Professional development of an educator involves lifelong learning, compliance with standards and setting new ones, sharing knowledge and experiences. Another important component is doing comprehensive secondary sources research as well as observation and even implementation of some surveys. This paper includes an example of such elements of professional development. The focus is made on one of the standards for early childhood professional preparation.
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Standard 2 involves the focus on the development of family and community relationships. This standard includes three basic elements: understanding “family and community characteristics”, the involvement of communities and families through “respectful, reciprocal relationships”, and engagement of families and communities in the development and learning of children (2010 standards for initial early childhood professional preparation, 2011, p. 1).
This is an important standard to consider as it implies a holistic approach to education. The educator engages the family and community, which involves the focus on such spheres of children’s lives as the culture, socialization, emotional wellbeing and so on. Importantly, a proper environment is created as parents are more eager to participate in their children’s school life which is beneficial for all the stakeholders and the entire community (McFarland-Piazza, Lord, Smith & Downey, 2012).
According to Colker (2008), perseverance is one of the basic characteristic features of an effective teacher. This feature is manifested in the educator’s ability to understand the students’ needs through understanding their families and the community. Research on the standard in question may significantly improve an educator’s professional skills. For example, I will know more about strategies that can be employed to help me understand the family and community. I will also learn more about the ways to engage family and community into the children’s school life.
It is possible to implement a brief survey that will involve asking an early childhood professional the following questions.
- What communication strategies to address families and communities are effective? It is often difficult to reach parents and, especially, community.
- Is the standard achievable within the context of diverse communities? It is important to know whether educators see the standard effective and know children’s and their parents’ needs.
- What specific activities aimed at engaging families and communities can be employed? This can be used in my professional life.
- Have you had difficulties engaging families and communities? I will be able to avoid mistakes or develop the most efficient strategies.
- How exactly does children’s behavior change? I will understand whether the strategies used are effective.
The introduction to the survey will involve the purpose of the survey and its brief description. The purpose of the research is to examine strategies educate use to meet Standard 2. The engagement of family and community has proved to be effective as it positively affects the child’s development (Feeney, Galper & Seefeldt, 2009). Many educators have difficulties with engaging families and communities effectively. Therefore, it is crucial for a novice as well as seasoned teachers to share experience and their perspectives.
On balance, it is possible to note that the engagement of families and communities is crucial when it comes to meeting educational goals. Children benefit from this involvement as they gain knowledge in the proper environment. To achieve the standard, educators should train and implement research as well as share experience with their peers.
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2010 standards for initial early childhood professional preparation. (2011). Web.
Colker, L.J. (2008). Twelve characteristics of early childhood teachers. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web. Web.
Feeney, S., Galper, A., & Seefeldt, C. (2009). Continuing issues in early childhood education. Upper Saddle River, N. J: Merrill/Pearson. Web.
McFarland-Piazza, L., Lord, A., & Smith, M., Downey, B. (2012). The role of community-based playgroups in building relationships between pre-service teachers, families and the community. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(2). Web.