from the life of a teacher

wk 8 October 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 1:42 am

 Time Well Spent

Throughout my journey at Walden I have learned many things about myself both personally and professionally.  I realized the key of collaboration and communication in my EDUC 6165 course. Before this time I was unaware of just how significant communication skills are in all areas of life. Through this course I realized how much it takes to be an effective communicator. One must be open to others ideas and opinions. It is also important to be an active and reflective listener. Being an effective communicator can truly make a difference in whether one encounters or avoids issues of conflict. I know that as a result of this course I became a better and more effective through communicator.  Through my EDUC 6357  course I realized the importance of being a open minded about family units and other forms of diversity. After taking some surveys in the course to review different types of biases I realized just how much society had influenced my thoughts on certain issues. Even when I did not believe I had been influenced on issues I realized quickly I was. With this knowledge in my mind I am much more aware of my biases and how  I need to face them head on.  I also learned how important it was to set aside these biases in order for me to be a more effective educator with young children and their families. Overall, throughout my journey here at Walden I was reminded of how important the family unit is. This something I did not give enough significance to before beginning my learning at Walden.  Our work as educators in the Early Childhood Field is greatly connected to the families of the young children we work with. This insight is one I will never forget and  look forward to carrying it along with me in the future.

One long term goal I have is to begin working much more closely with the families of the young children I work with. I would like to work on forming a greater partnership with families. I understand that this is an area I could experience much growth in. I look forward to forming a stronger partnership with families and connecting them to resources that would be beneficial to them.

Another long term goal I have is to keep in touch with my colleagues through the Walden Facebook group. I have enjoyed learning alongside each of you. I look forward to celebrating each of your accomplishments in the future. I also look forward to gaining more wisdom from you in your endeavors.

I would like to thank each of you for your encouragement and inspiration throughout this journey. Your wisdom and encouragement has meant more to me than I could ever hope to express. In times of difficulty you have inspired me with your own hardships and experiences. I never felt like I was going through this alone. I also have enjoyed learning along side you. Through your own experiences I have gained significant insights that I will carry with me. Thank you for your patience with me as I have made my way through this journey of earning my Masters. I hope that I have been helpful to you as you have been to me. I wish each of you the best of luck in the future. I am honored to have learned aside you. This has been a unforgettable experience. If you ever need anything I hope you would consider allowing me to meet your needs in any way I can! I am proud to call each of you friends! Thank you for encouraging me to continue learning when life gets busy! I am forever grateful for it.

‘I would love to keep up with! Please feel free to email me at or find me on the Walden facebook group!

I do not know about you but this is how I feel right now! Feeling very accomplished and free as though I am swinging above the world! What a breath of fresh air!


wk 6: Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally October 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 5:37 pm
  • At least three international organizations or communities of practice that appealed to you and why you chose them
  • Job opportunities (currently available or not) that interest you
  • What skills and experience you would need to competently fulfill each of these roles

1. Save the Children is an organization that works to protect children in different areas of the world. They offer help through a variety of programs. One program I find interest in is their program towards educating young children. They offer support to both teachers and young children. Save the Children organization works to provide books to children in rural areas as well as emergency response efforts in regards to educating  children.

One job opportunity that I find interesting is located in Mozambique as the Early Childhood Development Advisor. As the advisor I would be in charge of coordinating reports to give to donors and other partners,as well as create proposals for raising sufficent funds for programs to continue developing and growing within the Mozambique area. I think this would be an interesting experience to have. It would allow me to work with other early childhood professionals in a different area of the world. It would also further encourage and require me to advocate for young children and their educational needs.

