Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Thought’s on Early Childhood Care

ECED 420 – Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

“Thank you!” I just wanted to take this opportunity to say how this course (ECED 420) and everyone’s (fellow classmates and Dr. Iorio) thoughts and opinion open my eyes on to early childhood care. It’s funny that among teachers we tend to blame each other if a student is not achieving his/her level of education.

For example, I have friends who are teachers in Secondary Education (7th – 12th graders) who blames elementary teachers (me) for not doing our jobs in teaching and preparing those students for high school level of education. Taking this course open my eyes to this, it is so important for children to be enrolled in early childhood care. Early childhood care is the foundation to every child education. Early childhood care prepares them to basic level of learning and understanding. Children who don’t attend early childhood care will have a difficult time in learning. Don’t get me wrong children will still learn but it will just take them a little longer.

Teachers in early childhood care, in elementary education, in secondary education, and to college level education, we all need to work together and recognize what roles we play as teachers. We need to support early childhood care because it’s the foundation for every child education.

So my hat goes off to all the people who works in early childhood care, from administrations to the teachers “Keep up with the good work!”

Everyone, have a safe and wonderful Christmas holidays and God bless you all!

Peace & Aloha,

Mr. Gary

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Financing and Budgeting

Chapter 7 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

“Money Talks!” While reading this chapter I realize that money talks. As teachers how can I say to the parents of my students that I can’t help your child because I’m not getting paid enough, there are no programs here to help your child because there is no funding, and I don’t have the time to teach your child because I just don’t have the “time!” due to furlough Fridays.

This chapter got me thinking “What will happen to me once I become a full time teacher with HI- D.O.E.?” What role will I play?, what role does our government play?, and how can our government help out in our education system? Regarding out government, here is what this chapter said:

“The government contributes to low-quality care when its agencies impost payment at market rate (i.e., subsidies are capped at levels determined by what families with average incomes are supposed willing to pay) for child care services or fail to provide higher reimbursement for higher quality care. Generally speaking, governmental agencies use estimated cash costs to determine what they will pay for services, and thus, to some degree, circularity results. In other words, because agencies pay a certain number of dollars, program designers plan their programs on the basis of expected amounts of money. If funded the first year, program designers write a similar program the next year in hopes of being refunded. Thus, the agency pays approximately the same amount again and the cycle continues. The program is thus designed around a specific dollar value whether or not it makes for the “best” program.”

“WOW!” Are you kidding me? There is got to be another way raise funds without jeopardizing quality teachers and good programs. I would run some kind of fundraising events at least once a month, like Cars wash, Huli Huli Chicken, Bake sales, and small carnival on the weekend on school ground. I would definitely do something or get involved to rise some funding for my school programs.

Marketing Your Child Care and Education Program

Chapter 8 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Why is marketing so important to your childhood care center? Marketing helps the center explain what it can provide for the children in the community.

“According to the American Marketing Association (2207), Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. In other words, marketing encompasses much more than advertisement (contrary to popular perception). It includes deciding on the type of product you will offer, deciding what consumer (client) you will target (market segmentation strategy), identifying that client’s needs and desires, and then designing and refining your product to meet the needs of your client.”

If I was in charge of marketing for a childhood care center, I would start with a marketing plan:

1. Student’s specific needs.

2. How a program might be designed to meet the need?

3. How each program wills admission the service to the student?

4. How much the parents might be willing to pay for their child service?

5. Who the competitors are?

6. How to design our child care center to be different from other childcare center?

7. And, last naming the early childhood center were the community can identify it.

This is how I would market my Early Childhood Center. ;-D

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Providing Nutrition, Health, and Safety Services

Chapter 10 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

It’s so important to have an adequate nutrition menu in an education system. Especially during early childhood care were there are periods of rapid growth for every student. Without that students become very vulnerable to harm from malnutrition. According to Planning and Administering Early Childhood Programs by Decker, Decker, Freeman, & Knopf, 2009.

“A comprehensive approach to nutrition, health, and safety services in early childhood programs requires you to: Provide children nutritious meals and snacks. Make sure the environment for children’s care and education is healthy and safe. Educate children, staff, and families on importance of health, safety, and nutrition. This includes emphasizing the importance of prenatal care and nutrition as appropriate.”

