Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This past week, I had the opportunity of doing workshops in Los Angeles and Anaheim, California as well as Atlantic City, New Jersey. When I boarded the plane in Anaheim, it was 92 degrees. When I deplaned in Philadelphia, it was in the 40's. Burrrrr...what a difference. Going from hot to cold made me think of all the visits I make to early childhood classrooms. The warmth and safety I feel when I visit a well-run appropriate classroom is exhilarating. The fear and anxiety I feel when I visit a classroom that is struggling leaves me with a cold, uncomfortable feeling. I am assuming that children feel the same way. We all know children who do not want to go to school. My fear is that they feel that same cold, uncomfortable feeling when entering the classroom. I would love to see all young children running to school because their classroom exhibited the warmth and safety that each child should feel.
Monday, October 13, 2008
In the last weeks we have been talking about quality child care in my Introduction to Teaching course. Research tells us that quality child care contributes to the cognitive and emotional development of children. This results in lower levels of delinquency, teenage pregnancy, drug use, and dropout rates resulting in high earnings later in life and greater marital stability. Whew! Why isn't everyone on the bandwagon for quality child care? I guess the answer is money...but not the only answer. Many critics emphasize that children are better off with mom (or dad) staying home rather than looking for quality care. Unfortunately, that ideal is unrealistic for many families. Single parent households do not have the luxury of choice in the matter. Quality child care is an issue for most single parent households and at-risk families. Many state governments (including my own state) have failed to adequately fund child care for families in need. A study published in Education Week in 2004 found that every dollar invested in quality child care would prove an economic return of 13 dollars in the child's future education. I think it is worth the initial investment.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I did a math workshop in Nashville this week and it was wonderful. What a great group of teachers and caregivers! It is always such a treat to go around the country and meet other early childhood professionals. The commonality is that we all want what is best for young children and strive to be appropriate in our approach. Young children constantly need advocates since they cannot lobby for themselves. We are a great group in the early childhood field and it feels good to make those connections wherever people are working with young children.