Discussion 1: What Does It Mean to Be an Early Childhood Professional?
A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils. —Ever Garrison, early childhood author and educator
The impact of the field of early childhood on children’s development and learning is dramatic, long lasting, and contingent upon the work of well-prepared, knowledgeable, skilled early childhood professionals. Your potential role in supporting young children, their families, your colleagues, and the communities in which children grow and develop is limited only by your own knowledge, skills, passion, imagination, energies, and opportunities.
It is likely you have come to this point in your studies with a strong conception of the field of early childhood and your potential role within this vast and important field. An essential aspect of the early childhood professional’s role is articulating the critical role of the field to others; particularly evidence that demonstrates how essential well-trained professionals are in supporting positive developmental outcomes for young children and their families.
Consider this scenario: Imagine that you are in an elevator on your way to a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference. Someone sees your identification badge and asks you about the conference. You explain that you are attending a conference for early childhood professionals. The person laughs and replies, “What’s an early childhood professional? Someone who babysits all day?”
In 1pg you explain with this person and develop an “elevator speech” that explains how you define your role as an early childhood professional, and identify at least three evidence-based reasons why early childhood professionals are vitally important to society and the early childhood field.