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!”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Working With Families and Communities

Chapter 12 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

While reading this chapter I realized that working with families and communities can be a big benefit for the children especially in early childhood care. Early childhood care and family program involvement goes back to the early 1900’s one of the first pioneering programs that recognized the family is the first teacher in that child’s life. (pg. 308)

Benefits for Children: “Children are at a tremendous advantage when families and teachers agree on what they expect children will learn and be able to do.” (pg. 310)

Benefits for Families: “Parents benefit when they take advantage of opportunities to participate in their children’s early childhood educational experiences.” (pg. 310)

Working with families and communities could be very challenging for administrators and teachers. I can only speak for myself as a teacher, like I said in my last blog “I’m in it for the children” I will work with the families and the communities even if it’s very difficult. There are so many resources out there for administrators and teachers that nothing is impossible. That’s what I believe. ;-D!


Spanking Lowers IQ / October 13, 2009

This article was very interesting to me, “Spanking lower children IQ?” CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said:

“Among children ages 2 to 4, there was a five point difference between children who were spanked and those that weren't. And among children from 5 to 9 years old, there was a 2.8 point difference between the two groups. Also, the study controlled socioeconomic factors, Ashton said, such as the educational level of parents and income. However, Ashton pointed out, the study found this was just an association -- not a cause-and-effect finding.”

They must say that socioeconomic factors, educational level of parents, family income, and spanking too may lower children IQ. This I might believe. I was spank a lot of times when I was a child, but my Mother and Father also explains to me why I was being spank and 80% of the time I deserve it. Bottom line I think I came out “Okay?”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Planning The Children’s Program

Chapter 9 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

Planning a children program is a big responsibility for teachers. Curriculum is a plan for learning, this helps the teachers think about their students and help organize their experiences in the program setting. (pg. 211) “Curriculum activities must be organized in some manner. Children want to make sense of their physical and social world and to do so must build on their prior knowledge and skills.” But before we implement a curriculum we need to consider other aspects like adult-child ratios. On page 235 Table 9.5 is a recommended adult-child ratios within group size. This is an awesome table to follow but due to low funding in the D.O.E. system I can’t see us following this table 9.5 figure.

Also, due to political interest teachers need to think about standards too, which is expectation for learning and development. Here are four specific terms used to refer to standards: Program standards, content standards, benchmark, and performance standards. (pg. 215) It is so important to follow these standards.

I believe that having a good curriculum and standards is the core to a successful children program. This helps us as teachers to be more effective in working with our students.

But here’s my question to you all: “How do we plan a children program to be successful with low funding or no funding?” ;-(


Getting Your Message Across / September 29, 2009

I like reading this article! It opens my eyes to different situation that I might experience while getting my message across. Like Helen Keller said:

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable”.

I’m a man of faith and if I want to get my message across to my students, I can’t worry about the big picture (Hawaii’s bad economy). I’m just going to do my part as a teacher with funding, low funding, or no funding. Technology (internet, wide world web sites) now, there are so much recourse out there for teachers. I’m going to use what I have and somehow make it work. As a teacher I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it for our children the future generation. ;-D

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Contributing To The Profession / Seeing Beyond Problems

Chapter 13/ Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

One of the responsibilities of a director is helping others find a place in this profession of early childhood care and in the education system. “Professionalism!” I think this is one of the keys for a successful program. Professionals possess specialized knowledge, prolonged training, requirements for entry, standards of practice, significant societal need, altruistic, service-oriented, and indispensable service (page 340).

Reading this chapter opened my eyes to two positions in the education system. Individual advocacy – a person(s) working for the children and family. Collective Advocacy - a person(s) working for young children, working mothers, and/or individual with disabilities. I didn’t realize that there are different roles that people plays in the education system. Some advocates will be leaders, advisors, researchers, contributors, and a friend (pages 343 – 345).

It is our duty as administrators and as teachers to advocate for our children in early childhood care and in the education system. Also to give back to this profession we need to always think “Professionalism!”


Seeing Beyond Problems / October 2, 2009

A director needs to see beyond any problems in order to make a program successful or become successful.

In this reading the director started his first six months with difficulty due to staff members quitting and lot of students with behavior problems. This director still believed he can make it work and in the end, it turned out to be a blessing. He hired new staffs that had the same goals as he did. Being more committed in helping students with behavior problems, his program became successful!

"Lesson Learned: Some things just take time. As hard as it is for most of us to accept, most problems can’t be fixed immediately. Take some time, cry a little, and hang on. It will get better."