In our school we have a weekly menu that we follow:

Breakfast – High Vitamin C, Fruit Juice, and Eggs, Meat and/or Milk, Bread or Cereal, and Beverage

Lunch – Meat, Fish, or Poultry. Bread, Rice or substitute Green leafy or yellow Vegetable and/or Salad, Fruit or Dessert, and Beverage

We need to promote good nutrition in all our schools, especially in our early childhood care centers. With this nutrition and a healthy diet we will be able to supports our student’s immune systems. This way our students can stay healthy and have enough energy to learn, plays, exercise and explore their own little world.

“Now days early childhood programs are becoming more focused than ever on ensuring that children are offered a variety of appealing foods with high nutritional value.” (Decker, Decker, Freeman, & Knopf, 2009).


H1N1 Flu and Your Program

What is 2009 H1N1 influenza? According to Hawaii Department of Health "2009 H1N1 influenza (sometimes called Swine Flu) it is caused by a new strain of influenza virus. This can be spread from one person to another person through coughing, sneezing, and sometimes through touching objects contaminated with the virus. Here are some signs: Fatigue, Chills, Fever, Coughing, Sore Throat, Sneezing and Muscle Aches. Also, some people may have diarrhea and vomiting.

The Federal Government is providing this vaccine for receipt on a voluntary basis. However, state law or employers may require vaccination for certain persons. The Department of Health conducted influenza vaccinations on our school campus today. November 24, 2009. I decided to take the shot. With all the hype it wasn’t that bad. ;-D

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crossing Boundaries

Crossing Boundaries: A Variety of Perspectives on Preschool Stories (Iorio & Visweswaraiah)

Aloha Everyone!

While reading Crossing Boundaries: A Variety of Perspectives on Preschool Stories (Iorio & Visweswaraiah): It reminded me of a bad experience I went through in my past but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Before I started working for HIDOE, I work at a non-profit organization for 3 years as a skills trainer (my part-time job) while attending school. I loved working as a ST (skills trainer), until I was confronted with a dilemma, reporting on a staff member who was abusing couple of our students who was mentally challenges. This staff would mentally abuse them and sometime use physical focus. With the physical force right away there was couple of staff members including me reported this immediately to our supervisor. Well as time went by it seems that nothing was done. Later on that month I was inform that our supervisor just gave this staff a verbal warning. “WOW!”

The protocol with this company was to report any incident to our immediately supervisor (through the chain of commands) and I felt that didn’t work. But here’s the real problem, this certain staff who was abusing our students has been with this company for over 8 years and had friends in management position. Morally, this didn’t sit right with me. It’s sad to say this, but I had to think about it for a while before deciding to report it to upper management. I was thinking about my job, should I turn the other way and just collect my paycheck and say nothing or should I report it and make my work environment a harmful place for me (mentally and spiritually) to work at. Now, let’s not forget about the two students who is being abuse by this staff.

Now here is where I cross the boundaries, to make a long story short, I reported this incident to the vice president of the company through e-mail messages and a written report on the incident. They did an internal investigation and within a month or so I left this company (some people at work wasn’t being nice to me) and 4 months later this staff member got fired because of code of ethics, behavior management, and abuse & neglect of a clients/student by parent, legal guardian, caregivers & staff.

This was my turning point of my professional career before I became a teacher. I called this “The crossroad to my character” What I have learned through this event is that, I can not hesitate when it comes down to the well being of a child (student) who is helpless. I became a stronger advocate for my students because of this incident and I learned two things to do as a teacher. Take a lot of notes and documentations to back you up when you are planning to report anyone who is doing wrong. That’s the best advice I could give to you all ;-D!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Assessment: An Essential Component Of Effective Early Childhood Programming

Chapter 11 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

Before a student is accepted in our school they need to go through a screening assessments this determine an in-depth assessment of that student. They also need to go through a diagnostic assessment this identify a special plans (interventions) for that student.

I do believe that assessment does benefit both the teacher and the student. Performance assessment and documentation are method we use in school. These process helps a teacher understand his/or her student’s growth and learning development.

“Assessment is an essential component of the evaluation process through which professionals collect and analyze data to help gain an understanding of children’s development and program effectiveness.”

We also use naturalistic observation in our school and this method is awesome in my opinion. We let our students engaged in regular day to day activities this allows us to see our students individuality.