-Masters Degree in International Education, Developmental Psychology, or Cultural Anthropology with ECD focus
– Minimum of  three  years experience in early childhood development
– Fluency in Portuguese and English oral and written language skills
– Strong understanding of holistic child development and the ways children learn, including early-literacy methodologies
– Proven experience in managing teams and working well in partnership / consortia
– Solid understanding of educational curriculum development and dynamic training methodologies
– Strong experience in effectively managing budgets a plus
– Experience in monitoring and evaluation systems and the ability to employ development measurement tools to examine impact of services on children, caregivers and community
– Experience in strategies that generate community and partner ownership to ensure sustainable results.
– Representational and advocacy skills and familiarity with the education policy environment in Mozambique
– Good interpersonal skills with ability to communicate effectively at all levels
2. Plan International is an organization that advocates for the rights of children around the world. Plan International helps provide better education and health care for children around the world. They also work to create economic security and offer protection to children.
  One job I would be interested in would be the Girls Global Innovation Program Manager. As the program manager I would be responsible for playing a large role in the campaign I Am A Girl. I would also be responsible for providing leadership and guidance for the Global Girls Innovation program to help expand girl rights and advocate for gender equality. My responsibilities would include offering support to a variety of fundraising efforts, maintaining program guidelines and ensure Girls Global Innovation practices and programs reflect these guidelines, and ensure all initiatives within the Girls Global Innovation Program reflect the high standards and expectations set for them.  I find this job particularly exciting because it would allow me to work for strengthening rights for girls around the world. It would be a big opportunity for leadership. I think this would be a job I would learn a lot in and would be one I would never forget.
  In order for me to assume this position I would have to have the following qualifications:
 – Demonstrate knowledge of gender equality and children’s rights
– Obtain strong gender analysis skills
– Strong organizational skills in both administration and budgeting
– Be a confident public speaker with the ability to influence large audiences
– Fluent in English ( knowing French or Spanish would be a bonus)
– Be self driven
– Know how to listen and collaborate with others effectively
– Masters Degree
– Work relevant experiences
– Technical and research experience in gender equality, preferably with a focus on girls’ human rights.
3. UNICEF is an international organization that I have been familiar with for a good length of time now. They work towards bettering the lives of children around the word with relief efforts in areas of education, protection, health, and equality. They are currently working in numerous areas around the world to better the lives of millions of children.
 One job opportunity I would be interested in is that of an Education Specialist. With this position I would be in charge of organizing data for reports, design, prepare, and implement specific projects, collaborate with other program developers, and meet with both national and international agencies. I guess the reason I find this job interesting is because it would allow me to work alongside other influential people around the world working towards a common interest in educating young children. The qualifications for this job include:
 – advanced degrees in social sciences
– five years of experience in designing and implementing educational programs
– fluent in English
– Knowledge of the local language where assigned

wk 4 – Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level September 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 4:04 pm

One national organization that has always held my interest and captured my heart is that of KIPP Academy. KIPP stands for Knowledge is Power Program. KIPP was started in 1994 by Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin. There are numerous KIPP academy’s around the United States. KIPP partners with underprivileged parents and students to make education top priority. They have extended school day hours, strict contracts that the teachers, students, and parents adhere to. Teachers are “on call” after school hours to provide homework help to their students. In a way these teachers become like a family member to their students. KIPP strives to prepare all children for College and life after. I strongly encourage you to visit the website and watch one of their videos. I did years ago and it has captivated my heart ever since.

One job opportunity I find interesting other than that of a teacher for a KIPP academy would be the Community Relations Manager. As the community relations manager  I would be responsible for building partnerships in local communities, engaging elected officials, and ensuring KIPP Metro Atlanta’s leadership and parents are equipped and supported to engage in advocacy initiatives. Although this is very different from being a classroom teacher I think this would be a very exciting and rewarding job. It would be challenging, yet a neat experience to strongly advocate for the KIPP Academy within the Metro Atlanta area. I would have the unique opportunity to help make others aware of the effective practices implemented by KIPP academy’s and the essential partnership offered through KIPP.

The qualifications I would have to have include:

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree; graduate degree in Education Policy or Public Policy preferred.
  • Experience with parent outreach and/or grassroots advocacy work
  • Knowledge of education policy issues at national and local level
  • Strong communication  and presentation skills, both written and verbal
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; ability to present and explain technical concepts to audiences in non-technical jargon
  • Willingness to aggressively advocate for KIPP Metro Atlanta’s interests
  • Strategic thinker; ability to think critically about issues and solutions
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Proven experience in campaign or project management
  • Team-player capable of working both collaboratively and independently
  • Thrives in entrepreneurial start-up environment and working conditions; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment while also driving toward clarity and solutions
  • Committed to the mission of preparing educationally underserved children for excellent high schools and colleges.

