org/resources/Documents/103EarlyEducationFinalReportweb.pdf.

As I just moved to Arizona 6 weeks ago I am very interested in the issues that we face here in Arizona as early childhood educators. These are some of the issues that are important in all states however, it is wonderful to know that Arizona is committed to bringing about change in the way they support the early childhood program.

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One opportunity for professional development in Arizona is:

We have the Arizona Registry that gives early childhood educators the opportunity to share their experience and education and allows others to see your job experience and education. “The Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry (Registry) is a web-based system that enables early childhood professionals and those interested in a career in early education to find and register for professional development opportunities and also to keep a record of their experience, education, professional development and credentials in a central location. It is also used to manage application and enrollment in First Things First College Scholarships for Early Childhood Professionals.” Retrieved from http://www.azearlychildhood.org.

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Another opportunity for professional development in Arizona:

There is also CDAClass.org.  Which is an “online program meets and exceeds the Council for Professional Recognition’s standards for CDA coursework.” This program is available to all interested early childhood staff and the Arizona Registry has scholarships for these classes that if you live in Arizona you can apply for them. Arizona registry also has scholarships to help with education of college in the early childhood field if you are within the income level. Retrieved from CDAClass.org.

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Some of my professional goals are:

  • To continue my education to receive my Masters Degree in Early Childhood.
  • Live by and uphold the NAEYC standards. (Found at naeyc.org)
  • Always be willing to learn and grow in the early childhood field.
  • Support my families and the children I serve.
  • Support my colleagues and the program I represent.
  • Continue to research and study the theorists and studies conducted on early childhood.
  • Be professional in all I do and say.

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Some of my hopes, dreams and challenges are:

  • Teaching classes to future early childhood educators.
  • Stay focused on loving and supporting the families I serve.
  • Continuing to work for Head Start and help bring joy to the community I live in through service and dedication.
  • Continue on toward my doctorate once I complete my Master’s Degree.
  • Health is always a challenge however since I have lost 100 pounds this year my energy and health have improved 100%.

God is my strength and my refuge with his help I can succeed. Have a marvelous week!

Tammy

 

 

 

Sharing Web Resources

As I returned to the website I chose to study on the first week of class. I chose to research the multimedia of the site http://www.globalfundforchildren.org/multimedia and found “in Tanzania: Empowering Women, Caring for Children.”

Emmanuel always gets a smile.

Retrieved from http://www.globalfundforchildren.orgmultimedia the global fund for children.

 

This is the Young Women’s Development Center in Tanzania.

 

Retrieved from http://www.globalfundforchildren.orgmultimedia the global fund for children.

 

Here the young women are preparing a nutritious meal for their children.

Retrieved from http://www.globalfundforchildren.orgmultimedia the global fund for children.

These young women are learning the vocation of sewing.

Retrieved from http://www.globalfundforchildren.orgmultimedia the global fund for children.

These children are in daycare while their mothers are having vocational training.

Retrieved from http://www.globalfundforchildren.orgmultimedia the global fund for children.

Because of the Faraja Young Women’s Development Organization in Tanzania, this young mother is learning a vocation to provide for her and her child.

Retrieved from http://www.globalfundforchildren.orgmultimedia the global fund for children.

What a blessing this program is for these young mothers.

 

As I explored this website again this week I continued to learn that there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from this website. Two of the featured blog postings were “getting children out of work and into the classroom.” and “Diamonds in the rough: Lessons from Kenya.” I would recommend that every early childhood educator explore this site. Have a marvelous week!

Tammy

Retrieved from, http://www.globalfundforchildren.org

Excellence and Equity in the Early Childhood Field

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As I explored the Harvard University’s “Global Children’s Initiative” website (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010), I learned that Brazil is working toward building a “scientific community around early childhood development. NCPI is convening an interdisciplinary group of Brazilian scholars to guide the synthesis and application of scientific knowledge about child development to policy making and practice in Brazil. It is also fostering collaboration among Harvard and Brazilian researchers, including publication of a working paper series (in Portuguese). Translating scientific knowledge for application to social policy, and strengthening leadership around early childhood development through an executive leadership course for policymakers” (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010). It is amazing to realize that Brazil is taking an active role in bringing early childhood education into their communities.

