“Opportunities to make change”
For the life of an educator, these words ring at the core of our being. It is what makes us continue to promote new ideas, research and explore new possibilities. When I started this journey three years ago, my mind was an open sponge. Today I find that my sponge has enlarged abundantly. The beauty of education is that as long as you have an open mind, you continue to learn, to process, adapt and make change.
The assignment that resonated the most with me this term was the discussion on attachment. From birth, we learn. Edelman (2016) commented in a recent child watch column how from the time we are born we are “wired” to interact with people. Good, bad or indifferent it’s these attachments that we make that allows us to grow and adapt to each circumstance of our lives. Experiences can make us resilient and strong, and others can leave us feeling insecure, unwanted and emotionally detached. Repeated emotional trauma as studies report find “that children who combine a behaviorally inhibited temperament with an insecure attachment status display the highest levels of anxiety disorders symptoms”, (Muris et al., 2011, p 158).
How we respond as parents and educators can make a world of difference to a child who needs reassurance. A colleague of mine, Kim Edwards brought up one of the most critical components that we can provide the children that we encounter; that is that the backdrop or story of a child is critical in how they learn. As Edwards (2016) stated poignantly “When people hear a story that they can relate to they are more likely to empathize with the story and act upon it”.
Early childhood development lays the foundation or the blueprint of how children flourish mentally, physically and emotionally. They absorb and learn so much before they begin the first grade. The seeds we plant has to grow strong roots in order for them to navigate through life. As I continue to pursue my studies in the field, I still feel strongly that working in the early childhood education field I can make a difference. In my love for reading, I want to continue to challenge children to read and love the sound of their voice, on paper and out loud in their own words. For children to communicate and be vocal early in life sets the stage for exploration and learning.
As educators we can help promote that opportunity by becoming their advocate. We can help deter physical and emotional abuse if we allow ourselves to be open to listen and show we care. We can show a child a world full of wonderment that they want to be excited about. We have to take those opportunities to teach when and where we see them. That’s my dream. It has become my goal.
Last week when I was recording my advocacy piece on resilience, my husband listened quietly from the hall. When I finished he told me that I had to find a way to use my voice on this journey towards my new career. So, I hope you continue to follow my blog. Starting next month, I’m committing to incorporating a podcast every month regarding a current issue in early childhood education on my page. I look forward to any comments you all have to offer.
Edelman, M. W. (2016). Mother’s Day Call to Action. Retrieved from http://cdf.childrensdefense.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=46320&em_id=45471.0
Edwards, K. (2016). Child Development and Learning: Attachment. Retrieved from http://kimedwardssite.wordpress.com
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015m). Vision of the field of early childhood [Audio file]. Baltimore, MD: Author
Muris, P., Brakel, A., Arntz, A., & Schouten, E. (2011). Behavioral Inhibition as a Risk Factor for the Development of Childhood Anxiety Disorders: A Longitudinal Study. Journal Of Child & Family Studies, 20(2), 157-170.