Week 2…Babies Babies BABIES!!

Week 2 presents some very important as well as helpful information. I’m so anxious to have children of my own after this week because I really cannot wait to notice all of the things that we learned this week. From brain development, temperament, and secure attachment, I’m honestly interested to raise a child and notice all of the milestones that they are supposed to achieve in growing and developing.

So many children are not afforded the best chances possible in this life. It is of no fault of their own, but certain circumstances lead them to be not as well taken care of as other children. One way that mothers can ensure that their little ones are in the best health is by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a very important part of an infant’s health as well as bonding between mother and child. “Babies who are exclusively breastfed are less often sick” (Berger, 2014). Other positive affects of breastfeeding are disease protection, protection against lifelong diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This issue is one that I fully support. I think that children should be given the best chance possible in life and the one things a mother can do is breastfeed their child. Even if the mother cannot breastfeed directly, I think they should still consider pumping their milk. I would only suggest not breastfeeding is if the mother is physically unable to do so. My mother could not breastfeed me, and I only pray that I am able to nurse my children when they are born.

I looked around the web for some differences in culture when it comes to breastfeeding. I found a blog of a mother who moved from Canada to Mongolia when her son was 4 months old. She was in for a real culture shock. Mongolians believe the breast milk is not just for children but also for anyone. She stated that there was not one person that she met who did not like the taste of breast milk. In Mongolia, it was not uncommon for children to nurse until they were 6 years old. Yes, 6! I know, I cannot believe it either! Can you imagine nursing a child with teeth and can read? Yea, me either! She also found out that from the time of birth until about 3 months, Mongolia infants are packaged to their mother’s and fed at the first signs of crying. They aren’t changed often or burped often, but they are fed on demand all day long. Mongolians but a really big emphasis on breastfeeding, to the point that one mother breast fed until the child was 9 years old!

I really enjoyed exploring this practice in other cultures. I think I will be a really big fan of breastfeeding because of the benefits that it provides, but I don’t believe that I will be going to the extremes of the Mongolians! Breast milk is very important to the overall health of the child and the mother. Even if it will be an inconvenience to me, it’s for the better of my child, and for that reason alone I’ll sacrifice what I need to in order for he or she to receive the proper nutrition.

If you want to read the article, check it out here: http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/02/breastfeeding-land-genghis-khan/

Resources

Berger, K. (2014). Developing person through childhood & adolescence: With dsm5 update. S.l.: Worth Pub.

Week 1! New Class!

Wow! I made it through my very first class and I’m so excited to be over my first class jitters! I’m excited about what’s to come.

This week we are asked to write about a personal birthing experience. I’ve never had a personal birthing experience that I can think of, other than my own and remembering that would be a miracle considering I was a baby! Yes, there have been people that I’ve known who were pregnant and have children, but nothing that I can personally report as far as being with them through the experience. I know that I desire so deeply to have children of my own someday. I just don’t know how much of a possibility that will be, but in the meantime I’ve been blessed with godchildren to love and nurture.

My personal birthing experience might lead to be complicated, as my genetic makeup leaves me with health issues that might make children a risk for me. So I would assume, that if I were to conceive that things would be a lot more complicated than some of the people who I know who have children. The usual checkups and doctors’ visits for them would be a lot worse and more frequent for me, as my blood condition would require me to inject myself daily with blood thinners in my belly the entire 9 months. Not to mention that risk of other health factors that could lead to a very painful and long pregnancy.

Although I don’t have my own birthing story to share, I did find it rather interesting how birthing is done in other countries. For example, in The Netherlands, mothers don’t go to an OBGYN, that are referred to a midwife. In some foreign countries, midwifery is most popular. Doctors don’t usually interfere with the birth, unless there are complications. The woman decides if the baby will be born in a hospital or at home. Also, women in the Netherlands don’t get epidurals. This is due to many anesthesiologist in the Netherlands working only from 9 to 5. Natural births are very popular. The time in the hospital is different as well. Dutch women who don’t have a complicated delivery usually can go home within two hours of giving birth. They have a unique belief that the care of the baby should be done at home. For seven days a nurse comes to the home to care for the mother and the child. This is covered by insurance! Wow, that would never be covered in the states! This nurse not only cares for the health of mom and baby, but they also cook, clean, and monitor the visitors who visit the home. This allows the mother time to adjust to motherhood.

Another country that has a unique birthing experience is Brazil. In Brazil C-section births are very popular. In some parts of Brazil 100% of women have a C-section birth. In Germany, the act of giving birth is more important than the outcome. Babies in Germany are usually delivered by a mid-wife, like the Netherlands, and doctors are optional. Also, in Germany, when a woman tell her boss that she is pregnant, her job is secure. That is amazing, in the US, you’re lucky to get the 12 weeks of FMLA for pregnancy. And some jobs don’t offer leave for pregnancy. It’s amazing at how the rest of the world values pregnancy and makes it a beautiful event and not a stressful situation.

Resources

Schalken, L. (2015). Birth Customs Around the World. Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/giving-birth/vaginal/birth-customs-around-the-world/

Sharma, H. (2014, May 2). 10 Strange Birth Customs From Around The World – Listverse. Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://listverse.com/2014/05/03/10-weirdest-birth-customs-from-around-the-world/

Week 8…THE END!!

Wow! One class down and it seems like a million more to go! I’m so excited about the journey. I’ve learned so much from my peers during these 8 weeks. I’ve become much more comfortable with myself and how I see myself in the Early Childhood field. I want to continue to grow and attain the necessary knowledge and skills to be an amazing professional in the field.

I hope that each of my classmates during the term have a wonderful break and that we meet again on the journey to our dreams!