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In Canada, “the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) shares our strong belief in the power of translating the science of child development to inform public policy (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010). This center works toward fulfilling “Two key mandates:

  1. supporting research in early brain and biological development, mental health, and addiction, and
  2. translating that research for policy makers, healthcare communities, and the general public.”

(Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010)

The http://www.albertafamilywellness.org is a wonderful resource that has a wealth of knowledge on brain story resources. You also can receive credits for taking this free training. It consists of Brain story certification which is “an in-depth course for professionals interested in the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story.

  • 30 hours of instruction time
  • Videos of over 30 leading experts in neurobiology and mental health
  • Certification in Brain Story science

Brain Story Certification is a course endorsed by our Curriculum Committee. For a detailed description of the course contents, download the course outline . (Retrieved from, http://www.albertafamilywellness.org/training)

 

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In Mexico, they have developed “A series of parallel workshops for young pregnant women and their mothers or mothers-in law that seeks to strengthen the relationship between them and build a supportive caregiving environment for infants.”

They also have a program calledPadres Muy Padres (Very Cool Dads: which teaches a combination of coaching sessions and educational podcasts that collectively prepare low-income working fathers to take a more active role in childrearing during infancy (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010).

“In Mexico, U-ERRE had recognized the value in establishing a centralized early childhood hub and considered an innovation agenda to be a critical component of that effort. In the months leading up to the project’s launch, the Center worked closely with the Aceleradora’s leadership team to survey the local ECD landscape and identify the individuals and organizations best suited to take on a science-based innovation agenda” (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010).

As I learned about this global initiative to work on developing policies and programs in the early childhood field to help children and families in their communities. I was impressed with the wealth of knowledge and education that went into this global children’s initiative and I encourage all early childhood educators to take the time to explore this website. Have a marvelous week!

Tammy

Reference

Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. (2010). Global children’s

initiative. Retrieved from http://developingchild.harvard.edu/about/what-we-do/global-work.

 

Sharing Web Resources

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UNICEF’s mission is “Putting children first all over the world.” This statement is relevant to me because as an early childhood educator I believe in putting my children and families first.

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“UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. Thousands of children under the age of five die every day because they lack proper nutrition, safe drinking water, affordable vaccines and other necessities that most people in the U.S. take for granted. UNICEF’s lifesaving interventions and programs around the world have helped reduce the number of child deaths by more than 50% since 1990, and yet 16,000 children still die every day from preventable causes” (UNICEF, 2017).

I learned that I need to become more knowledgeable about our world and the poverty and lack of necessities that our young children can receive in the U.S. that many other countries don’t have and without “proper nutrition, safe drinking water, affordable vaccines”(UNICEF, 2017) young children in other countries are dying.

I want to be more involved in these organizations and help not only the young children I work with but also children in other countries. I have supported children in the past and plan to start again.

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“Sarah Kauss, Founder & CEO of S’well, Talks About the Water Crisis” (UNICEF, 2017).

“S’well, a reusable bottle company, has been helping UNICEF bring clean water to the world’s most vulnerable communities since 2015. Founder and CEO Sarah Kauss has helped S’well earn the status as a fastest growing, woman-owned company in the country. Sarah talks to us about why the water crisis is important to her and how S’well is working with UNICEF USA to help bring clean water to 500,000 people. Having grown up with access to clean water, I didn’t have to worry about spending my days walking to find drinkable water. I was able to attend school and taught early on the importance of good hygiene and sanitation best practices. Yet, not everyone is as fortunate. Women in Africa spend 40 billion hours a year walking to find clean water. Young children, and particularly girls as they mature, spend less time in school because of a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation facilities. This means less education, less independence and less opportunity to reach their full potential. Knowing that we can have a direct impact on changing these stats, humanizing this issue and helping others get involved with simple acts means the world to me. By 2019, S’well will have contributed $800,000 to help build infrastructure necessary to create and maintain clean water systems, as well as educational programs to support behavioral change tied to water and sanitation” (UNICEF, 2017).

Sarah Kauss is one of many business people that support UNICEF. She has made an amazing impact on young children as she builds infrastructures to create and bring clean water systems to children all over the world. Thank you Sarah!

