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Running head: BOOK REFLECTION 1

Book Reflection

Carol Roque

Pacific Oaks
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Deb Curtis and Margie Carter expressed some issues that confront early childhood

education in their book Learning Together with Young Children. Some of the issues that were

mentioned in the book have to do with the current approaches that teachers need to follow now.

They question and compare the way teachers taught early childhood education in the past to only

find how many teachers now are getting robbed from what used to be joyful teaching. Teaching

times are very different now compared to the way it used to be in the past. They believe that the

United States are restricting teachers from teaching from the heart by barricading them with so

many rules, policies and requirements they have to meet.

There are several things that have changed that makes Headstart/preschool different now

than what it was before. Before teachers were able to create their own lesson plans and now they

are limited and assigned themes to focus on along with other requirements and criteria they have

to meet. Most of the problems that are mentioned relate to the way the United States perceives to

be an adequate early childhood education. For example, one of the problems mentioned is how

policy makers are dismissing professional knowledge, decision-making power and replacing it

with teacher directed curriculums and academic testing. Instead of the teacher having the power

to rule out where a child stands when it comes to academics, testing takes place and determines

whether the child is learning in the classroom or not. Other problems that stood out was how play

is not considered to be a practicable source of curriculum and how adults view children as

having to be prepared and fixed in early childhood education. Teachers dont really have too

many choices when it comes to changing the way things operate in the Headstart, but to make the

best out of the it.

In our society, our state gets to define what quality education is. Licensing and LACOE

(Los Angeles County Office of Education) also determine what quality education looks like as
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well, by checking to see if the agencies they support are meeting up to their requirements. In my

specific work environment, which is working at HeadStart/state preschool, our director is

responsible for making sure the employees are following all Headstart regulations and

procedures that makes a good quality education in which is also monitored by LACOE. Some of

the values that are prioritized in our work environment is making sure the children are safe at all

times in the classroom. Making sure every child is receiving good quality education by making

sure teachers are following curriculum, schedules, providing the children with equal

individualized attention. Other values include establishing an understanding/supportive learning

environment for children and their families as well as embracing and being open to any diversity.

My philosophy is to educate children in a way children can learn, engage, and have fun

while learning all together. Even though there are so many requirements we must meet and

follow through, I believe it is possible to teach and make it a fun educational teaching experience

for the children. I do agree with what Curtis and Carter expressed in their book, how now

teaching is very different now than it was before. I been working for the school district for 8

years now, and I can honestly express that I was able to enjoy my job more back then compared

to now. Every year new requirements are added for us to implement inside the classroom or to

implement with the children, which sometimes adds stress because of the time frame we have to

complete certain paper work or tasks. There are different ways I can put my philosophy into

practice and ways I can improve. Chapter 7 was interesting because of the different ways that

were stated to turn frustration in the work environment into determination. A few examples that

stood out to me and taking into consideration is reminding myself why I am in the teaching field,

which will help me focus in figuring out and trying different ways to make the environment a

joyful experience for the children and myself. If something doesnt work, it is important to stay
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determined and find different ways to find what works best. Most importantly, my goal is

whatever challenge that is present, to critically find ways to keep connecting with the children

and continue to make the most out of the criteria that we need to deliver to the children as well as

finding ways to record keep without losing focus during class time.

The term strengths-based approach to me means helping out a person to resolve their

problems or challenges by only focusing on their positive aspects, strengths, and abilities. I think

our role as a teacher when using this approach, is to serve them as a support system, by being

active listeners, empowering them, encouraging them to make decisions of their own, and

believing that every individual has the ability to solve or resolve problems they have. Other than

being supportive, I think it is also important to keep an open mind while being an advocate, by

leaving our biases, negative thinking or doubt behind. This term is actually put into practice on

daily basis even though we sometimes may not be aware of it. We encourage children to be

independent and when they say they cannot do it, we encourage them to try and keep trying until

they have mastered whatever their challenge was. When it comes to families, we listen to any

problems they share with us, if we can assist them in any way we do, if we cant we refer them

out to a specialist/consultant who will be of better service and doing that is still considered to

have provided help. When it comes to our own self-reflection, we use the same approach. We

find different ways to make things work. We dont give up because I believe that giving up is not

an option. We keep looking for options or alternatives to resolve whatever it is that is troubling

us. There are different possibilities that this approach can bestow. It is important to value and

respect the different approaches a person takes when using this approach.
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Reference

Curtis, D., & Carter, M. (2008). Learning together with young children: A curriculum framework
for reflective teachers. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.