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I am a thirty one year old Montana gal. I am fiercely independent and enjoy quiet time just as much as I love to spend time with my friends and family!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Time Well Spent...

This last course on my way to my Master's has taught me a great deal.  First, it has really shown the ability within myself to make things happen for what I believe to be important in my community.  I have learned that I have the tools, resources, strength, education and motivation to make my goals and dreams become reality for other early childhood professionals in my community.

I have also learned the value of research, connections and relationships throughout the course and throughout my experience at Walden University.  The connections, the learning on research and the resources gained have taught me that they are an invaluable tool and will only aid in my strength to be an agent of change for what I believe in.

Finally, I have learned that there are no boundaries for what I want to accomplish.  The last discussion post really made me think of the future and made me realize that receiving my Master's degree is not the finishing point but only the beginning of a life of future goals and accomplishments.  I want to continue my experiences, share my knowledge and bring about change to my community and I am now prepared to do just that!

My long term goal is two fold.  I want to begin my training and eventually have my training business be recognized state wide within the next few years.  Once that is accomplished, I will go back to school to obtain my Doctorate and work for even more future gains for the benefit of the early childhood community.

A farewell message to my colleagues and professor....Thank you for your hard work and dedication to young children and their families!  Many of you have been in every class that I have attended at Walden and I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn from all of you.  I look forward to seeing and hearing your names in the future as you too become agents of change!  Good luck and best wishes!!

Tammy Sawyer

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Job Roles in the ECE Community - International

The Association for Childhood Education International has a mission statement that truly speaks to all that I want to be a part of in my work with young children and families.  They strive to for optimal educational experiences and well-being of all children while also promoting the growth of educators world wide (www.acei.org).  They are located throughout the globe in places like Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America.  One of their primary statements of commitment is; "To raise the standard of preparation for those actively involved with care and development and children" (www.acei.org)."  This statement is exactly what I am trying to accomplish within my Community of Practice and something that I am hoping to increase here in my own community.  They are active in various councils and programs that speak to their vision and missions.
Although I was unable to locate any employment opportunities directly on the website, I have inquired about becoming a member with ACEI!  I feel that this organization could help me grow into potential professional positions and would help me to grow in the field of education and advocacy.

The heart of my educational experiences began at an amazing NAEYC accredited program with Bright Horizons Child Care Solutions.  I adore the missions and possibilities with this company!  All in All; I worked for five years with Bright Horizons from Assistant Teacher on up to Assistant Director.  Their goals and missions are to create wonderful facilities for children with great educational experiences while also helping families to feel safe and comfortable while at work.  A great deal of their schools are corporate sponsored, in other words; on-site child care facilities right where families work (www.brighthorizons.com).  This allows parents to feel close to their children and even see their children during the day while they are at work!  In addition, to its family approach which I have experienced here in the United States; they also offer many programs internationally:  Canada, India, Ireland, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom!  One place that I have always wanted to travel to is the United Kingdom!

Currently, their is a position for a Deputy Manager in London!  This position is similar to a Director position in the United States; full day to day operations, providing leadership to staff, Parent partnership and managing parent relationships.  I would need each of these skills to complete be a candidate for this position.  With that in mind, the fact that I have worked for Bright Horizons in the past and that I have the skills and education to now suffice for the job, I am definitely intrigued!

I also explored Children's Hope International Literacy & Development.   This is an organization dedicated " To transform the lives of children around the world suffering from poverty, hunger, poor education, sickness, and neglect, into lives of hope and possibilities (www.child-international.org)."  What could be a better statement than that!  This is a great mission and they have many programs that they work with around the world.  Although I did not find any employment opportunities on the webpage; I have placed in a 'contact us' request to receive further information about ways to help out - even within my own community!


acei.org, 2011.  Association for childhood education international.  Retrieved from

Bright Horizons Family Solutions, 2011.  London – Deputy manager.  Retrieved from

Children’s Hope International Literacy & Development, 2012.  Retrieved from http://www.child
international.org/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community


The National Association For Early Childhood Education is always been at the top of my list of well respected national organizations for early childhood education.    One of the first teaching jobs that I held was in a NAEYC accredited facility and their standards for quality care and education have been engrained in to all of my practices ever since.  NAEYC’s first goal within their mission is “Improving professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education” (naeyc.org, 2012).  This is one of my own personal, primary goals that I have for my work in this field.  So, it is only natural that they are one of the national organizations that I choose.

Currently, NAEYC has a position of Accreditation Coordinator that I would absolutely love to make as my profession.  This position assists NAEYC customers with the accreditation process via phone, email and site visits.  The qualification include; a BA in early childhood education, several years of teaching in an accredited facility and strong understanding of the accreditation process; all of which I have.  However, all NAEYC positions are held within the Washington D.C. area and I do not know that I would be willing to move clear across the country at this point in my life.

The second national affiliation that I am interested in is the Council for Professional Recognition.  The council governs and monitors the CDA credentialing system.  Previously, I have taught the core class work for individuals working towards their CDA.  The CDA is a Child Development Associate national credentialing system that works toward improving and recognizing individuals in the field of early childhood education (cdacouncil.org, 2012).  This credentialing certificate is often the first step to catapulting educators further along the educational path within the field.

The Council does not currently have any employment opportunities at this time however, this is definitely a program that I will continue to monitor for opportunities.

Finally, there is the National Association for Family Child Care.  This is a national organization that promotes quality family child care while also focusing on promoting family child care as a profession (nafcc.org, 2012).  The community that I work in is very rural and the survival of many families is depended on access to child care.  Much of that child care comes from home based providers.  It is vital that these early years of children’s lives be based off of quality care and education even if they are in the comfort of someone’s home.  This is where NAFCC comes into play.

