Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Q & A Tuesday

I have a question for you on this Q & A Tuesday ~ Why is it that some parents out there still do not  grasp the importance of early education? Why aren't preschool teachers valued as much as they should be?

What I have noticed, and what is truly very sad, is people think that a preschool teacher's job is simply wiping runny noses and singing "I'm a little Teapot." Not so! Let me remind y'all that if you look to the right and read that lil diddy under my photo, I was a preschool teacher and  a curriculum specialist. Sure I wiped a few noses in my day, however my job was to teach.

I consider myself highly qualified. I have a degree, in addition to an ECE teaching certificate. I am trained in the creative, emergent, and progressive curriculum. I have also been trained in ABA and VB to work with special needs children.

Early educators at quality preschools are extremely well-versed in their craft and in the field of child development. Not only must an early educator keep a classroom exciting, vibrant, peaceful, educational, encouraging, happy and safe ~ an early educator is shaping your child's learning habits in ways that are critical to their overall development. Stanford, Harvard and MIT, some of the nations top universities, have led studies on the importance of early childhood education and highly qualified preschool teachers.

To quote published work by James J. Heckman, PhD and Henry Schultz, Professor at the University of Chicago; "Learning starts in infancy, long before formal education begins, and continues throughout life. Early learning begets later learning and early success breeds later success, just as early failure breeds later failure. Success or failure at this stage lays the foundation for success or failure in school, which in turn leads to success or failure in post-school learning. Recent studies of early childhood investments have shown remarkable success and indicate that the early years are important for early learning. Moreover, early childhood interventions of high quality have lasting effects on learning and motivation. As a society, we cannot afford to postpone investing in children until they become adults, nor can we wait until they reach school age – a time when it may be too late to intervene." To read more of this click here. If you are looking for articles regarding early brain development read this.

Read these articles again, and again, and one more time. Our children are the future. Those who spend time with our kids teaching ABC's and 123's are setting the foundation for all that is to come. Now, I taught my daughter her letters, numbers, and how to spell her name. I encourage all parents to allow their child to learn through play and take advantage of your "teaching moments" at home. But please, please, do not belittle the jobs of those who are working with our toddlers and our preschoolers. They are teachers.

Also, if you are enrolling your little one in preschool. Educate yourself! Don't be afraid to ask questions, take this seriously. This is the beginning of your child's school career! Dig deep and discover what curriculum is best for your child, what school is best for your family, and most importantly trust your gut. Mommy guts never lie.

Now let's hear it for preschool teachers and teaching mamas! (high kick ~ spin ~ spirit fingers)

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