kindergartenteaching

from the life of a teacher

Week 8 June 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 3:55 pm

One hope that I have when I think about working with children and families who come from diverse backgrounds would be that I would remain open-minded towards all situations and encounters. I do not want to become closed off towards others because their views, lifestyles, responses, etc.. do not match up with my own. Instead I want to remain focused on what is best for the child and family even when it means I must leave my own personal biases at the door. In doing so I hope that I will help the children and families I work with remain open-minded about diversity as well. I hope to be a resource to them and can encourage them to think critically and move past their own personal biases in order for what is most beneficial to be accomplished.

One goal I would like to set for the early childhood field related to issues of diversity, equity, and social justice would be for there to be more hands on professional development workshops made available to early childhood educators. Further, that these workshops would be made available to college students pursuing a degree in the early childhood field. One thing I feel that was not adequately touched on in my undergraduate degree is that of how to be an anti-bias educator and practical ways of doing so. Through implementing professional development workshops I believe more early childhood educators would begin feeling confident on catering to a diverse field of children and families. With this confidence they (we) would also be able to better implement anti-bias educational strategies within our own classrooms on a daily basis.

Colleagues – I have really enjoyed learning alongside you these last eight weeks! I have gained so much insight from the knowledge and experiences you have shared. I have had to ask myself some hard questions throughout this course and I am thankful I knew I had your support and did not have to fear being judged by anyone. I hope I have been able to lend some insight to you along the way! Thank you for your encouraging comments through discussion and blog post! I wish you the very best in the rest of your journey here at Walden! I hope to see some familiar names in my next Walden course! Please let me know if I can ever be of help to you!

Amy Maliskas

 

week 7 June 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 2:36 pm

What if we were but a child, innocent and free?

Not yet bound by the rules of society.

What if we were as observant, taking in all that we see?

and learning the things of life through play and discovery.

For if we were a child, surely we would see,

how fragile are their minds and how trusting they can be.

Yet as they watch us carry on through life each and every day

They quietly construct their own sense of self-identity.

From the way we speak to people to the looks we give away,

They begin to form ideas of how life should really be.

They learn through our actions and the type of life we live

and are impacted by the thousands of messages society likes to give.

Through books, songs, movies, and even the T.V,

they receive messages of who they need to be.

Their fragile lives are impacted by those they hold so dear,

An event of trauma could quickly result in a life of fear.

For an unloving hand could lead to child aggression

and an abusive event leaving future relationships in question.

Thus, it is so important for all to really see

the gift we have in children

and the importance of our responsibility.

For it is up to us to teach them the right way

to love themselves and one another

and work through the bias and stereotypes even we display.

May they grow to know their loved and their special in every way.

May they never doubt their ability to rise above life’s  limitations.

For it is through their lives our world may experience better days!

 

Week 6 June 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 5:45 pm

Just the other day I was waiting to check out at the grocery store and there was a lady and her little girl in front of me at the check out stand. The woman checking customers out at this particular check out stand only had one arm. The other arm stopped at the elbow. The little girl tugged and tugged at her mom’s shirt to tell her something. The mom told her to wait and fumbled through her purse to find something. The little girl growing more persistent said loudly “MOM!” Her mom appeared frustrated and snapped back “WHAT?” The little girl then responded – “How are we going to get our food she only has one arm!?” The mom looked embarrassed and quickly shushed her daughter and said “Not another word!” The little girl looked confused and sat there in the cart with a disgruntle look on her face.

Just as adults notice differences, children do also! Based off of the scenario I shared above there are certain messages that were sent to the little girl by her mother in the situation that occurred. One of the biggest messages that was sent by the mom responding the way she did was that it was wrong to notice/point out differences. In my own opinion it seems as though the mom was getting on the child for noticing a difference. Instead of allowing it to be a learning opportunity for the little girl on how we are all different and that is what makes us special, the mom did the opposite. Another message that I believe was sent to the little girl was that it was wrong of her to even ask a question of how someone who may be physically different from us would still be able to do things like those who are not physically disabled.

An anti-bias educator would have responded much differently. Instead of viewing the child’s question as a complete insult and unneeded comment I believe the educator would have used it as a teachable moment. Instead of telling the child to hush I imagine an anti-bias educator responding with something along the lines of, “Oh, but isn’t that neat – even if she does not have two arms like you do she can still do lots of cool things like you can!”  This type of response would not view the physical disability as a negative thing, but allow the child to see that even people with differences can accomplish great things. Another thing an anti-bias educator may have done according to the information provided in the Seeing Differences Video (Laurette edu, inc. 2010) was take it as an opportunity to discuss other physical differences later on that day. Some ways they could do is by looking at pictures in books or other forms of media that show people with physical differences and discuss somethings they could do just like the little girl.

References

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). “Start Seeing Diversity: Physical Abilities”.