I can't believe we finally did it!! I'm not going to lie, this whole program was very challenging for me. From learning how to do research again, to re-learning how to write papers, to learning to how to blog and most of all learning how to juggle working full time, being a wife and being a mother through it all. I'm so grateful to have experienced this journey with a group of people who share that same passion as I do. If I had to think to three deeply felt learnings from this program I would say that the knowledge I have gained regarding diversity and equity have influenced me greatly in how I look at the opportunities that I have had and that others have had around me. Secondly, creating a professional learning community has broadened my understanding of how early childhood programs and issues are handled all around the world. Thirdly, I have learned so much regarding intentional and unintentional consequences. This knowledge has helped me to look at ideas from many different angles and take into consideration how one idea/problem/project has the power to influence many different aspects of the lives of young children. A long term goal which I have is to become a college professor and teach aspiring early childhood teachers. I am hoping to explore opportunities to teach adults in my community currently with the hopes of one day returning to school for my Doctorate. Finally, thank you to everyone for your feedback, encouragement and thought provoking posts which have helped me to grow as a person and a professional. Best of luck to all of you as you continue to pursue your passion of working with young children and their families!!!
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The following three international organizations or communities of practice appealed to me as I researched for this week's blog post:
1) Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (http://www.oecd.org) -This organization appealed to me because of the how it uses its platform to explore how different countries and governments are implementing many different policies which directly affect people's lives. In fact, its mission is to find ways to improve "economic and social well-being" for people all around the world (OECD, n.d.). This organization appealed to me because of how it focuses on improving the lives of people's overall well-being all around the world. In doing so, it presents a different avenue to improve the lives of young children. One employment opportunity which I found on their website is for a Policy Analyst – 21st Century Children. This position requires applicants to have 5 years of experience in research and analytical activities, experience as a project manager, experience with organizing meetings/trainings and vast knowledge of research in the area of child development and child well-being. Applicants must also be fluent in at least English and French.
2) United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (http://www.unesco.org) - UNESCO is an organization that works toward creating an international community which allows for communication and collaboration regarding a variety of topics which affect all citizens. I chose this organization because one of their overarching principles is that of "attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning" (UNESCO, 2011). In addition, this organization is the "only United Nations agency with a mandate to cover all aspects of education" (UNESCO, 2011). One employment opportunity which I found on this website is for a Program Specialist in the domain of Communication and Information-Freedom. For this position applicants must have a Masters (or master's equivalent) in one of the following: communication, information, political science or a related field. Applicants must have a minimum of 7 years managing, coordinating and monitoring communication and media development programs. In addition, applicants must have advanced IT skills and be fluent in English or French (fluency in more than one language is preferred).
3) United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) (http://www.unicef.org/) - UNICEF is an organization which works toward defending the right of every child on an international platform. Different programs which are covered by this organization include: child protection and inclusion, child survival, education, emergencies, gender, innovation for children, supply and logistics, and research and analysis. I chose this organization because of the work they do to advocate for children with disabilities. "UNICEF's vision is to build a world where every child can grow up healthy, protected from harm and educated, so they can reach their full potential" (UNICEF, n.d.). One job opportunity which I found with this organization is for an International Consultant to strengthen inclusive education in the schools of Maldives. For this position, applicants must have a Master's degree in inclusive education, at least 5 years teaching experience in inclusive education settings, at least 5 years of experience in developing policies and programs related to inclusive education, must have current knowledge of trends in inclusive education, excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) and must be able to manage diverse view points and work in demanding situations.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.oecd.org/home/0,2987,en_2649_201185_1_1_1_1_1,00.html
United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2011). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/introducing-unesco/
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.unicef.org/
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The following three national/federal organizations or communities of practice appealed to me as I researched for this week's blog post:
1) The Division of Early Childhood (www.dec-sped.org). "The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities" (DEC, n.d.). I chose this organization because its mission statement reflects the passion I have for helping children with disabilities and their families find ways to access services which will help their children grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential. A second reason I chose this organization is because of the networking opportunities it establishes between Early Childhood Educators and Early Childhood Special Educators around the world. One employment opportunity which I found on their website is for an Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. This position requires applicants to have a doctorate in special education (or Master's level applicants who will commit to pursuing their doctorate within 7 years of employment). A minimum of 3 years teaching experience (PK-12). Experience in inclusive and collaborative settings is preferred along with experience in Early Childhood Special Education.
2) The Council for Exceptional Children (www.cec.sped.org). "The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities" (CEC, n.d.). I chose this organization because of its focus on professional development. On their website there are links to information regarding policy and advocacy which I found to be especially helpful. There are also connections to international issues related to special education and resources for families which will help them navigate the special education field. One employment opportunity which I found on their website is for a Director of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education. This Center provides professional development opportunities, direct services to children with hearing impairments, and services for students with disabilities in regard to pre-employment transition services. Experience needed for this position includes a Master's degree in special education (or a related field) however a Doctorate is preferred, administrative experience, grant preparation experience, knowledge of state and federal laws governing services to persons with disabilities, and strong oral and written communication skills.
3) The Children's Fund (CDF) (http://www.childrensdefense.org/). "The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities" (CDF, n.d.). I chose this organization because of their focus on children with disabilities. They are a national agency which has an impact at the state as well as the community level. One of their projects which spoke to me is their Early Childhood Developing and Learning Project. The focus of CDF's work here is to help all children gain access to quality early childhood programs through quality home visiting, Early Head Start, Head Start, quality child care, preschool and full-day kindergarten. One employment opportunity which I found through their organization is for the Executive Director-Children's Defense Fund-California. Although this role interests me, I know it will be a long time until I have the experience that it would require to be successful at it. I'm just trying to dream big! The Executive Director would be in charge or instituting policies, promoting advocacy, and programs for California’s children. "Candidates should have an aptitude for leading multiple streams of complex work, extensive direct management, fundraising, policy and advocacy experience, and a passion for leveling the playing field for California’s children" (CDF, n.d.). Some of the Executive Director's job responsibilities would include: guiding the development and implementation of programs; supervising employees; leading fundraising efforts; building and maintaining cooperative working relationships with a broad and diverse array of key stakeholders including child advocacy groups, community-based organizations, legislators and policy makers, the faith community; and serving as the primary spokesperson for CDF-CA (CDF, n.d.). Skills and experience needed for this position include (but are not limited to): commitment to issues impacting children and families, evidence of significant leadership capacity to manage a large team of 15, experience in non-profit fundraising, strong organization and interpersonal skills, experience working on and with a team, experience with city and state-level legislative and budget advocacy.
Children's Defense Fund. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2017 from http://www.childrensdefense.org
Council for Exceptional Children. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2017 from http://www.dec-sped.org
The Division for Early Childhood. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2017 from http://www.dec-sped.org/