Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Supports Page

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."
~Joyce Brothers

My family is my biggest support--check out my support page!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Connections to Play Page

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw 
Please check out my page dedicated to play. As I am typing this my daughter is upstairs, playing alone and using her imagination. We need to remember to cut off the t.v., video games and computer so our children can experience the play we experienced as young children.

Hope you enjoy My Connections to Play page!!
Carson playing school with her stuffed animals :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Relationship Reflection Page

Please check out my Relationship Reflection page! I am inspired by many people---especially my family.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thank You

Thank you again to my peers who helped inspire me, motivate me, support me and most importantly challenge me. I am getting closer to accomplishing my goal, but I could not have done it without the help of my classmates and Dr. Myers! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

I would also like to share a quote on education that I found inspirational:

"The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done."            Jean Piaget 

With the help of Walden University, my classmates and I can educate young children who will grow up to accomplish new things.

Hope to see you in my next class!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Assessing Young Children

I am the first to admit that I am a horrible test taker. I experience test anxiety, always second guess my answer and overall do poorly on tests. It's unfair to judge a child's educational growth by one assessment. What if the child is having an "off" day the day of that very important assessment?? What if the child is experiencing stress or even abuse in the home? Doesn't that affect the scores on their assessments?? I personally believe that a child's educational success should not be judged by one assessment. Sure, I do poorly on tests but was very successful with writing. Currently, Georgia uses an assessment to determine if a child should be retained. I hope my daughter doesn't suffer my test anxiety/issues. I am positive that if an assessment was the determinant of my educational fate in elementary school, I would have been retained numerous times. I personally believe the whole child should be assessed.

Assessing young children in Spain
My sister (Meredith) is currently living and teaching English in Spain. I thought who better to ask about assessing young children in a different country than my sister! We talked briefly on the phone and she had this to say:
Teaching young children in Spain
Meredith (my sister) is on the back row
Children in Spain are grouped in Cycle's. Cycle 1 consists of 1st and 2nd Grade, Cycle 2 consists of 3rd and 4th Grade and Cycle 3 consists of 5th and 6th Grade. The child remains with the same teacher during the Cycle (at the end of 2nd grade the child moves to a new cycle and a new teacher). At the end of each cycle the young child is given an English exam. This exam does not determine whether or not the child moves to the next cycle. In fact the school has to pay to receive results. The child is assessed as a whole--their educational advancement is not determined by one test.
My sister and I are both similar--we agree with this method. She also did not do well on tests but look where she is now. She is living her dream in a country she adores! Imagine if her educational fate was determined by her test taking skills.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Luckily, I grew up in a small town surrounded by family. My parents did a pretty good job of protecting my siblings and me. We never experienced abuse, neglect or even poverty. Unfortunately my husband experienced a great deal of chaos as a young child. His parents divorced when he was six and his mom remarried soon after. His stepfather's job required the family to move quite a bit. My husband attended nine different schools before the age of 15. These moves made him feel anxious, lonely and shy. Not only did he have to make new friends constantly, he wasn't around many family members--including his dad. This caused major stress and seemed to be very chaotic for him as a child. He even formed an ulcer in his stomach due to the stress! Academically the constant moving was not beneficial--he struggled in each grade. He did form friendships and he overcompensated the chaos in his life by becoming the class clown in each new school. He also joined sports teams--but he never felt comfortable--life was just chaotic.
Age 11
Smiling through his stress

I decided to look at the chaos caused by the 2004 tsunami. When the tsunami occurred, I recall being surprised and sad. What a horrible event! What happens after the tsunami? How do children cope or even survive? A study was conducted on the effects of the tsunami and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"3 to 4 weeks after the tsunami 14% to 39% of children and 41% of adolescents had PTSD"(Tull, 2009).
"It is not known what the long term psychological effects on children will be, but it is estimated that many survivors will develop psychiatric disorders" (Tull, 2009).
Maybe the chaos of moving multiple times is not as detrimental as the chaos the tsunami caused, but none the less any chaos in early childhood can be traumatic.

Reference: (2011). The Psychological Impact of the 2004 Tsunami (By Matthew Tull, PhD., July 20, 2009). Retrieved October 1, 2011, from

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This is a very important topic for me. When my daughter was born and placed in the NICU I was not allowed to breastfeed. The nursing staff wanted to make sure that my baby was getting enough nutrients and they monitored this by bottle feeding. I did pump (at that time it was just colostrum) and added what I could to her bottle. When my baby was able to come home, I tried to breastfeed. At that time, she was used to the bottle and pacifier and would not latch on. I was so upset! I was angry at the NICU staff for not allowing me the opportunity to try to breastfeed and I was angry at myself for not sticking up for something that was so important to me. I had a large supply of milk and a larger desire to breastfeed my baby. She never latched on--I just continued to pump. If I decide to have another baby I will work harder at breastfeeding. Not only is it more cost effective but the benefits! The only benefit of bottle feeding is your spouse/partner can help!
Being fed by Daddy in the NICU

Breastfeeding in Kibiito, Uganda
Looking at breastfeeding trends around the world, I stumbled upon some information in Africa. A doctor by the name of Richard Sekitoleko is working hard to promote breastfeeding among the residents. Uganda's death rate is high for children ages five and under due to diarrhea and pneumonia. Because breast milk contains the nutrients and antibodies needed to fight infection, many lives will be saved (UNICEF, 2011).  A week in August was dedicated to promoting the importance of breastfeeding. Village health teams are also in place to teach women about breastfeeding. One mother from Uganda shared that she breastfed five of her children thanks to the village health team and their positive promotion of breastfeeding (UNICEF, 2011). I think this is a great initiative and hope that breastfeeding becomes the number one means of feeding an infant in Uganda and around the world. What a wonderful way to bond and save the life of a baby!