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Other new issues and trends in the early childhood field that I gained was “UNICEF USA also offers American teachers free multimedia resources and lesson plans covering a wide range of global topics of interest to educators. You can find these resources at Teachunicef.org” (UNICEF, 2017).

“In 2014, the UNICEF USA launched UNICEF Kid Power, a new program that gives American kids the power to save lives. By getting active with the UNICEF Kid Power Band, kids go on missions to learn about new cultures and earn points. Points unlock funding from partners, parents and fans, and funds are used by UNICEF to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world. The more kids move, the more points they earn, the more lives they save” (UNICEF, 2017).

“UNICEF USA receives the highest ratings for transparency, accountability and administration from Charity Navigator. Of every dollar spent, 90 cents go toward helping children. We spend just 7 cents on fundraising costs, and 3 cents on administration. We are also recognized for our excellent stewardship of donor funds by the Better Business Bureau, which gives us a Gold Seal for meeting all 20 of their standards for charity accountability” (UNICEF, 2017).

“UNICEF USA Volunteers support UNICEF’s mission of putting children first. Our Volunteers are of all ages and backgrounds living in the United States who educate, advocate and fundraise on behalf of UNICEF in their communities. Our vast network of Volunteers have increased awareness on issues of child survival, advocated for children’s rights, and raised funds for UNICEF for over 70 years. “Volunteers have hosted awareness raising events, such as panel discussions, speaking on the issues of trafficking, global citizenship, and emergencies around the world. Volunteers have held bake sales, dinner parties, Water Walks, and hosted sporting events and online fundraisers, raising crucial funds for UNICEF’s lifesaving work to put children first” (UNICEF, 2017).

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As I have researched UNICEF I have gained a wealth of knowledge. They are an outstanding organization that goes the extra mile to stop poverty and hunger. They have volunteers around the world that donate their time to this great organization. As an early childhood educator, I have realized that I can have an impact on my children every day. However, I also can be an advocate for these children in other countries by volunteering my time to support this wonderful organization. The issues of poverty, hunger, safe drinking water are a reality for many young children in our world today. The trend is that UNICEF is making a difference in their support around the world to help bring food, safe drinking water, vaccinations and much more to these poverty countries. These is a great website and I encourage everyone to explore it. Have a marvelous week!

Tammy

Reference

UNICEF USA, (2017). Help Save Children’s Lives. Retrieved from

https://www.unicefusa.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing Web Resources

NAEYC: https://www.naeyc.org

Retrived from NAEYC: https://www.naeyc.org

The NAEYC is an organization that I have been a member of for many years. You can become a member as a student in college or as a professional. Their website has many facets that bring a wealth of information to both the early childhood educator and the families of young children. I receive emails from them several times a week. The NAEYC has a weekly forum that as a member you can be apart of,. This is where you can talk with other early childhood educators about different topics. It is a great way to have questions answered and to share your experiences with other early childhood educators.

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They have a wealth of knowledge for early childhood families on their family website: http://families.naeyc.org that I give to my families I teach and I use many of the articles on their site when answering my parents questions to give further documentation of their question.

The NAEYC also wrote the NAEYC standards that I have a copy of and use in my work on a daily basis. I can always go to their archives that have years of publications of the “Young Child” magazine or the

 

Getting to Know Your International Contacts-Part 1

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I chose to research the unicef sight I found the article “Escaping Poverty Traps” in the UNICEF Poverty Insights Newsletter. I was astounded to realize that “the number of people living in chronic poverty-extreme poverty that persists for a long time—has increased. Between 320 and 443 million people are now trapped in chronic poverty, which many times is also transmitted inter-gene rationally to their children. The MDGs can only be achieved if chronic poverty is effectively tackled, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and if the target is extended to 2025 to enable national governments and international organizations to make the necessary political commitments and resource allocations and implement necessary policies” (Harper, Alder, Pereznieto, 2011). There is a great deal of advocating necessary to accomplish this goal of fighting chronic poverty. With researchers like Harper, Alder, and Pereznieto we are able to learn about these issues and advocate for these children from right here in our communities. We as early childhood educators can become involved through supporting these organizations as well as work in our own communities to help fight hunger.

