Essay Sample on Early Childhood Development

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1850 words
Middlebury College
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Pre-school teachers undergo numerous challenges in their profession (Lindahl, 2015). Recently, I had the opportunity to interview a pre-school teacher with over ten years work experience. The interview was a success and I enjoyed interviewing her; she was very straightforward with her responses and I learned a lot from her. I got to learn that pre-school teachers are a level higher than kindergarten teachers. Additionally, the teacher disclosed that one requires academic qualifications to be certified as a preschool teacher. One needs to earn a high school diploma, work with children for some time before proceeding to earn a degree in ECD (Early Childhood Development). Later the certification follows and one has to maintain the certification to remain in the profession. The interview comprised of several questions that touched on various areas of the profession such as the daily experience, interaction with parents, what it takes to be a pre-school teacher, levels of qualification required, and the prospects in the profession.

Among the challenges pre-school teachers experience includes conflicts with parents resulting from how the teachers handle their children at school, the years required to get certified as a professional, the requirements employers require to employ an individual as a teacher and interacting with children with various temperaments. A teacher undergoes several stages that morph him or her to a professional. One stage that stood out during the interview was the stage where one gets to understand that patience pays. When joining the profession as a rookie, teachers undergo a lot of stress because they are not completely used to handling children. However, as time flies by and they gain more experience, handling children becomes an enjoyable and simple affair. The information deduced from the interview taught me that Early Childhood Development professionals are just like other professionals in other fields. People tend to despise teachers claiming their work is not as demanding as is the case in other professions. Teachers have to get certified to practice their profession and individuals should respect the fact that being a teacher does not belittle an individual. Teachers shape the future generations hence their profession is of great importance.

Parent Engagement

One key issue in early childhood programs is parent engagement. Parent engagement is an instance where parents are directly engaged with the progress of their children both at home and school. Early childhood educators need to establish effective and ongoing partnerships and communication with the parents to ensure children access the best possible learning opportunities and experiences available (Malczyk & Lawson, 2017). Educators will not be with the children all the time; when the children are at home or away from school, it is the duty of the parents or guardians to ensure the children proceed with their learning. Some parents are distant when it comes to engagement mainly due to the nature of their work. Some parents travel a lot and have little or no time to spend with their children and understand how they are progressing with their academics. In such instances, such parents should ensure they create time and follow up with the educators to ensure that their children get the best opportunities despite their absence in engagement.

A child whose parents are not engaged with his or her academics tends to fail in academics since no one is bothered to check the progress. Such a scenario creates room for the child to disobey educators and fail to put an effort in the studies. However, whenever parents follow up and attend the various functions hosted by the educators a message is sent to the child that his or her parents are keenly watching. Children want to make their parents happy and proud, and as a result, they tend to put more effort in their education to please their parents. Moreover, when parents are engaged with their childs progress they tend to ensure all requirements are met and the child is at school on time. Educators tend to give children homework and when parents are engaged, such children tend to excel in their studies. Parent engagement is an issue that needs addressing in the early childhood program to ensure all stakeholders succeed in their endeavors.

The e5 Instructional Model

The e5 instructional model best matches my personal educational beliefs since it enables educators to develop a deeper understanding of the things that constitute high-quality teaching practices. The model comprises of five Es namely; engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. In the engage stage, the educator fosters a relation between and with the students that aids in the learning process. The teacher helps the students in identifying processes or steps supporting the achievement or realization of learning goals. In the explore stage, the educator gives the children challenging tasks that assist them in generating and investigating questions leading to the gathering and development of relevant ideas and information. The educator is mindful of the responses and intervenes appropriately.

In the explain stage, the educator allows the children to express themselves either verbally, non-verbally, or both. Moreover, the educator teaches the students the language to use when answering various queries. In the elaborate stage, the educator engages the children in dialogue sharpening their understanding. The educator refines the childrens ability to provide feedback and understanding. In the evaluate stage, the educator assesses the childrens understanding by asking questions and receiving feedback. In the process, the educator is able to refine the childrens understanding and skills.