UNICEF. (2011). Spreading the word about infant and young child nutrition in Uganda. Retrieved September 15, 2011, from

Sharing Information with Families
At my preschool center, we have several easy to read books (written in Spanish too) on the importance of breastfeeding. They are located in our Parent Room for preschool parents to take home, read and return. We even have a book written the way a child would understand! One website that I love also has great information regarding breastfeeding, so if a mom to be asks for resources, I have plenty to share.

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center. (2011). Retrieved September 17, 2011 from

Monday, September 5, 2011

Birthing Experiences

Thursday March 1, 2007
It was a Thursday morning and I was 38 weeks pregnant. My husband and I were headed to Macon, Georgia to have a baby. This was the day I was going to have my baby girl!! I couldn't be more excited---finally no more morning sickness!!! I check in to the hospital around 11:00 AM. I'm put on pitocin to speed along my contractions--it works. The pain is awful; an epidural is ordered and inserted without any protest. Later that evening, horrible storms threaten the city. I am deep in to my labor and do not realize nor care that a tornado has touched down near downtown Macon. As I am pushing, my doctor mentions that lung development may be an issue since I'm delivering early. My stubborn girl isn't budging so a vacuum is used to speed along the process. Finally around 7:35 PM my beautiful 7 pound 5 ounce girl is born. My husband and I are so excited!! We have waited 9 long months to meet her!! She starts to cry but it sounds more like a grunt. The hospital staff decides they want to keep her in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) over night for observations; they are concerned with her lung development. I'm sad but exhausted. I believe one night away will be okay--tomorrow she will be with me and soon we will go home. The next morning my doctor comes in the room and says my baby girl has to remain in NICU. It seems my sweet girl was born with a fever and they need to monitor her and make sure she does not have an infection. She is breathing fine--in fact she pulled the oxygen out of her nose. Okay, I say, if that's what is best--how long will she stay? Until her blood work comes back and shows no infection, is my answer. So everyday my husband and I go in the NICU and stay with our girl until night time. We can't wait until she is given the okay to go home. We never put her down; leaving her at night is horrible.  Finally on Monday March 5, 2007 our daughter is able to go home. She didn't have an infection, her lungs were fully developed and she is a healthy, perfect, beautiful baby. 

My beautiful baby girl in the NICU
Those five days in NICU were very trying for us, but everything turned out to be okay in the end. I love to share my birthing experience so new mom's/dad's understand that anything can happen. No matter how healthy you are, how prepared you think you are---expect the unexpected!  Now she is an intelligent four year old in Pre-K. Talking with her, you would never know she had a rough start. She developed normally, all milestones on time, her tough beginning having no negative impact on her development. She's my fighter and I adore her!!!
First day of school.
August 15, 2011
Women in Africa
Then there are the stories of mothers to be from Africa. If I thought my childbirth experience was traumatic, think of what women go through around the world. Due to a lack in transportation, many African mothers deliver at home. This method of delivery is unsafe and Africa has a high mortality rate for mothers and their babies. Women in Africa deliver to midwives, but sadly there are not enough trained midwives so instead of delivering to trained professionals, women are delivering at home. One study shows that 900 out of 100,000 women die in Liberia, due to pregnancy complications (Voice of America, 2011). After reading this article, I realize that though my childbirth experience wasn't what I had planned, I am very lucky to have such great medical care, to deliver my baby in a hospital and to have my baby girl thriving, laughing and living.

Voice of America. (2011). Pregnant Women in Africa. Retrieved September 6, 2011, from

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I would like to extend a heart felt thank you to my Walden University professor and colleagues. This first class was a great experience and I met so many great people. Thanks for the inspiration, resources and friendship! 

Thanks again!!!!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Code of Ethics that are most meaningful to me.....

I live and work in a small community. Because of this I wear many professional hats. Reading over DEC and NAEYC Code of Ethics, I have decided that three from each section are meaningful to me and I am sharing below....enjoy!