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What makes chronic poverty different from poverty? “Chronic poverty is distinguishable by its duration and multidimensionality. Chronically poor people always or during long period of their lives, live below a poverty line, and their situations are usually defined by structural and social inequalities influenced by multiple discrimination’s” (Harper, Alder, Pereznieto, 2011). I had never considered the difference between chronic poverty and poverty. Even in our own communities when we look at this definition we can see chronic poverty. Working in the head start program I now see that chronic poverty is real and continues to exist. We as early childhood educators can help make a difference in the families we serve. Head Start wants to stop chronic poverty and help families get an education and look for work that will take them out of chronic poverty. We can advocate for our families and support them in helping them see the importance of getting out off the poverty line.

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How does chronic poverty affect our children? “Chronic poverty has serious consequences for children, not least the strong likelihood of suffering a premature death from easily preventable health problems, or lifelong ill health due to deprivations” (Harper, Alder, Pereznieto, 2011). Children all over the world are suffering from this chronic poverty. It is so sad to realize that a minimal amount of health care could prevent death and illnesses that these children carry with them throughout their life. That is why we need to become aware of programs such as unicef and the work they are doing to help end chronic poverty. We also can support this organization through supporting our communities and volunteering our time to advocate for poverty in our children and families. We also can give donations to help support this organization in their ongoing efforts to help children and families all over the world.

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How can chronic poverty be changed? “Chronically poor people do not just need ‘good policies’ they need societies that give them a voice and facilitate their human rights. Achieving this is the most difficult part of the policy and political agenda –social and cultural relationships and practices are often entrenched. Also, discriminatory family codes, son bias, limited resource and rights entitlement, physical insecurity and restricted civil liberties are all significant barriers to human development and can lead to and perpetuate chronic poverty and vulnerability over the course of childhood and adulthood, and potentially inter-generationally” (Harper, Alder, Pereznieto, 2011). There is so many issues that families go through in their communities due to their sex, culture, and government which can affect chronic poverty. There is still so much to learn about poverty. My eyes have been opened to the severity of chronic poverty and I want to do my part in helping to advocate for chronic poverty. It starts in our own communities and countries. I encourage each of us to ask ourselves what we can do to help these children and families? Have an outstanding week!

Tammy

References

Harper, C., Alder, H., Pereznieto, P., (2011). UNICEF Child Poverty Insights

Newsletter. Escaping Poverty Traps, Retrieved from

https://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/index_67233.html

Yahoo.com, (2017). Retrieved from

https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrT6VoeNHVZzHcACFMnn

IlQ

 

 

 

 

Sharing Web Resources

Retrieved from: http://www.naeyc.org

I choose to share the NAEYC website, http://www.naeyc.org because I have been a member for years and it has a wealth of information that I enjoy researching on a weekly basis. As a member, I receive the “young child publication” as well as the “teaching young children” magazine. You can choose one of these magazines just for joining and add the other if you choose to purchase it. You also can take advantage of the archives of previous articles that have been written by scholarly professionals that have a great wealth of information on the early childhood field to share. As an early childhood, professional, you are able to become involved in state, local and national leadership opportunities (naeyc.org) as well as participate in the young professional advisory council (naeyc.org). These are wonderful ways to advocate for the young children we serve.

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I also love the NAEYC Family website: http://families.naeyc.org as well as their blog where families can put in their insight into parenting. I give this website information to my parents to give them more knowledge on their questions and just to have fun researching.

 

 

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There were two interesting blog postings that I wanted to share one was called http://families.naeyc.org/content/saturday-mornings-dad I encourage you to look up this blog. It is about a new dad who wanted to talk to other dads about their experiences so he began this blog.

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The other blog I chose was called http://families.naeyc.org/content/parents-children-who-stare-my-disabled-daughter. Do we stare at different people because they look or talk different.? Read this blog and you will learn from the parent’s viewpoint how it feels to see other people state at your child.

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I have had experience in having people stare at my son who has severe asthma. When he was young we would go out to eat and sometimes he would start coughing severely and wheezing do to his asthma and many people would give us dirty looks. I never cared for those looks and I always felt that I was explaining my son’s condition to these people which can get extremely tiring after a while.