I do feel I have some of these qualifications such as being a team-player, having excellent organization skills, willingness to aggressively advocate for KIPP, and a commitment to the mission of preparing educationally undeserved children for excellent high schools and colleges.

Another national organization I find to be interesting is the Zero to Three organization. This is a non-profit organization that stresses the importance of the first three years of life.

One job that I would like to have within the Zero to Three organization would be that of an Early Head Start Liaison. Although this job is not currently available, it is one I would be very interested in pursuing. As an Early Head Start Liaison I would be responsible for helping provide resources to the public on the importance of the first three years of life. Along with this job I would be able to engage in helping others learn about the essential developmental milestones that occur within the first years of life. One of the other very exciting parts of the job would be to act as an advocate of breastfeeding. As a breastfeeding mother myself I find this task particularly enticing and exciting to get to share with other moms the numerous benefits for breastfeeding your baby!

Some of the qualifications I believe I would need for this job include:

A competence in the developmental milestones that occur within the first years of life

The ability to engage and interact with parents and families

Organizational skills

Public speaking skills

Competence in providing written material to act as resources to parents and families

3. Another national organization I find interesting is the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC was founded in 1926 and is now the worlds largest organization working on the behalf of young children.  NAEYC helps to prepare teachers to effectively work with young children, advocates for the education of young children in bills and laws being passes in regards to educational practices, and works to maintain high quality education for all children.

One job opportunity provided within the NAEYC is that of accreditation Coordinator.  As the accreditation Coordinator I would be responsible for working with program administrators, assessors and decision makers throughout all aspects of the accreditation process. I would be responsible for  review materials submitted to identify any  errors and must measure program compliance with accreditation standards to further monitor the performance of assessors to ensure reliability is maintained in all assessment procedures and protocols. I would also be in charge of   providing support to the assessors.

The qualifications for this position include: BA in Early Childhood Education/Child Development, 3-5 years experience in the field of early childhood education and a sound understanding of its practices is required.  Experience with high quality programming and NAEYC accreditation is a plus.  Excellent oral and written communication, analytical, MS Office and database skills are required.  Must be able to meet deadlines, work in a team and in a fast-paced environment


wk 2 Local organizations September 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 11:35 pm

There are organizations and communities of practice at both my local and state level that I find interesting and would love to become a part of. I have chosen the following three to share with you:

1. Youth Villages – Youth Villages is an organization that works with troubled children and families. They have different aspects of their program in which they reach out to at-risk children and families. They provide intensive in-home training, residential programs, foster care, transitional services, counseling, adoption services, and specialized crisis services. Youth Villages has locations around the United States. One of the its locations is in the area I live in.

— One job opportunity provided by Youth Villages that I take interest in is that of a science teacher. It would be a new environment to work in. I find that science can really appeal to both boys and girls in that it allows you to explore concepts with hands on learning. To be qualified for this position I would have to meet the followings requirements:

A Bachelor’s degree in education with appropriate certification is required
Active Licensure in TN with an endorsement in Science is required
A Highly Qualified teacher is strongly preferred
Experience in special education or teaching experience in a clinical environment is preferred
Experience working with at-risk youth a major plus
Experience working with youth is required
Excellent written, verbal, and oral skills
Ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously
Basic computer knowledge
Ability to maintain a flexible schedule

I find that most of these requirements are ones that I already have from being an early childhood teacher. Yet, it would be a difficult job to have in that it entails working with children who have severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.

2. Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis – This organization is part of a national organization. One of their top priorities is educational advancement. They want to prepare children to be successful and be confident in themselves. They work with lower income children and families.