I. Professional Practice
Professional and Interpersonal Behavior
  • 4. We shall serve as advocates for children with disabilities and their families and for the professionals who serve them by supporting both policy and programmatic decisions that enhance the quality of their lives.
    • This speaks volumes to me as an Assistant Disabilities Coordinator and Family Service Coordinator. I am an advocate for all young children, especially those with disabilities.
III. Responsive Family Centered Practices
Responsive Family Centered Practices
  • 3. We shall respect, value, promote, and encourage the active participation of ALL families by engaging families in meaningful ways in the assessment and intervention processes.
    • At the Preschool center I work for, we make sure the family is involved in their child's educational progress or lack there of. If a teacher has developmental concerns, the parent is the first one to be contacted. All family members are personally invited to all educational meetings concerning their child. Families are involved, from the beginning, in our educational intervention procedures.
IV. Ethical and Evidence Based Practices
Evidence Based Practices
  • 1. We shall rely upon evidence based research and interventions to inform our practice with children and families in our care.
    • In our school system and Preschool program, we use an intervention system called Response to Intervention (RTI). I am currently the Preschools RTI Coordinator for my county
For more information...


Section II
Ethical Responsibilities to Families
  • I-2.2 To develop relationships of mutual trust and create partnerships with the families we serve.
    • During the summer, I meet with the new Preschool families. Together we develop a Family Partnership Agreement. They come up with goals they want to work on this summer and I supply appropriate trainings, materials and guidance. It's a great way to establish a trusting relationship with all families.
  • I-2.3 To welcome all family members and encourage them to participate in the program.
    • Our center has an open door policy, I will even call the parents to ask if they would like to volunteer! Our center has a very home like atmosphere and our families feel very comfortable with the entire staff.
Section III
Ethical Responsibilities to Community and Society
  • I-4.1 To provide community with high-quality early childhood care and education programs and services.
    • Our Preschool center is great! I send my child.....


Georgia Department of Education. Georgia (2011). Response to intervention (RTI). Retrieved August 12, 2011, from

NAEYC. (2005, April). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved August 11, 2011, from

The Division for Early Childhood. (2000, August). Code of ethics. Retrieved August 11, 2011, from

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Resource Page

Please go to my Favorite Resources page to check out what early childhood resources I've discovered. I've also added a few resources that I would love to share with you. If you have any that you would like to share, please post in your comments. I love finding new resources and learning new things!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Positive Influences/Passionate Quotes

 Positive Influences
This week we were asked to research two people who made a major influence in early childhood education. One person I decided to research was a man by the name of Edward Zigler. This was an easy pick because he is one of the founders of Head Start. I work for Head Start and I have a passion for Head Start--I believe it does make a difference. Here is a great quote by Edward Zigler--it's about parent involvement--this quote is going in my office!!
"The more involved parents are in the education of their children, the better the children's education and performance (Zigler, E., 2007)."
The second person I researched was Ann Turnbull, Ed.D. She is a distinguished professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. She has a true passion for children with disabilities. I believe regardless of race, socioeconomic status or mental ability ALL children deserve the best education. ALL children should be treated the same. Here is a quote from a study she participated in :
"Encourage parent partnerships grounded in trust and open communication (Beach Center on Disability, 2011)."
Perkins-Gough, D., & Zigler, E. (2007). Giving Intervention a Head Start. Educational Leadership, Vol. 65 (2), pp. 8-14. Retrieved from (Accession Number 27575727).

The Beach Center on Disability (2011). Beach Resource Detail Page. Implementing inclusive early education: A call for professional empowerment. Retrieved July 22, 2011, from

Passionate Quotes
As our courses have progressed, we have learned of many early childhood educators that are very passionate about their work. Here are two quotes from two passionate educators that I found insightful!
"The passion to create a safer more just world for ALL children".  Louise Derman-Sparks, Professor Emeritus, Pacific Oak College, CA
"Everyday I go to work and look forward to it because I know the services I'm providing are to the benefit of ALL children".  Raymond Hernandez MS Ed, Executive Director, School of Early Childhood Education, University of Southern California

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Positive Role Models

I grew up in a small town surrounded by many family members. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins--we all lived within miles of one another. Everyone was very close--we even vacationed together! Because of this I had many positive role models in my life. I have dedicated a page to five people who were very influential in my life as a young child. Please check out my Personal Childhood Web page--enjoy!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Favorite Artwork (created by my daughter)

My daughter loves to draw and this is my favorite piece of artwork! My daughter drew this last year and it is a picture of our family--even our beloved pets (they are not named Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty but she is a princess at heart). She drew the most important people in her life happy (with balloons), holding hands and standing close to one another (hard to see but it's Daddy, Mommy, Daughter). She knows she is loved and this makes her very happy!

Favorite Children's Book

"Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is my all time favorite book for children. This book is so special to me because it tells the story of the unconditional love a parent has for their child. Sadly, not every child will receive a parent's unconditional love. That is why it is very important for Early Childhood Educators to care for and show love to all students. See if you can read this book without crying!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love of Reading

Reading is an important part of my life. When I had my little girl I made a point to read to her every night--I even read to her on her first night home! She enjoys this nightly ritual and luckily has many age appropriate books to choose from. I've been working with preschool children and their families for five years now and discovered that my daughter is lucky. She has parents who can read and who take the time to read. Sadly, I've learned some children have never been read to nor have one age appropriate book in their home. Is it because their parents are unable to read? If the parents are able to read, why aren't they reading to their child? Are they working too many hours? Do they not have the resources to obtain age appropriate books? Can I help???
So many questions....