Saturday, November 14, 2015

Great video on why we should invest in early childhood programs

The Walden University Early Childhood Organization (WUECO) is a great organization that I'm involved in and a fellow member shared a video that her professor shared and I wanted to share. Thanks.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Great Article on First Year Teachers and Not Giving Up

Hello. A friend of mine shared with me a great story that was on NPR on first year teachers. Here is the link. The mentor teacher referenced in the article also recently wrote a book of advice for teachers by teachers called, 'See Me After Class,' and she emails advice to new teachers who sign up, and, of course, tweets.  She identifies this time of year as the critical time – between the end of the first six weeks and Thanksgiving break when first year teachers contemplate quitting. 

Also, in the article is a link to phases of first year teachers. One of the phases is "disillusionment." This was a great article and I look forward to reading her book. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Importance of Play in Early Childhood Education

Fred Rogers says it best in regards to the importance of play in early childhood education.
Thank you Mr. Rogers!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

EDUC 8856, EDUC 8081 & Surviving Our Dissertations

Good afternoon. I am currently taking my last class for my doctoral program along with taking my "Completing the Prospectus" class. I am so excited to be in my last class and I am excited and nervous to start my dissertation process next semester. While I do not have any assignments for my blog this semester, I wanted to share a resource that was shared with me:
"Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process, Fourth Edition".  I just ordered my copy on Amazon . I love the photo on the cover; that is how I feel - nervous and excited and feeling like I'm on a ledge, hee hee. I have had so much wonderful support on my journey from my family, my friends, my colleagues at work, and my fellow doctoral student friends. We're almost there!! Thank you! Cissy

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Early Childhood Education and Sesame Street

Good evening. I am taking EDUC 8855 - Research in Practice this summer semester. While I do not have any blog assignments in this class, I wanted to post a personal post on an article I read in The Atlantic on early childhood education. The article title is Sesame Street is Just as Effective as Head Start - And Much More Diverse than Most Preschools. The article discusses how the children's show has enhanced learning in America and the show is a reminder of what's lacking in early education today. I watched Sesame Street as a child and I still remember songs and lessons from watching it. I think it helped me learn how to read as much as my mom reading to me did. I grew up poor but PBS is free. When I taught Pre-K I used to reserve time in the computer lab and take my students in to watch Sesame Street. I think it is effective in teaching young children and helping them be prepared for school and I agree that the program is more diverse than most classroom teachers and programs. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did and I hope many more young children are influenced by its wonderful programming. Thank you, Cissy

Friday, April 10, 2015

Week of the Young Child

Good afternoon. The week of April 12th-18th is the Week of the Young Child. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has activities parents and children can do together to celebrate. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Good afternoon. Today I am blogging to discuss two communication skills that are important to embody when leading policy change. The ability to communicate with people at all levels is one of the most important skills one can have. Clear communication is essential in understanding one another as well as enabling us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create safe environments for open and honest discussion (, n.d.). One communication skill that is important to embody is listening. Listening is both understanding the words spoken by another person as well as understanding how the speaker feels when they are communicating and what they are communicating about (, n.d.). Listening is an important skill, especially when leading policy change. You are listening to students, parents, the community, your school district and or early childcare center, other early childhood professionals, community leaders, and political representatives. By listening effectively to all of these stakeholders you are building connections with them as well, which will aid in changing policy.

Another communication skill that is essential to embody is managing stress while communicating. Chronic stress affects effective communication by disrupting the capacity to think clearly and can lead to knee-jerk reactions (, n.d.). Dealing with stress during communication is important at all times, especially when leading policy change when tempers can run high. There are several things to remember when dealing with stress during communication: know your buttons and recognize when you are becoming stressed; take a minute to calm down before continuing with the conversation; use humor to lighten the situation; be willing to compromise, especially important in policy discussions; and agree to disagree, again, especially important in policy discussions (, n.d.). One idea that helps me is to remember that others can be feeling stress too and to put myself in their shoes.

In relation to these two skills, I have both strengths and opportunities for improvement. One strength I have in listening is that I focus on the speaker by showing interest; I make eye contact and I do not check my phone for emails or texts. An area for improvement is that I need to listen fully and not be waiting for my turn to talk. One strength I have in managing my stress during conversations is that I can usually always see the positive in everything. In addition, I use humor to de-escalate situations and I am always willing to work with others to find a middle ground. I use these strategies daily in my work and I feel I can apply them to other areas, like policy change.

Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important of all life skills. Communication, whether it is verbal, written, or nonverbal, how well we communicate with one another is a vital life skill. Thank you, Cissy (n.d.). Effective communication. A Trusted Non-Profit Resource. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from

Good afternoon. Today I am blogging to discuss the two types of social media I would use to communicate my policy issue of early childhood health services; specifically, vaccinations. One form of social media I would use is a webpage. I would use this form because it would reach a wide audience. Both a young audience and an older audience would find it from Googling vaccinations. Webpages are easy to create, they can be free, and are easy to update and easy to link to. In addition, on a webpage I can have other forms of social media that my users and browsers can subscribe to and or follow. I can have a Face Book link, a Twitter link, an Instagram link, a Vine link, and a You Tube link all on my webpage. Once a user navigates to my webpage, if they prefer to use one of these other types of media, they can link to them there and vice versa; I can link my webpage on the other media types as well.

A second form of social media I would use is a mobile phone app. I would use this form because it too would reach a wide audience. Both young and older users are using apps. I would have a link to my mobile phone app on my webpage and on the other media types as well as a standalone media type available for free.

One benefit of using a webpage is that they are easy to create and maintain and I can provide a vast amount of information in a small space. In addition, webpages are good for a wide audience. One challenge in using a webpage is the number of webpages on the internet and overload viewers may have as well as the time spent by viewers on a webpage. My webpage will need to get their attention quickly to keep them viewing all of the information available.

One benefit of using a mobile app is that they can give a lot of information in one application. It could be basically the webpage condensed. One challenge of using a mobile app is the size and potential cost. I would prefer to offer it for free but at some point, I may have to charge to pay for development, upkeep, hosting, etc.

Overall, I think using social media is important in impacting policy and would be good to use to discuss my policy issue, vaccinations. Social media has strong connectivity between users. In an article by June, Hong, and Sung-Min, they state, “with social media it is easier than ever to share breaking news, broach a social issue, and exchange opinions in real time to a massive audience. In fact, on average any two random Twitter users have only four degrees of separation between them.” (June, 2011).

Thank you, Cissy

June, P., Hong, C., & Sung-Min, P. (2011). Social media's impact on policy making. SERI Quarterly, 4(4), 125–129. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from the Walden Library databases.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

EDUC 8854, Module 1 Assignment: Blog - Course Goals

Good evening! When I discovered I was to take a policies and systems course, I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because I do not know much about policies and systems for Early Childhood and I am anxious to learn more; I was nervous because it is an area where I do not feel as comfortable. 

I am excited about this assignment because as I develop goals to enhance my knowledge that will assist me as an early childhood educator, I will also be learning more about early childhood policies and systems and how I can better assist the children and families in my community.

Goal #1: One area I would like to learn more about is the superordinate goal. As Kagan states in our text, "the vision states a superordinate ideal with the implicit purpose to motivate and energize stakeholders at all levels and within multiple bureaucracies towards a new path of change and coherence" (Kagan, 2012). This means all stakeholders are to collaborate to create structure and initiatives for programs throughout their organizations. I am interested in this concept/area so that I can assist with the programs in the district I work for as well as assist others as we collaborate with other organizations in my community. 

Goal #2: I am also interested in learning more about conjoint incrementalism. Conjoint incrementalism is the strategy to remedy disconnected policies. In addition, conjoint incrementalism ensures policies and their vision remain viable during political "swings,” as well as when policies are made separate and independent from one another (Kagan, 2012). I think it is very common for policies to be made apart from one another and I feel this is an important area to help our children and families because stringing different programs and policies together is often unsuccessful whereas conjoining programs and policies is successful. A great example of conjoint incrementalism is the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge by President Obama. There are Six Milestones all stakeholders in a community are to work on by conjoining existing policies and programs instead of creating all new ones and/or stringing along various policies and programs. Communities who have conjoined policies and programs have had greater success (White House Secretary, 2014). The district I work in has just accepted this challenge and as we work with other community stakeholders and families, I am excited to know that learning about conjoint incrementalism can have a positive impact on our policies and programs, which can help our children and families.

Goal #3: A third area I am interested in learning more about is the developmental continuum. The developmental continuum is a model that provides family support from birth to age eight with developmental milestones for each age level. If implemented effectively, students have a higher success rate throughout school, they are less likely to drop-out, and they are more likely to attend college. This is also a strategy in the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge: Cradle to Career. This means instead of focusing on one area, we look at all the areas of a child and help them to be successful. It is much more effective to help children from birth to age 8 be successful than it is to try and "fix" problems in middle and high school (White House Secretary, 2014). 

As an early childhood educator, I am excited for the future of early childhood education and by how policies can transcend politics and economics to help all young children. I look forward to this semester in learning how I can help the children of my community. Thank you, Cissy

Kagan, S. L., & Kauerz, K. (Eds.). (2012). Early childhood systems: Transforming early learning. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

White House Press Secretary. (2014 February 27). My brother’s keeper. White House website. Retrieved January 7, 2015 from