This coming school year will be my 28th year in the early childhood field and yet I still have much to learn. I challenge myself to stay abreast of best practices by reading everything I come across through my favorite resource sites, news outlets and professional periodicals. There are a number of professional online communities that I am involved in and have found that my colleagues are challenging me to rethink some of my classroom practices. The dialogue in these communities is always rich in diversity and thought and I so appreciate this. One of those online communities is offered through Mother Goose Time. They have private facebook pages for directors and teachers. It is a wonderful place to share what you are doing, ask for advice, etc. NAEYC offers professional memberships also and has a very active online community as well.
Another way I keep my finger on the pulse of all-things-early-childhood is by attending our state conference for EC professionals. I have been going to this conference since the start of my career and always find it to be very much worth the time and expense. I come home feeling invigorated and confident that I made the right career choice. When I entered college right after high school, I was on the path to pediatric nursing. It was in a child development class that an instructor encouraged me to switch majors and the rest is history.
Here a few pics from the MIAEYC conference in April of this year:
Over the years, I have slowly taken college classes while caring for my family and working full time. Confession: In the back of my mind, it is always so hard to shell out the cash for classes and books in classes other than EC. Sadly, a degree does not mean you will earn a decent living as a preschool teacher and I love working directly with the children. One way I could do that is by earning a CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential, however I let it expire. My career has had a lot of twists and turns and I began considering how much longer I would have the energy to continue. Well, God had plans for me to stay put and so I earned by CDA again this past spring. Things are always changing in the world of EC so the new knowledge will be extremely helpful to me.
If you are an EC professional, I encourage you to challenge yourself through classes, read everything you can get your hands on and get connected with other professionals. You will grow in ways you never imagined possible.
On my nightstand are these great reads:
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