2 Feb

Beyond The Pages Book Study: Chapter 1 (Week 1)

By Kyra Ostendorf

Kyra ODear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to this first week of study and conversation on Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era by Stacie G. Goffin. I’m thrilled to be kicking this off and thank Dawn for the opportunity! Those of you who don’t know me may be wondering why Dawn asked me to contribute to this important book study. So, I’d like to share a bit about myself and will end this post by asking you to do the same.

About me with regards to this work: moving our field forward is at the core of everything I do. It’s the way I contribute to improving the quality of children’s lives. Before I can commit to working on a new resource for teachers, I ask myself: how will this resource make a difference in our field and for children? As chair of the newly formed NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council, I ask myself: how can we work together to strengthen our Association so that together, National AEYC and affiliates across the country can make a difference in our field and for children?

It’s this commitment to our field that lead me to invite Stacie to publish the Guide with Redleaf Press. I left Redleaf before being able to work on the book, so I’m especially pleased to contribute to the conversation with intent in this important book study.

In our shared role as facilitators for this book study, the guest experts have been charged with leading conversations with intent. It’s important that we’re all in agreement to be part of these conversations with intent. We’re not here to point fingers or stand on our soapboxes—we’re here to reflect, share, and open ourselves to the possibilities of having early childhood education become a professional field of practice.

Our conversation with intent is focused on (from page 63):

  • coming together as a field of practice to move beyond the limits of our individual understanding;
  • co-imagining different possibilities for organizing ECE as a professional field of practice; and
  • laying the groundwork for formally structuring ECE as a profession.

You’re invited to read ahead in the book, as chapter 2 has many questions that will be helpful to start considering in advance of those weeks in the book study. But don’t start answering those questions in your postings here just yet!

Let’s spend this week reflecting on why we care about this work and how we came to be in this field. Please share your role in ECE and one or two things we all need to know about you to “engage in conversation about ECE’s future as a professional field of practice” (page 68). Let’s begin the conversation! Leave a reply below.

With gratitude for all you do,

*New here? You can find all the book study details HERE. Happy reading!

This book study is sponsored by Redleaf Press



68 thoughts on “Beyond The Pages Book Study: Chapter 1 (Week 1)

  1. My entire professional career has been devoted to being an advocate for young children and families, but also helping others see our work as a profession, not a job. In this role I have the opportunity to lead and follow individuals who share my passion of making sure our youngest citizens have the right to quality early learning experiences provided by competent, caring, and valued teachers. I will continue to advocate by lending my voice, modeling in higher education, facilitating high-quality training, mentoring and coaching the next generation of leaders who will follow and lead with support and encouragement.

    1. Hi Sherilynn,

      Welcome! It sounds like you’re busy. 🙂
      What’s your current role in ECE?
      I’m also thinking it may be helpful for the conversation if we share where we’re from (U.S. state or other country) – could be nice to make those connections as we widen this conversation. Share only if you’re comfortable doing so!

      1. Hi All,
        I am from Philadelphia, PA. It’s a good busy, but fascinated by this topic which is very timely as we prepare for Universal Pre K in Philadelphia. Professionalism and professionalizing our field is a very timely discussion. I am glad to be a part of this conversation.

        1. Thanks, Sherilynn! It’s exciting to read about Philadelphia’s pre-K efforts. This conversation and work is timely, I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic of chapter one and the intro of the book! I am a Canadian ECE who has been practicing for over 17 years. I currently run a home based family child care program, educaring for 6 children at any given time (including my own who are in school full time). I have run my program since 2009, previously having worked for 11 years in day care centers in Alberta, Canada and Manitoba, Canada. I hope to help advocate for quality home based child care in both my Province and country of Canada, as well show society that the field of ECE is a profession that needs to be taken seriously!

  3. Hello, my name is Jodi. I work for a public school district in MN. I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher. I taught in that field for 21 years. This year, I am an instructional coach. I work with K-12th grade special education teachers, related service providers (OT, PT, SLP), Early Childhood Special Education teachers, and early childhood and parent educators in our Early Childhood Family Education program. My role is to provide job embedded professional development through the planning, observation and reflection process. I am fortunate in that I get to have focused conversations on a daily basis. My goal is to support conversations with educators that create space for them to plan and reflect. I use the cognitive coaching framework and other tools to support coaching conversations that might push their practice, and ultimately increase positive outcomes for the students.

    Because of my experiences, I value the role of early intervention, specific to children with special needs, but also with families who are experiencing risk factors that can impact the development of the young children in their homes. I also feel a sense of urgency in regards to advocating for early education. This is the first time in the span of my career that there has been this much attention on the field!

    I am looking forward to having meaningful, intentional, critical, brain aggravating, conversations with others who are advocating for this field.

    1. Hi Jodi,

      I hope you’re enjoying the snow we’re getting here in MN – it’s not winter without it! I think I recognize your name from the #ECEchat on Twitter (another great resource for ECE teachers). Thanks for sharing about your role in ECE. I agree with you that we are at a time and place where there is a sense of urgency to advocate. I hope these conversations with intent will help us figure out for ourselves how to move forward as a field. Good things to come…


  4. II have 15 years of experience as a preschool teacher and five years as a program director. I am currently an Early Learning supervisor for the MO Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. I have visited programs across the state and have seen such a range of qualities and teacher backgrounds and use of curriculum! I would love to see some conformity across different early education programs so that regardless of the funding source we are using. What we all know as early childhood educators is best practice.

    1. Hi Robin,

      Welcome! The issues you raise of uniformity and funding sources are important aspects of this conversation. Please share more of your insights and experiences as the conversation continues.


      1. I just reread my post and see it has several typos. I posted with my phone and evidently that’s not such a great idea for me…sorry! I wanted to share about an interesting meeting I had at my work. The Early Learning Supervisors were creating a communication plan for ways to inform administrators of the importance of high quality early education and best practices. It was exciting to have the Department of Education hear our concerns and create action steps! It was an exciting conversation and look forward to seeing the action plan get put into place!

      2. funding is always a problem. The families that can’t afford the program usually really need the help. it’s frustrating you get them the funding and then they don’t come.
        I like the idea of funding a preschool program, bur not sure kids need an all day pre-k program.

  5. My name is Mitzi. I am an infant teacher in an intergenerational child care center. My goal working with infants and their families is to provide quality services with a combination of attention to detail, consistency and the extraordinary in a fun and enthusiastic atmosphere. I am a volunteer for families who have had new diagnosis with type one diabetes under the age of two, encouraging them to be advocates for both themselves and their children. My previous experience was in corporate childcare and in that role felt very much like a “sitter” and not a knowledgeable resource.

  6. I feel that teaching people how to and that it is okay to advocate for themselves and their children sets the entire family dynamic off on the right start!

    1. Hi Mitzi,

      Caring for infants and supporting families is such important work. Your perspective on corporate child care and how that’s different from your current workplace will be interesting to hear more about as we move this conversation forward. If you can please share where you’re from (state or country), I’m hoping people connect to broaden the conversation on professionalizing ECE into our communities, too. Thanks!


        1. Another Minnesotan! This is great. Are you going to be at the MnAEYC-MnSACA conference this weekend? I’ll be there Saturday and would love to meet.

          1. I’m bummed I forgot about that there’s a MN AEYC conference. I’ve gone in the past and enjoyed the information and meeting new people in the field.

  7. Looking forward to reading more and participating in the important conversation about organizing ECE as a professional field of practice. As well as finding different possibilities for organizing ECE as a professional field of practice! It is time!

    1. Hi Lee Ann,

      Can you please tell us more about your role in ECE and one or two things we all need to know about you to “engage in conversation about ECE’s future as a professional field of practice.” Having these introductions will hopefully support the conversation as it progresses through the book. Thanks! -Kyra

  8. Hello! I’m Jennifer and have been working with children for almost 10 years now. I started out in a church-based child care center and it was my absolute favorite. I felt like I was making a difference in the children’s lives, and the parents were on board with my ideas and lessons that I taught to their preschoolers. I would work with children during the day or afternoon, and spend my free time in college earning my bachelor’s in child development.

    However, balancing a small paycheck with growing responsibility had me move to a different school, and eventually to a corporate child care setting where I’ve been since mid 2008. I truly enjoy my job but find myself at a point where I feel stale; like I need to do more with my career. I love caring for babies and have even have a 14 month old of my own, and working with my little guy has made me realize that there’s more to just a 9-5 “sitter” job. We even have had a parent ask us if we have “babysitting degrees”! I really want to make a difference and not just be considered someone’s sitter. It’s amazing the things those little minds can learn, even in infancy. I want other child care teachers to know their potential also; not just with the children but within themselves as well.

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing your story. This struggle of living wages is not a new one and isn’t unique to our field. However, I’m optimistic that conversations like the one we’re embarking on here together can (will?) move us forward to help child care teachers know their potential.


      1. I’ve taught in the field for 28 years. I started off as an ECFE teacher, I spent 3 nights a week working with families and working another job to pay the bills. then got married and tried to balance teaching and family. I think it’s important that we work with families and share how important they are in their child’s life and stay away from so much screen time. We need to go forth as educators and support each other and get the message out there, early education is important

  9. Hi, my name is Sandra. I have been a family child care provider for the past 18 years (with three years experience in a day care center prior to opening my own). I am currently a co-chair on a committee for a brand new family child care credential currently in the pilot stage in IL. I am also the President of the local family child care association, a CDA mentor, a PDA (professional development advisor) and I have been providing trainings for the past 13 years for the ECE field at local resource and referral agencies. These are a few of my many accomplishments over the years. Since opening my program in 1998, I have definitely seen a shift in the way FCC providers are viewed in the public. IL has made great strides in the right direction to help us be noticeable as a profession. However, we still have a long way to go. I look forward to learning from others and finding ways I can help professionalizing our field.

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for being here and for all the work you’re doing in Illinois! I, too, am looking forward to the learning from others in this conversation / book study. There’s so much potential and I think we’re off to a great start. Spread the word and invite your ECE friends and colleagues to join in. 🙂


  10. Hi,
    I’m Natalie and have been an early childhood head teacher for seven years and a school director for three (mostly in New York City). Since I always had children with disabilities in my classroom, I decided to go back to school for my masters in Early Childhood Special Education and later my Ph.D. I am now a researcher working with states to develop and sustain policies for early childhood teachers around professional development.

    I see so many differences between systems (Head Start, child care, public Pre-K, early childhood special education, early intervention) when it comes to early childhood professionals. My experience in New York City has taught me that it is possible to raise the bar, by requiring similar teacher requirements for all early childhood teachers (state certification in early childhood plus at minimum a bachelors, but in three years – a masters is required) regardless of funding source. However this is only possible when 1) demand for early childhood programs is great and 2) teacher pay is sufficient (which mostly it is in NYC).

    As a researcher and teacher educator, I know my role is to recruit eager people into the profession, help them learn best practices, and ensure that they stay in the profession for the long haul.

    1. Welcome, Natalie! Your role working with states on PD is one that I’d like to know more about – I hope you’ll share more as the conversation/book study continues. The PD efforts for preservice and in-service are critical to this work.


  11. Hello, I’m Jack Wright. I started in this field working on my doctorate in developmental psychology in the sixties. Piaget was my main source of information back then. I became a licensed psychologist in 1971 after being a United Methodist Minister for 15 years. I assisted people of all ages and social economic backgrounds (my ministry didn’t quit in that I saw many people for little, even nothing) for over forty years. In “retirement” I became a mental health consultant, and worked for seven years with an Early Head Start and Head Start agency observing over 200 preschool children and their staffs for three or four hours about every six weeks. I am now trying to promote research related to early childhood education by making presentations. I live and work on the Flathead reservation in Western Montana. My wife of 41 years is still cooking for the same agency I just retired from. She help me raise three sons after my divorce from their mother. They are all doing well. Stacie’s book has been very helpful for me. I haven’t been very connected with the ECE movement, and now understand it much better. I expect this discussion to also help me get more connected. Thank you, Dawn, for providing it.

    1. Welcome, Jack! Your story resonates with me, as my father is an ordained United Church of Christ minister who built a career in community organizing and social justice work. We are called to this work with children in much the same way a faith leader feels a calling. I look forward to reading your reflections and perspective in the coming weeks.


  12. Hello Everyone! My name is Cassia Simms-Smith. I was born and raised in North Carolina. I have experience as a preschool teacher, child care administrator and a childcare trainer and classroom resource for infant-toddler classrooms. I currently work at the local county level as a mentor/trainer. I am extremely passionate about the field of early childhood and would love to see our profession seen as just that, a profession. When I was pursuing my masters in Birth-Kindergarten teaching, I was asked several times why that was even needed or why I would want to go back to school for “that.” Let’s just say they got a polite quick and dirty about brain development :). I am eager to learn as much as I can to support early childhood professionals so that there is a positive impact on our youngest children.

    1. Welcome, Cassia! I have this great image of you sharing about brain development and defending our work – there really is so much to learn in order to be effective as a teacher working with young children, isn’t there? Thanks for being part of this conversation.


  13. Hi! I am writing from the snowy state of Minnesota! I have been in the field of Early Childhood for over thirty years! I began as a home daycare provider, caring for children for over ten years while taking classes her and there to further my knowledge. I then began to teach Head Start with an AA degree and a CDA. I wanted to know more and more so I pursued my Bachelors Degree and began teaching School Readiness for our local school District. Still not enough knowledge for me so I dove into a Masters program and earned a degree in Teaching and Learning. I kept teaching School Readiness and also was an adjunct teacher for a small college in Early Childhood. Today, I continue to teach School Readiness and am also a Community Resource Teacher, going into homes, Public Health and other local organizations, assisting parents to teach their child when pre-school is not an option for them. I love change!!!! It keeps me stimulated and excited to greet each new day!

    1. Hi Dianna,

      We’re gathering a few Minnesotans here (I am one, too)! Do you teach ECE at the college? I’m assuming so, but it’d be great to confirm that as we move forward in this conversation because you bring an unique combination of experiences when combining that with school readiness work and being a community resource teacher. Thanks for joining the conversation / book study.


  14. Hello all. . . . My name is Beth Detwiler. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., but have lived in western North Carolina since 1996. I am a lifelong learner and have always felt very comfortable in the school setting. I’m currently working on a master’s in Educational Leadership, Policy and Advocacy in Early Childhood at UNC-W, while raising four boys and working full time. (I’m SO much fun to be around theses days!) Part of my working role centers around working with early childhood educators in my community both as a technical assistance consultant and as a professional development counselor. In my small community we have such a wide range of education levels and professional characteristics (the way an individual “sees” themselves in their work). I’m looking for new ways in to working with adult learners–especially those who are more hesitant.

    1. Hi Beth,

      Thanks for joining the conversation. I mentioned above the important role PD has and would add here, of course, that advocacy is and will be needed as we move this work forward. So much to do!


  15. My name is Wendy, I have a BA in Education, with a Vermont Educators License, and have been a preschool teacher for 29 years. During those years, I have raised and homeschooled three creative daughters, operated a registered home day care, and worked in 3 different child care centers. My life is working with children and I love it!
    I love to learn, read everything I can get from NAEYC, and work toward being the best teacher I can be. I spread news about the need for quality care through a Vermont organization called Let’s Grow Kids!
    I feel I am a professional in the ways I dress, treat families and colleagues, and work with children. I see others around me who treat the “job” as just a paycheck. I hope we can change that with our actions.

    1. Welcome, Wendy! You bring a wealth of institutional memory to this conversation as well as an eagerness to grow and learn – both are important! Thank you.


  16. Hello fellow ECE professionals! I am coming a bit late to the party, but hope to “catch up” with the group this week. I have been working in the field for over 30 years – that dates me! I have been a classroom teacher, center director, trainer and coach, interim higher education faculty, and currently work for our Minnesota NAEYC affiliate, MnAEYC-MnSACA, as an Early Childhood Specialist.
    This book study interests me because I have experienced many different roles within our field, encountered many professionals, but we all have one thing in common – a passion and affinity to providing quality early experiences for children and support for their families.

    1. Hi, Nancy! Great to have you joining the conversation/book study – you’re not late, as folks can join anytime over the coming weeks. (months, too, I think) Thanks for your work with MnAEYC-MnSACA – looking forward to your perspective.


  17. Hi all…..I’m Carol and I have been an ECE professional for all my working years. I am in CT and for the last 18 or so years have been part of the CT Accreditation Facilitation Project. As a facilitator, I have helped programs through the NAEYC Accreditation self-study by looking at issues of quality. I’m currently housed in a community college and am also an adjunct in the ECE department. When I am introducing myself to my new students, I like to tell them that I have experienced working in many of the different settings that comprise the ECE field, small for-profit center, parent co-op center, church run center, college lab school center and many years with Head Start. For the last several years, I have heard Stacie ask us who is going to define ECE professionals, those that work in the field or letting some other body define us. It’s time for “us” to figure that out. I look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas.

  18. Hi,
    I am from the wonderful state of North Carolina. I have worked as a Pre-K teacher in the school systems for 11 years. I have also been a Community Based Rehabilitative Service Provider and a Service Coordinator for the Children’s Developmental Services Agency. Working in the school system has pros and cons, but I would love to see everyone consider ECE a profession that is extremely important!

    1. Welcome, Allison! Your role working with Pre-K in public schools is an important voice in this conversation. I look forward to hearing your perspective as the conversation/book study continues.


    1. How Exciting! Participants from around the globe! Welcome! Magdalena Palencia and I look forward to continued comments and interchange on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Chapter One continues to map out the strategies for conversation on this important subject.

      -Roseann Murphy

  19. Hi All….I am Meenakshi Dahal from Nepal
    I have been working in the field of Early Childhood care and development since last fifteen years. I am doing my Phd in Early Literacy. I am working as an early child development expert and child rights advocates for Government and non-government organizations . I am a trainer, a researcher, a presenter, and a teacher. I am also involved in designing policies, strategies, guidelines, programs, training packages and resource books / materials on ECCD, child rights, basic education focusing on girls’ enrollment and inclusiveness in ECED centers and schools. I have carried out a number of studies (research projects) and presented about it in various national and international Seminars and published as a book, chapters in various books and articles in national and international journals. Currently I am working as an Ambassador for Decade of Childhood for Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

    1. Hi Meenakshi,
      Thank you for joining this book study. Please tell us more about the Decade of Childhood for ACEI – does part of the focus include anything on the adults who work with children?


      1. Hi Kyra
        Sorry for late response.
        The Decade for childhood is an advocacy strategy for supporting children to ensure their rights. ACEI has developed ten pillars for better childhood and I am integrating these basic ten pillars in other programs in Nepal. We are working together with adults who works with and for

  20. Hi there. I’m Marian and I have been an early childhood professional in Ireland for just over 20 years. I am currently chair of a voluntary group called the Association of Childhood Professionals. We have been working to highlight the importance of foundation care and education and the hugely important role of the practitioner in ensuring high quality provision. Working conditions in our profession are very poor in Ireland due to insufficient state investment. Higher qualifications are required and responsibilities continue to grow but without the possibility of increased remuneration. Our professionals are on minimum wage and many are leaving as they can’t afford their own homes and basic living conditions. We are currently looking at unionising our profession so that our needs and concerns are taken seriously.

    1. Welcome, Marian! It’s great to have your perspective here. Unionizing ECE workers is happening in pockets within the U.S. with varied success (I guess it depends how you measure success) – we all have a lot to learn from each other.


  21. Hi,
    I am enjoying this book study. I am a mother and a new grandmother I have worked with children and families as a teacher in preschool through grade 8 in school settings and additionally as a children’s librarian.

  22. Hi,
    Sorry for the late reply. I am currently a director of a preschool program within a school district. We have 10 classrooms and a variety of funding sources. All of our rooms, ratios and teaching teams meet the highest quality standards and we have a state licensed teacher and two teaching assistants in each classroom. My two curiosities are:
    1. I am curious about improving higher education for early childhood professionals and
    2. I am curious about how we can ensure graduates are getting what they need to be successful in today’s field.


    1. Hi Dawn,
      Your points about higher ed and success for graduates are critical to this conversation and work. Please keep them at the forefront of your curiosities as you participate in the book study. We’re going to have to get higher ed engaged!


  23. Hello:
    I am excited to join the group. Sorry to join so late but just heard about this book study the other day and got my book last night. I am from Minneapolis, MN also. I have been a in home daycare provider for the last 34 years with many more to come. I enjoy working with the children and their families.
    I also would like to see our work looked at in a more professional way. Over the years I have done some volunteer work with some daycare organizations. I hate when I am contacting other groups or businesses only to hear them say we only work with or let educational groups come here. What do they think a child is born but can’t learn anything until they start school. If we are not teaching them how have they learned every thing they do and how to get along with others.
    This work is very rewarding, I still have contact with some of children that came to my home except now they are grown and some even have children of their own.
    Thank you for this group, I can’t wait to read more of the book and all of your posts.

    1. Welcome, Cindy! Glad you joined the conversation. The family child care experience for the adults and children is an important piece of this work!


  24. Hello everyone,
    I have joined this self paced book study recently so that’s why I am posting a bit late. My name is Brittany and I am from Hugo, MN. I have my own home based childcare. My role in the ECE world is to provide my families/kiddos with the best care in a loving environment while their parents are at work as well as preparing them educationally for kindergarten. I do a daily curriculum with them and making sure to stay positive and lift them up when they are having troubles trying to complete things that are new to them.

  25. Hi everybody, my name is Diana and I am pretty new to ECE having been in this field for not even two years! I currently am working in a daycare center as an assistant Pre school teacher and am excited to be a part of this book study! My education background is not in ECE, but rather history haha. So i am looking forward to learning a lot of new things about this field and how we can contribute to its professionalization!

  26. Self-paced participant here. A little late to the party and its taking me a while to catch up on all the posts! I am a fifteen year veteran, teacher toddlers in a corporate child care center setting in Minnesota. I love what I do. I refer to toddlers as “my people”. People that know me understand the work we do and how important it is. There are many times I feel the need to justify “child care” as ~real~ teaching, not babysitting. Professionalization of this field would help in legitimizing the importance of the work we do caring for young children.

    My husband has been in the field of parks and recreation for 35 years and when his field became “professional”, the required training standards and core competency areas, benefitted employees as well as all the public utilizing thier services. I do see the challenges before Early Childhood Education in that the services provided and the communities and families we provide it for are so diverse. Rural, urban, home, corporate, nanny, economically depressed, wealthy, etc. the list goes on. The checks and balances in place currently are budget constrained and hit or miss sometimes at best.

    I hope that in my teaching career I see the “professionalizing” of this field and benefit from it. For now, I am willing to be part of the “Conversations with Intent” to be a worker for change.

  27. I am a newly licensed daycare provider in MN (since 2015). I have been a licensed attorney since 2008. I’m currently practicing law and am not providing childcare, but want to maintain my daycare license.

    I was drawn to this field because working with children brings me joy and also, after years of traveling and working long hours, I wanted to spend more time with my two boys. My sons’ incredible teachers and the amazing centers for which they worked inspire me toward a standard of excellence in ECE.

    Two things that I would share about me to “engage in conversation about ECE’s future as a professional field of practice” would be: 1) I minored in Women’s Studies in college and 2) I have years of experience negotiating and overseeing the implementation of employment contracts.

  28. Hi! I am a 2 1/2-year old teacher in Wisconsin and have worked with young children for over 26 years. I also serve on the local NAEYC affiliate in Milwaukee as well as as our TEACH/REWARD Steering Committee, the TEACH Alliance Advisory Council, and a technical college early childhood advisory committee. I have always wanted to work with young children. I played school with my friends and my sisters since I was 4 (sometimes the student and sometimes the teacher). There was never a doubt in my mind that I would work with children in some way! My current goals include being part of the work to professionalize our field and to encourage other early childhood educators to raise their voices and be heard. I believe that we need to be part of the changes that affect us.

  29. Hello,
    My name is Holly. I am an infant teacher at new horizon academy. I have been a teacher for two years now and hoping to be a teacher for a long time. I love working with children. When I first started teaching I would love to watch the kids take their first steps or learn to crawl. Now I want to help them learn as much as possible. I joined this book study to learn more about the different struggles as an Early Childhood Educator.

  30. Hello,
    My name is Angie and I am a preschool teacher at a public charter school in MN. Previous to teaching at a school, I was an in-home childcare provider for 10 years. I have two children of my own, in which I homeschooled for a few years as well.
    Over the past few years, I have been working on a committee that is trying to develop pathways in the educational field. We have been working on the types of courses that ECE are taking to prepare them for the workforce. With all the levels of training that ECE have, we are trying to develop the pathways that will help educators stay in the field but also can grow in the field of education.
    This year, on top of teaching preschool in the morning, I am an Ameri-Coprs member. For my school, I go to the Kindergarten classroom and teach SEL skills and to be there to help them use their SEL skills in positive ways. It’s been a really eye opening experience to see how children develop from my classroom to the next year and see how they are able to use their skills. It is very clear that children are growing up with many different early childhood experiences and how those experiences are affecting their academic and SEL achievements.
    I am joining this book study to learn more about what we can do as ECE as a profession that needs to be taken more seriously for the sake of our children.

  31. Hello Everyone,

    I’m Steph and I currently run my own home daycare. I have been working in early child ed for 18 years and consider myself a professional, however I’m not sure thats how every one else sees it. I’ve joined this book study in hopes that I can learn some techniques to show that I really am a professional and not just a glorified babysitter.

  32. I have been in the early education field for 17 years, working with several ages and within different centers, I absolutely see myself as a professional. Currently, I am the assistant director at an early learning center in Minneapolis and one of the things that I am passionate about is having the field viewed as a professional field rather than a “job” to do. Many times I hear families and sometimes staff minimizing what it is that we are doing. We do essential work everyday and need to present ourselves as professionals before others can view us that way.

  33. I am currently a home based provider. I have worked in a Center as head teacher for 3 years, Stay at home mom for 1 year, in home provider for 3 years, worked in a school district as the before and after school provider and coordinator. Went to Administrative assistant or 2 years and now currently back as a home based provider. I am always looking for ways to improve my program: with families, curriculum and also professionalism. How to better myself as a provider. What makes my program stand out to the next. I see myself as a professional but i do know that not everyone does. Some peoples see me as a babysitter at that. I am hoping this book keeps that out of my head and not to let those people get to me.

  34. Hello! I am an Early Childhood Educator of over 20 years working with young children. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Family Social Science and a current Pre-K teaching License. I own and operate my own private preschool and am passionate about guiding young children in Early Learning. I love creating curriculum and activities to engage children. I feel we are our best advocates and if we present ourselves as professionals in what we do, others will view us as this as well. We need to talk the talk, walk the walk, and be that which we wish for others to see us. I look forward to this book study.

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