The Quality of Assessment in Early Childhood Education

The four principles of Te Whariki was interesting to me. First Kei Tua o te Pae helps teachers improve their teaching with a series of books to show how children and parents can contribute to their child’s assessment and learning goals. As teachers we have parents meeting were we discuss their Childs learning goals, we have teachers training program to learn about new up-dated learning skills, and books to keep us informed with new ideas and theory.
Second Te Whatu Pōkeka “provide a resource based on a kaupapa Māori perspective and context.” My fellow classmate, I don’t understand what this is saying “The focus of the resource is the assessment in early childhood setting?” Third Assessment for Learning this involves noticing, recognising and responding to a student’s learning skills. As a teacher this helps me understand my student learning skills. I learn something new about my students when I use this method. And last, Learning outcomes this includes quality teaching with learning practice in early childhood care, this improves learning outcomes for my students. The quality of assessment is so important in early childhood education. Like I said in some of my earlier blogs, early childhood care is a student’s learning foundation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Characteristics of Space

Chapter 4 / Caring Spaces

Aloha Everyone!

It’s all about transition from inside and outside, from one point to another point, the flow in entries and pathways, and space within the classroom environment. We as teachers need to set up our classroom with our students in mind. The Chinese believes in harmony within their environment this is called Feng Shui.

Feng Shui - ”is a 5,000 year-old Chinese philosophy about understanding the laws of nature and the relationship between human being and their environment to live in harmony. Feng Shui is translated to wind and water is the study of the flow of energy in relations to nature, objects, and people. Everything around us is connected and has the potential to affect our well being. The life force ch’i is thought to be a vital force that breathes life into plants, animals, and humankind, and inflates the earth to form hills and mountains. It is important that the ch’i in living things and the atmospheric ch’i are in harmony. If we accept that and live with nature rather than against nature and incorporate beauty, warmth, gentleness, order, and other positive aspects of life into our setting, rather than disorder, ugliness, discordant noise, and symbols of indifference towards life and nature, we will live and work in an environment that is healthier for us and the environment around us.”

I totally believe in the laws of nature between human being and their environment. My grandmother is Chinese (my father’s mother) and I believe that we need to respect everything that mother nature gives out to us. So let us start with our students by making their classroom environment flowing with learning harmony. ;-D


Swine Flu Update / October 27, 2009

I’m so glad that we have a strategy plan for swine flu. This information is from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1) Get vaccinated against the flu, 2) Stay home when sick, 3) Early childhood programs, parents, or state and local health officials may elect to require longer periods of exclusion, 4) Conduct daily health checks, 5) Separate ill children and staff, 6) Encourage hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette of both people who are well and those who have any symptoms of flu, 7) Perform routine environmental cleaning, 8) Encourage early treatment for children and staff at high risk for flu complications, and 9) Consider selective early childhood program closures. This information is so important for everyone who has contact with children.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creating Quality Learning Environment

Chapter 6 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

Quality Learning Environment, “WOW!” Reading this chapter, I didn’t realize this is important for our students. Planning a new or renovated facility we need to consider structure building, zoning laws regulations, flexibility is essential for indoor and outdoor environment, safety for children and staffs, and arrangements of space and materials (pg. 123 & 124). Entry and exit area is also important to think about, this will leave an impression to the parents and children who arrive and leave the classroom (pg. 125).

Arrangement of a classroom will also meet a program goal. We need to think about colors, lighting, sound, floors, ceilings, walls, storage, display area, and arranging and furnishing classroom (pg. 126 - 130). I like the floor plans that this chapter offered figure 6.1 – infant floor plan, figure 6.2 – toddler floor plan, figure 6.3 – large indoor block center/area, figure 6.4 – art center, figure 6.5 – cooking center, figure 6.6 – constructive toy center, figure 6.7 – emerging literacy and book center, figure 6.8 – floor plan for 3 years old, figure 6.9 – floor plan for 4 years old, and figure 6.10 floor plan for school age care. This is an awesome arrangement for early childhood, pre-school and elementary classrooms. In my case, I will definitely use these floor plans (pg. 139 – 151).


Evaluating Your Leadership Strengths / October 14, 2009

This article evaluating your leadership strengths is a must for administrators and teachers. I go through a supervision meeting with my supervisor once a month and in this meeting we talk about my weakness and strength. But to evaluate myself is a challenge, because I think I’m “perfect!” Ha! Ha! Ha! I’m joking ;-D I need feedbacks from other teachers that I work with, this helps me stay focus on my goals for my students.

Peter F. Drucker said: “Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at—and even then more people are wrong than right. And yet, a person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone on something one cannot do at all.”

This is true in my case, at the end of every week I take time to think about that past week and see if I could have done it better. I always ask for help from experience teachers if I can’t find any solution to my problem in school. That is one of my strength I’m not afraid to ask for “HELP!”