Job opportunity – Educational Services Coordinator. This position would require me to oversee the educational programs offered by the Boys and Girls Club. I would plan, develop, and supervise the implementation of program activities. I would also be in charge of helping cultivate parental involvement into program activities.
This job would require me to have the following qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

  • A minimum of 3-5 years’ experience in managing programs or operations in a Youth Servicing agency
  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience working with Public School system
  • Familiarity with After School enrichment programming
  • Cultural competency in working with Latino and African-American populations
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills
  • Understanding of and sensitivity to variant family values
  • Ability to lead a service collaboration team
  • Ability to be “self-starter” and work with minimal supervision required
  • Strong organizational skills required
  • Strong technical and reporting skills required
  • Bilingual/bicultural abilities (English/Spanish) desired
  • Physically able to perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodations.

This would be a very different job for me in that instead of teaching curriculum I would be over developing and training staff to teach curriculum. It would be interesting to be on the other side of things.

3. Kumon Learning center – This is much like a Sylvan Learning Center.I am interested in this organization because I struggled with math skills as a child. My parents were always looking for someone who could help me in Math. but had a hard time finding a tutor. This type of organization would have been very helpful to me as a child and could have made me more confident.  Kumon offers tutoring help in both Reading and Math from the elementary to high school level. Each of the staff members is trained and certified in the area in which they provide tutoring.

One job opportunity I found was the Center Director. The Center Director is responsible for

Qualifications for this position include the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree. Education related major preferred.
  • Full-time Teaching and/or Corporate Training as well as Retail experience a plus
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, written and oral, with adults and children
  • Strong computer skills
  • Strong Math and Reading aptitude
  • Commitment to making a difference in the community and belief in the importance of education
  • Ability to work afternoons/early evenings. (3-4 times/week)

I think it would be necessary to be an effective communicator and strong leader to have this position. I have always worked directly with children so I find this job opportunity to be interesting. Although it would be very different than what I am used to it would be a good experience to have.


Week 8 August 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 11:29 am

Through the past eight weeks and my journey as a whole through this Walden experience I have gained invaluable insights on how to be a more effective early childhood professional.  My most passionate hope for the future as an early childhood professional and for the children and families with whom I work and will work with would be for people to be able to look past differences and embrace each other despite diversity. For people to find celebration in diversity and not conflict so that children would grow up not being afraid to be different!

Thank you for your encouragement these past eight weeks. It has once again been a pleasure to learn alongside each of you. I have enjoyed learning from your posts! The insights I have gained are invaluable. I wish you the best of luck the rest of your journey with Walden! I look forward to learning alongside you in my last class if given the opportunity! I am blessed to have come this far and I am more than excited about embarking on this last course! Best of wishes! I would be more than happy to help each of you if I am ever able! You have each helped me in ways I can not express!


Week 7 August 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 11:06 am

The area of the world I chose was Central and Eastern Europe Commonwealth of Independent States. I chose  this region because I have traveled to a country within this region. The country of Turkey is very close to my and my husband’s heart. We hope to one day move there to live. It is a dream of mine to teach in Turkey. Therefore, when I saw Turkey listed under this region I was instantly intrigued.

Children in this region of the world are facing hardships of many kinds. They are encountering hunger, poverty, and poor education.

In Romania there has been a substantial increase in the population. Therefore the prices for food has drastically increased. This has resulted in an increase in the amount of poor people. UNICEF reports that the children are the ones impacted the greatest. Children are experiencing substantial hunger. Because of this increase in poverty children are also experiencing abandonment, institutionalization, and dropping out of school.  Children are being forced to live and work on the streets at a very young age.

Just this past month the first Early Childhood Center was opened in Serbia! Despite the numerous amounts of centers we have here we forget that there are countries around the world that still are not able to provide that for the children of their nation.

In 2007 it was reported that 958,000 children in the country of Turkey between the ages of 6 and 15 were involved in economic activity. Out of that number 124,000 of these were not attending school

These experiences can leave children feeling unwanted and unworthy. Children facing poverty are often less healthy than other children. Therefore they experience poor development over the years and often experience much sickness. They are forced to grow up far too early in life and loose their chance on being a child. They have to make adult like decisions from a young age in order to survive. Children that experience abandonment often struggle with feelings of not belonging and poor self worth. They have trouble making connections and relationships with people later in life.  Children without proper education have a harder time finding jobs to sustain themselves later in life. Therefore the lack of education can result in struggles with poverty. It is like a vicious cycle that never ends.

