Reflecting on the School Year

As we move into May, things begin to shift from the school year calendar to summer programing for many programs.  This shift is quick, often with the school year ending on a Friday and the summer program beginning the following Monday.  Whether you are busy planning summer curriculum for children or preparing for a summer break, it is important to remember to take time this month to reflect on the events that took place over the last few months.

Here are just a few questions that may help guide your reflection:

  • What did the children specifically enjoy about the classroom or curriculum this year?
  • What elements of the classroom or curriculum did not engage the children?
  • How well did I get to know the families in the program this year?
  • How was I able to use what I learned about children and families to my advantage?
  • What information about children and families would have made my job easier?
  • What challenged me most this year?
  • What information or strategy would have helped me be more successful?
  • Which of my coworkers can I count on for support?
  • Which of my coworkers count on me for support?
  • How has my relationship with members of leadership grown over the past few months?

Based on the answers to these questions, you can begin to create a plan to improve your practice and relationships with children, families, coworkers, and members of leadership.  You might determine that you need to take some additional professional development to support this growth.  In other cases, you may need to devise a plan to improve your communication with family members in the new school year.

As always, CCEI is here to help you.  Consider taking some of the following courses related to these reflections:

  • PROF104 – Reflective Practices in Early Childhood Settings
  • SOC107 – Building Social and Emotional Competence
  • CEII3022 – Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • PROF103 – Strategies for Success in Challenging Conversations

May 2018 Student Spotlight – Mari Rudge

As a young girl I always dreamed of becoming a teacher.  The greatest influence in this decision was my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Susan Jones.  She made learning fun and exciting.  My career in education started after my service in the United States Marines Corp.  Even though I had a passion for education, I did try my hand in the corporate world.  Never feeling fulfilled in those roles, I left the corporate world and began my career as an early childhood teacher.  Within the first year, I knew that I had found my calling.

My favorite time of day with my students was when I could see the “aha” moment in their eyes as they connected what they were being taught to their everyday life experiences.   Knowing the impact early childhood educators have on children at such a young age, I wanted to share what I had experienced with other teachers.  I went from teaching in a classroom to becoming a Director of Early Childhood.  I received my Director’s Certification through CCEI.  The courses were very instrumental in giving me the foundation needed to become a successful Director.  My career as a Director has allowed me to spread my experience and knowledge to teachers who also have the drive and commitment to early childhood.  I encourage my teachers to take courses from CCEI to further their education.  The courses can be taken at their own pace and gives them the CEU credits they need yearly.

I am currently working as a Director at a The Goddard School where going to work every day is less like work and more like a fun place to hang out with teachers who have the same passion as I do. My future plans are to continue working as a Director while I take on more educational courses. I plan on using CCEI to further my education and would recommend them to anyone who wants to learn the most up-to-date information in early childhood.   An unknown author once wrote “A teacher’s purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image.”  Knowing that we, as educators, have that responsibility is a great honor.  I can’t imagine having a job more gratifying than this one.