The NAEYC is also known for their code of Ethical Conduct and their NAEYC Standards which you can find on the NAEYC.org website. I try to apply these standards and ethics in my profession as an early childhood educator. They were created to guide and help us give quality early childhood care to our children and families we serve. I keep a copy of these standards in my classroom and go to them regularly when I have a question or an ethical situation I need guidance on. The NAEYC also has an online store as well as conferences which I hope to attend next year. If you haven’t used this web resource I would encourage you to do so. Have an extraordinary week!

Tammy

References

Yahoo, (2017). Retrieved from https://images.search.yahoo.com

NAEYC, (2017). Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org

NAEYC, (2017). Retrieved from http://families.naeyc.org

 

 

 

Expanding Horizons &Resources

I went to this website http://www.globalfundforchildren.org to do my research because I wasn’t able to see the first two resources.  I read about “A moment becomes the seed for a new organization” 

By: Emmanuel Oton June 21st, 2017

 

GP Spotlight june home of hope -webpage photo

“Khanyisile Motsa, founder of Home of Hope in South Africa, turned a moment of deep concern into one of promise for sexually exploited children to give them the chance for a brighter future.” They are focusing on helping someone in need. 

As a resident of the Hillbrow neighborhood, Khanyisile witnessed her community’s transformation into a hub for drug trafficking and sexual exploitation. What spurred her to take action was the realization that young children were being trafficked into the sex industry.

“It was when I saw the children for the first time on the streets,” Khanyisile remembers. “What shocked me was the age of the children—from 9 or 10 years old. I said, not in my lifetime.”

Khanyisile Motsa  has changed the lives of many children through her compassion and support.

 Retrieved from, http://www.globalfundforchildren.org

 Expanding Resources

 

I chose to study http://naecte.org/ web site because I am not familiar with them. Their position statement said ,

“The teacher certification/endorsement required in state funded pre-kindergarten programs, kindergartens, and primary grade classrooms should be specific to early childhood education. Teachers qualified to meet the unique developmental and educational needs of children between the ages of 3 and 8 are knowledgeable about the developmental and learning characteristics of these children and use this knowledge to inform appropriate teaching techniques and assessments. Since teacher preparation and certification should be relevant to the teacher’s position, NAECTE recommends that state certification agencies and school districts adopt the following policies:

  • Require an early childhood certificate and/or endorsement for those teaching in classrooms for children five years old and younger in state funded pre-kindergarten and in kindergarten programs.
  • Give priority in hiring and placement to teachers with an early childhood certificate and/or endorsement for public school classrooms for six, seven, and eight-year-olds (1st , 2nd, and 3rd grades).
  • Require that early childhood certification and/or endorsement be based on completion of teacher preparation programs that meet professional preparation standards consistent with those established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).”

I believe in and support the NAEYC so I was happy to see the NAECTE  wanted their teachers to meet the NAEYC standards. There also was a wealth of information on this site that I will further pursue to gain knowledge in the early childhood field. Have a fantastic week!

Tammy Bowers

 

 

Daily Supports

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To me the word support means a person or persons that go through life supporting me with patience and love.

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My husband has been my support throughout our marriage. He supported me when our son had severe health issues and I had to spend many hours at the hospital. Then when I opened my daycare center he supported me by purchasing a building for me and helping me with the construction and remodeling to open. Then when I closed my center he supported me when I returned to college to go for my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood, and now that I have continued on toward my Master’s Degree he continues to support me in my studies. He never complains when I don’t have time to cook and he has to decide what we will have for dinner. He supports me even when I am so busy with work and school that we aren’t able to go to a family outing. He loves my passion for children and he wants me to pursue my dreams. I have been married to this amazing man for 37 years and I couldn’t imagine being without him. I love him with all of my heart and he loves me too.

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The next people that are a great support to me are my children and grandchildren. They are always there when I need a good listening ear. When I can’t get the housework done because of my busy schedule my daughter comes to the rescue and cleans my house. When the yard starts to get long my grandchildren come over and mow it. If my car brakes down any of my children will come and pick me up. I have a marvelous family and they give me support and love on a daily basis.