The e5 instructional model contributes to quality programming for young children since it gives them a chance to prove themselves to the educator. Children are able to answer questions and when they go wrong, the educator is in a better position to refine their understanding and skills. There is a popular saying that says Experience is the best teacher, I believe the instructional model exposes children to experience hence ensuring they have the best learning opportunities and challenges. Additionally, educators are in a better position to understand individual students strengths and weaknesses; not all students are similar, some are sharp at understanding concepts while others are slow.

Bruners Theory of Instruction

According to Takaya (2008), Bruners theory of instruction dictates that the best way to teach a child is by guiding him or her through a sequence of statements and restatements that will increase his or her ability to transform, grasp, and apply what he or she learns. It is my belief that the instructional theory best matches my personal educational belief since a child is able to be guided by an educator from a novice to a master. Children learn from their elders and guiding children greatly influences their future lives as the role models tend to shape the path a child will follow for life. Moreover, when learning, there are possibilities of making mistakes; however, the theory emphasizes that an individual is guided through a series of statements and restatements an indication that it is not always automatic that one understands a concept on the first trial. The fact that one is given an opportunity to try again makes the instructional theory my preferred choice.

Children are both quick at learning and forgetting hence making my choice of instructional theory ideal. Bruners instructional theory contributes to quality programming for young children by ensuring they are exposed to various learning instances. When the first trial is fruitless, the educator repeats the same concept a second time or even a third until the child understands. The theory ensures children do not proceed with further learning until they understand the basics hence making the learning outcome ideal. The goal of the instructional theory is to make a learner self-sufficient irrespective of whether the educator is present or absent. Children having difficulty understanding some instructions or facts may require additional classes to ensure they move along with the others. Such additional classes may include evening classes, holiday tuition, or home coaching.

Developmental Domains of Early Childhood

In order to understand the influences developmental domains of early childhood have on my ability to adhere to developmentally appropriate practices, it is appropriate to understand the five areas of child development. The five areas include the physical health, movement skills, and well-being; emotional and social development; general knowledge and thinking abilities; approaches to learning; and literacy, language, and communication. Understanding the five areas gives an overview of the expectations in early childhood (Bilton, 2013). Each of the five areas is vital to the growth and development of children. When some areas are a miss, there is a likelihood that the children may develop in undesirable ways that may have an impact on their future lives.

Basically, I understand that children learn better and faster when they are healthy and able to move around. Physical health allows children to play with others thus enhancing their learning abilities. When educating them, it is vital to include exercises in the curriculum to ensure they garner adequate strength and the overall physical fitness; sick children have difficult time learning. Social and emotional development are of similar value to a child as they aid him or her in creating relationships with others and gaining additional avenues of learning. Exposing children to a friendly and suitable environment assists in shaping them to better beings. Moreover, when children have adequate emotional and social development they tend to better their communication and language skills. When interacting with the others they tend to learn one or more new words or skills.

When one understands the developmental domains of early childhood there is a likelihood that the individual will be in a much better position to cater to the needs of the children. Educators who understand the five areas mentioned offer students the best learning opportunities hence increasing the speed of learning. Children are different from adults and their ability to understand and apply the knowledge they gain in real life requires time to master. Educators need to understand that fact and be patient.

Including Families in Childs Education

Families especially the parents can be extremely busy individuals. However, they need to be a part of their childs early childhood education program. Involving the families ensures the child has a supportive unit at home when the teacher is away. Learning is a continuous process and a child should be made to adapt to the norm. The most suitable plan to ensure families are included in a childs education would be knowing the availability of the families then inviting them as guests to the classroom and share a story or two with the classroom. Such an activity enhances the relationship between families and their children. Moreover, as an educator, I can request the families to suggest new topics that should be introduced into the current curriculum such as moving to a new home or something about adoption. Introducing new topics would ensure families get to learn and share with their children hence enhancing their childrens early childhood education.

Benefits of Including Families in Childs Education

Including families in the childs education is of paramount importance since it ensures that families follow up on their childrens progress in educational matters. Moreover, when families are involved, the children tend to focus more on their educa...

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