I was also unable to locate any employment opportunities within this organization however, there are a plethora of resources available including resources, accreditation information and conference information.

Cdacouncil.org

NAEYC.org

NAFCC.org

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Exporing Roles in the ECE Community


The exploration of the various roles that I could take on in the early childhood field is something that I have greatly been anticipating.  Upon obtaining my Master’s degree I most definitely want to begin working for one of these various organizations.  The opportunity to explore several great agencies has shown me the multitude of options available.

The three organizations that I researched are all very related.  The relation between the type of programs they are was not diverse but they all serve the communities that they reach in ways that I hope to accomplish in much the same way.

The first was the Nurturing Center at nurturingcenter.org, based out of Kalispell, Montana.  Their mission statement is "Strengthening Families, Sustaining Communities!"  With a name such as this and a mission statement like that - what more do you need!  This is a diverse organization that offers a multitude of services to the community that it serves however, the service of training to providers is something that drew me in.   I was searching for teaching positions on the Montana Early Childhood Project's website (mtecp.org) job board and came across the position of Early Childhood Professional Development Specialist.  This is a position that offers training and technical services to local child care providers in the area - which is exactly something that I want to pursue in my area.

The second organization, which is also advertising for a similar position was Child Care Resources in Missoula, Montana.  These two organizations are both hiring for a training position to bring in, recruit, train and offer support and assistance to families and teachers in their communities.  They are both under the umbrella of the Child Care Resource and Referral Network or CCR&R which many of you will find familiar in your areas as well.

This brought me to investigate the National level of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies or NACCRRA.ORG.  This is a national level of the child care resource and referral agencies that works to accredited this agencies, provide support to these agencies and provide training and technical systems to providers, teachers, community members and families throughout the country.

As I mentioned, the first two organizations both have job opportunities that are exactly what I am looking to do in the near future.  I currently hold the skills and the requirements for both positions which is; Bachelors degree, level 5 on the Practitioner Registry and experience teaching as well as experience in teaching adults.   However, they are both a ways a way and would be a significant physical move for me which is just not an expense I want to handle right now.  However, I will keep my eyes and ears open for something to come much closer to my home town!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Note of Thanks

The journey toward my Master's degree has not been an easy one.  Through many personal changes and challenges it has been difficult to stay on task and remain confident in myself.  The help of my classmates, their experiences, their knowledge and their willingness to share their personal experiences has been an immense motivating factor.  I realize through each posting that I am not up to the challenge alone.

I wish everyone the best of luck in their specializations and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for continuing to climb your path in early childhood education!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week 6: Team Building and Collaboration

The hardest group for me to leave was a school in Las Vegas.  Out of all of the groups I have ever worked with, this group of teachers had the best of all worlds!  They had well established and kept, norms and they were very high functioning.  As a result, when leaving this group, I felt as though I was leaving part of my own family.

As far as closing rituals, the above group had a wonderful going away for me when I left that, again, made me feel loved and respected as part of their team.  There was also a systematic goodbye that I completed by going to each persons classroom for a hug and for follow up contact information for us to keep in touch.

Adjourning is essential because it provides people from any group a type of closure.  It is a significant way to end a project and make people at peace with all the ups and downs that the project most likely entailed - which of course is also a final time for forgiveness and acceptance.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nonviolent Communication and Conflict Management

I am currently working in a new program that is starting from the ground up.  As a result of this there is, of course, a ton of frustration, stepping on toes, problem solving and conflict.  In a most recent negotiation, we were in deep discussion over space; desks, offices, etc.  I found during this discussion that a continual reflection, from myself, to think of the principle form the NVC helped a great deal.  That principle was "connecting with the universal human needs/values (e.g. sustenance, trust, understanding) in us that are being met or not met in relation to what is happening and how we are feeling."  Continual reflection on this principle in the discussion of space truly helped me to remember that everyone has needs and those needs must be respected.

I think that utilizing this reflection allowed for a quicker solution to that situation.  The other individual responded with more calmness and less nervousness towards me than usual.  That made me feel great!  I believe that she felt more empowered than ever before and truly strengthened our relationship.

Unfortunately, due to confidentiality reasons and the fact that I am a supervisor for the other person I was unable to confidently ask for her input in regards to this situation.  However, the conversation went much better than others have between the two of us and I truly feel that a great bond is beginning to be created!

Resource
The Center for Nonviolent Communication. (n.d.) The center for nonviolent communication. Retrieved from http://www.nvc.org

Early Childhood Resources

  • http://nieer.org/
  • http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hsrc/
  • http://www.ccw.org/
  • http://www.cec.sped.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home
  • http://www.childrensdefense.org/
  • http://www.dec-sped.org/
  • http://www.erikson.edu/
  • http://www.fpg.unc.edu/main/about.cfm
  • http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~snapshots/snap33.pdf
  • http://www.hepg.org/hel/topic/85
  • http://www.highscope.org/
  • http://www.iwpr.org/index.cfm
  • http://www.naeyc.org/
  • http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/ChildAbuseStand.pdf
  • http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/dap
  • http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/DEC_NAEYC_ECSummary_A.pdf
  • http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/diversity.pdf
  • http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/pscape.pdf
  • http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/Readiness.pdf
  • http://www.nccanet.org/
  • http://www.ncrece.org/wordpress/
  • http://www.omep-usnc.org/
  • http://www.preknow.org/
  • http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf
  • http://www.voices.org/
  • http://www.wested.org/cs/we/print/docs/we/home.htm
  • http://www.worldforumfoundation.org/wf/about.php
  • http://www.zerotothree.org/
  • http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ter_pub_infanttodller