This really gave me some substantial insights on children around the world. Far too often I forget to focus on children outside my realm of being. Children around the world are still suffering greatly. It makes me realize I need to do more with the children I teach to help educate them on some of the struggles other children have. There are numerous organizations such as Books for Africa that have been started by children or teens to specifically help children around the world. As an early childhood professional I need to do a better job advocating for ALL children. Further I need to include the children I work with on projects in which we can together help children around the world! This week the insights I have gained on the poor education and poverty crises children are facing has really made me start thinking how I can help and make a difference!!


week 6:The Sexualization of Early Childhood August 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 2:05 pm

After reading the article by Levin and Kilbourne (2009) I was stunned. As a new parent to a newborn I was baffled by the ideas shared in the article. Some of the things shared I was aware of and others I was not. For example,  I am familiar with the Bratz dolls and must say have never liked them. Yet, I was not aware that Victoria Secret was marketing thongs for tweens!!! This made me sick to my stomach. As a mom to a baby boy I have already begun to notice how provocatively teenage girls dress now a days. It saddens me that not only do the parents allow their daughters to dress in such a manner, but that these young girls feel as though they must to be worthy of any attention from the opposite sex! It saddens me that there are so many aspects of sexualization in early childhood. Even in forms of media that should be innocent for children the industry is adding aspects of sexualization. It is awful that children are under the impression that they have to look a certain way to be worthy of attention at very young ages.

The following are examples from both my personal and professional experience that further illustrate the exposure of young children to a highly sexualized environment. It saddens me how easily these examples have popped into my head.

 – This past school year I had a situation where one of my kindergarten boys told a girl in my class that they should be boyfriend and girlfriend. The conversation went on and the little boy suggested that the little girl and him have alone time so where they could take off their clothing and lay together.

– Also this past year I had another little boy in the room begin to dance provocatively in front of the class. He grabbed himself and began to act like he was grinding on something. There was no music being played. When I asked him where he had learned to dance like that he replied that his older brothers had taught him. He informed me this was how to get the girls attention.

– There was a student at our school in the past he would wait until he got in the car at car line to yell to a teacher ” bye sexy mama!” Sadly the mother did not address this behavior so after a pattern of this began the administration had to take action.

– On a more personal experience my cousin was telling me just the other day about how her three year old asked her when her boobies would grow. She said she asked her why she wanted to know and her daughter replied so I can get married.

All of these examples among numerous others have implications on a child’s healthy development. From a young age children begin receiving messages about how their bodies need to be in order for them to be seen as beautiful, masculine, or sexy. They begin to think if their body does not look a certain way they are worthless. Children are loosing their innocence due to the world telling them their bodies must perform in mature ways. They are becoming more concerned about their physical appearance leading to issues of depression and eating disorders. We as early childhood professionals must first remember to remain calm when dealing with these situations. We do not want to draw unwanted attention to these types of things. We also must intervene and not ignore what has been said or done. One of the best things we can do is discuss these types of things with young children and families and work to help young children develop a positive sense of self worth and self identity. By teaching children how to form a positive self identity we can help them to see they do not have to meet a standard that the world is displaying for them. We can do this by teaching children about differences through an anti-bias education. They will learn that our differences make us unique and special. Differences are what we should celebrate. Another way I would foster this is through encouraging self expression whether through dancing, painting, drawing, singing, and etc.

My awareness of the sexualization of early childhood has been greatly increased though studying this topic. I was very unaware of many of the aspects discussed. I am not much more knowledgable about the ways children are being influenced and impacted by sexualization at such young ages. I am more aware of the signs to look out for. We as adults are aware of the impact events children experience at a young age impact them later in life. Yet, it seems we do not act on the issue of sexualization with the same urgency. We look for signs of aggression and abuse. Yet, all of the little messages society sends about sexualization we allow to creep past us little by little.


Levin, D. E., & Kilbourne, J. (2009). [Introduction]. So sexy so soon: The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids (pp. 18). New York: Ballantine Books. Retrieved from: