1. Reflect on your practice and think broadly about what impacts your work
Brainstorm and make a list of things that impact your work.
- The image of the child — though we know children are competent and capable as educators, we deal with a societal idea that children are “people in training” instead of people right now.
- Impact of systemic racism in education and navigating the decolonization of my practice.
- Incorporating social justice.
- Working during a pandemic (dealing with information, managing safety/sanitization protocols, staying up to date on policies, sharing information with families)
2. Think about the role of others in your professional practice. How do you seek, offer and consider feedback from others? What have you learned from others? What do others learn from you?
There are a select few amazing educators that I have connected with that have taught me the importance of resilience, creativity, and advocating for change for our profession. Through my work to expand the welcoming and inclusiveness of my classroom I have learned the dire importance of decolonizing my teaching.
I have shown people that quality care doesn’t need to be a centre based program, in can be in a home with a passionate educator that brings the children out into the wilds of the woods and the world to learn. That learning can be as natural as breathing in the right space.
As an advocate within our profession I taught others that we are not required to accept low wages because we “love our job.” When educators are not paid well, or respected in society, it reflects a lack of care for not just the educator but for children. Burnt out educators cannot provide the care children deserve.
3. Based on your professional practice and notes above, what additional knowledge, skills or resources do you need to support your strengths, areas for growth, leadership development or professional learning interests?
- I need to connect with resources to decolonize my teaching to create learning environments that truly embrace diversity and inclusion. It is necessary for this work to be uncomfortable, we cannot grow from a place of comfort when the work we are required to do is difficult.
- I want to take time to advocate for a drastic shift in our society that embraces a living wage for every person, not just Early Childhood Educators.