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My colleagues are a wonderful support system. My co-worker is consistently helping me keep organized. She has a knack for office work and keeps me on task. I appreciate her and we make a great team. My director is positive and supportive and always has a listening ear which I am truly grateful for. I have been blessed with awesome teachers and staff that are always willing to lend a hand for projects or extracurricular activities. I am a better teacher because of their support.

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I am imagining that my challenge is I lost my hands in a car accident. I need to bath, get dressed, eat, go to work, and take care of my family. I will need support with my special needs however, I want to be able to take care of myself. My doctor is my support as he gives me guidance about my options physically. Should I look into prosthetic hands or have physical therapy to strengthen my arms or both. My family is my support as they provide positive feedback as I go through frustration and stress deciding what my best options are. Then I need transportation to get me to my appointments because I no longer can drive or ride a bike. So I need my family and friends to support me driving me around. I also need help eating because I can’t lift a fork or spoon to my mouth. My other option would be to eat with my mouth by putting my face into my food. That isn’t an option I want to pursue. So I will need my family or caregiver to feed me until I figure out how I can do it myself. We really don’t know what tomorrow will hold, and are lives can change in an instant. So having family, friends, and a supportive community can be of great value to us. Have a fantastic week!

Tammy

My Connections to Play

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

– George Bernard Shaw

 

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I lived in Flint Michigan in the city when I was young. I had a fenced in backyard that had a swing-set and my dad made a sandbox. I used to go into my yard and pretend to be a princess in a castle where I was a locked in the castle and couldn’t leave. As I would swing I would pretend that I was flying to another place where I would feel safe.

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My grandparents lived down the street and when I went to their house I would pretend that I was a princess in a safe castle where I could explore the world. I would go on imaginary trips to the woods and find tree houses where I could live and feel safe.  My grandmother would come outside and join me in my play. I called her the queen of my castle and she could stay safe if we were together.

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When I was ten we moved out to the country. We had a bigger house and a wood down the street. I could walk to the woods and stay gone all day if I was in my house by dark. I had friends that I spent time with. We made a club that only girls could join. We had a club house in the field and we decorated it with real flowers, wood, and rocks. We had a club password which was “We are daisy flowers that blossom and grow.” My friend who is a children’s author today created our password. My memories of play as an older child were amazing and I kept a journal that I enjoy reading even today. When I became a teenager, I had to become an adult and protect my mother and brother. So, play was a thing of the past. However, I will always cherish my childhood experiences of play.

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Today, our children have different environments they live in. Many don’t have yards to play in or areas in their own home to pretend in. They need opportunities to play.  Even my own children didn’t have the ability to roam the neighborhood when they were young. We did however create an area in our home that was for play, and my husband and I played with our children. We also took them to the park, or the lake so they could have outside experiences. Many of my students today don’t have yards to play in and may not have their own room. Yet, I have seen a dining room turned into a play area, or the kitchen floor being a place to play. Even without a big house you can set apart an area for children to play.

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My wish for our children today is that they can use their imagination and creativity through healthy play experiences. Joan Almon stated, “Play helps children weave together all elements of life as they experience it. It allows them to digest life and make it their own. It is an outlet for the fullness of their creativity, and it is an absolutely critical part of their childhood” (Almon, p. 1, 2002).

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I love to interact with my students through play. It is fun when they invite me into their imaginary play and give me instructions of who I am or what they want me to do. One day I was told that I was the daughter and I was in trouble because I didn’t go to school. Another day I was told that I was the Auntie and I drove us to the beach so we could have a picnic. We brought food, a blanket, and toys to play with. When we arrived at the beach we went swimming and the water was cold so we jumped up and down in the water. My students are creative and each day is a new adventure. My favorite type of play is when we use household items and make them into an imaginary place. I have gone camping with a sheet and an empty paper towel holder for my flashlight. Or I have pretended that a rock was my car and I went to the mall. You don’t need real toys to use your imagination. Have an extraordinary week!

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Tammy

Reference

Almon, K. (2002). The vital role of play in early childhood education.

                        Gateways, 43, Retrieved from

http://www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org/pdf/BAPPlay

Almon.pdf.