May 2020 Student Spotlight – Tahsin Laskar

I’m eldest of three siblings and I am a mother of two children.  I grew up in a big joint family and have spent a lot of time caring for very young children in our family. The field of early childhood education has always been a part of my life. As a high school student, I helped with lessons for my pre-school aged nephews and nieces. I always led them to arts and crafts at home and loved to see their development. We currently live in Avon, Connecticut in one of most sought after public school districts and I’m proud to say that I am the teacher at home to my 12-year-old son, Suhayl, and 8-year-old daughter, Alysha. The education system in the United States is very different from India and I continue to learn a lot in my constant interactions with their teachers (and of course my children).

Since we relocated to the United States some 12 years back, I’ve made many new friends here and I am proud to be part of the lovely community.  Actively supporting my own highly engaged kids and whenever I find some free time, I volunteer in their classrooms.  I also volunteer with multiple local food shares run by our local religious organizations, local boy scouts camps, community clean-up, town flag displays, and other conservation efforts.

The day my daughter started as a 1st grader, I walked in to apply at Educational Playcare that offers high quality early childhood care and education across Connecticut. In a week’s time, I started my early childhood educator journey!  Each morning, the Community Meeting (Circle/Group Time) is when we set-up the agenda for the day.  One of my favorite times of the day is used to promote children to develop language and communication skills.  I use storytelling as part of the start to each day.  The outdoor play area is so much fun for toddlers and preschoolers!  The toddlers love motor skill development activities like ‘Tunnels’ or ‘Water Play’.  As a childcare professional, I believe play is an important role model in children’s lives, and my interactions with children and their families leave lasting impressions.  This sense of responsibility motivates me every day I start for work.

Beyond their families, I might be the person children spend the most time with during the very critical first years of learning and development. I choose to become an early childhood professional because I love interacting with children on development that focuses on hands-on learning through experiences.  Due to my interest in obtaining a formal Early Childhood Education, my center director asked me to complete a set of 50+ online courses as part of pre-CDA coursework. Once I completed those, I was formally signed-up with CCEI’s CDA Certificate Program.  As I continue to learn more as a professional well-versed in the understanding of children’s minds, I would definitely love to take positions of higher responsibility and authority – taking on more responsibility not only for my students, but also for staff and parents.

To be very frank, I wasn’t so sure of completing my CDA until my CDA verification visit.  My PD Specialist (who also happens to be one of our CT Regional Directors) was very impressed by my classwork and professional portfolio.  She encouraged me that the CDA Credential will help with multiple course credits to take the next step working towards a Connecticut State Early Childhood Teaching Credential (ECTC).  I have been awarded my CDA Credential by the Council of Professional Recognition.  I appeared for my final exam on 12/16 evening and I noticed the confirmation email when I woke-up the next day.

I have learned so much from the CCEI course materials.  I’ve had a tremendous learning experience with high quality programs and guidance from CCEI and I plan to receive further coursework or credentials.  A special thanks to my Education Coach at CCEI for the duration of my coursework starting from May 2019.  She constantly encouraged me to stay on track to complete 4-5 courses per week as a habit to work consistently. I sincerely appreciate her dedication, the time she invested in me, and the fact that she tracked the timeline on student progress (more so for full-time working professional mothers like us).   I would absolutely recommend CCEI!  I’ve already started to advocate CCEI to fellow assistant teachers and a few have asked me to share my CDA professional portfolio for reference.