Week 7…It’s Almost Over

Well, it’s almost the end of the road for my first class in Early Childhood Education! Wow, can you say excited?! I’ve started on the road to something that is bigger than me and I’m so excited to see what’s next in the program. This week we were to review the Codes of Ethics for the Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children and The NAEYC Codee of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment. In these documents there lies a wealth of knowledge for the Early Childhood professional. There were three of these ideals that stood out to me and I plan to utilize them in my professional growth as an Early Childhood Professional.

I-1.4 – “To appreciate the vulnerability of children and their dependence on adults” (NAEYC, 2005).

This ideal is something that I take very seriously and I see parents abuse the privilege all the time. Children are a joy and a gift to have, and we as adults have to mindful that children depend on us and they hang on our every word. The way that they depend on is determined if they live or sometimes die. I plan to ensure that children I come into contact with and those who I will advocate for without me knowing them, that I take them to heart. I will consider them always with my decisions in the Early Childhood field. And I promise to not forget that they depend on me. I make a difference in their lives and I matter to them, just as much as they do to me.

P-16 – “We shall strive to ensure that decisions such as those related to enrollment, retention, or assignment to special education services will be based on multiple sources of information and will never be based on a single assessment, such as a test score or a single observation” (NAECY, 2005)

This ideal is important for those children that I will touch who will need special education services and enhancements. I will ensure that any decisions that I make will be based on fact and not fiction. I will make sure that I perform all necessary tests and procedures to ensure that the child is getting the best education possible while in my care, regardless of a learning disability. We have to make sure that children are not just labeled as Special Education students if they don’t have to be. People see that as a negative connotation, but we have to embrace those students and help them along the way. I promise to ensure that they are included in all activities of learning.

I-3C.3 – “To strive to secure adequate and equitable compensation (salary & benefits) for those who work with or on behalf of young children” (NAECY, 2005).

This is something that I currently am experiencing at work, and I plan to address it with my manager soon. I feel that I handle and possess a lot of responsibilities at my place of work, but my salary does not commensurate with my experience or my education. I have a Master’s degree, a partially completed one in HR Management, and I’m one class away from a Graduate Certificate as well as this degree at Walden. I don’t understand how they’ve measured my salary, but I would like for them to explore my qualifications so that we can discuss my salary and an increase. When I complete my journey at Walden, I plan to open my own center, and I plan to make sure that my employees are compensated to the best of my abilities. I will keep up with the trends in salaries of the professionals that I employ and make sure that they are eligible for annual salary reviews. I will also provide continuous Professional Development opportunities so that those who have gone above and beyond for the year polishing their professional skills will be eligible for some type of perk or bonus. I want my employees to know that they are valued and valuable for the work that do, not only for me, but especially for children.

Both documents and all of the reads for this week have sparked so much interest in me and made me want to be better. This week has given me things that I can actively utilize in my current position and that will allow me to add so much more to this graduate program. Although, this class is nearing the end, the lessons being learned from it is going to be far more rewarding and far more beneficial!

Resources

NAEYC. (2005, April 1). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201540_04/MS_MECS/EDUC_6005/Week 7/Resources/Resources/embedded/naeyc_codeofethicspdf.pdf

Week 5…My Own Favorites

In addition to the resources that we had for the week I have a couple of my own that I enjoy keeping up with.

http://naaweb.org/

www.funbrain.com

These two sites are two that I frequent often. The first site is the National AfterSchool Association. This site I use for work, but also for personal information. The latest information and stats about the effectiveness of After School programming is highlighted here.

The 2nd site is just a fun site that I go to and play games with my nephews. It’s educational and they definitely love it dearly. I have to find things to stimulate their minds, but also keep them entertained. It usually does the trick!

Week 5 is Here and filled with Resources!!

This week we received so many helpful resources. They were broken down into parts for easy distinction.

Part 1: Position Statements and Influential Practices

Part 2: Global Support for Children’s Rights and Well-Being

Part 3: Selected Early Childhood Organizations

Week 4…Half Way There!!

This week has been filled with so much for me! I’ve had so many highs and lows in my personal and professional life that I almost wanted to quit this week. I wanted to throw in the towel on it all and just say forget it. It seemed like all the walls were crashing down on my head and I just could not continue with everything all at once. I finally sat down and looked at the assignment for the week. I started to look at the educators who contributed to the field of Early Childhood Education and I started to understand the richness that this field has to offer. From reading about the leaps and bounds that the field has come, I’m excited to now be someone who will make a contribution.

The two educators/advocates that I chose for the week were Bill and Hilary Clinton. They both have worked for decades to ensure that children, no matter the circumstances, should have a chance at a quality education. They both believe that the earlier the education begins the better. They are also both advocates for After School Programming. As a part of the assignment for the week, I was asked to post some of my favorite quotes.

This quote should inspire all Early Childhood professionals to continue the fight to ensuring that all children have an enriching education.

This quote should inspire all Early Childhood professionals to continue the fight to ensuring that all children have an enriching education.

This is a very true statement. Home is where children begin their educational journey's. We have to make sure that we are there to aide parents in providing them educational resources at an early age.

This is a very true statement. Home is where children begin their educational journey’s. We have to make sure that we are there to aide parents in providing them educational resources at an early age.

Learning this week about many different advocates, professionals, and educators in the Early Childhood field, I’m still taken back to week two and Mr. Hernandez. He stated that “every day I go to work and look forward to it because I know the services that I’m providing for children, is to their benefit. It’s not anything that’s going to benefit me”. This is still a quote that I think affects children just as much as adults. All of the educators and contributors to the Early Childhood field have taken each and every little person that the services that it provides into consideration. As more practitioners are added, more strides will be made. I just hope to add to the discipline in more ways than one.