When I think about working with children and their families my hope is to have a positive lasting affect on each child and when needed to be a source of help and understanding to their family.
My main goal as an early childhood educator is to provide a high-quality education to children prior to entering kindergarten. In Mississippi; which is where I live; 1 in 4 children enter kindergarten unable to recite the alphabet or recognize their own name in print. Until 2012 the state did not require any formal education of children younger than five years old, the mentality has been that the responsibility of the family and sub-par daycare and head start centers. Hopefully with new legislation regarding pre-k education and charter schools children will have access to be quality education.
To the members of Group 1, thank you for sharing your professional and personal experiences on topics that at times are difficult but necessary to discuss. The opportunity to do so in a civil respectful way in an open forum was a welcome experience.
A special thank you to Dr. Parrish for providing resources and words of wisdom that allowed me to truly acknowledge and begin to alter biases I had when I began this course.
My family would be relocating from Vietnam and would be visiting early learning centers for their 3 year old son.
1. I would recruit an interpreter to be prepared in the event the family’s English is limited or non existent. It will also show the parents we are willing and prepared to work with their son and the family.
2. Have pictures displayed, and books that reference the child’s homeland and heritage.
3. Have a talk with the potential classmates and teacher about making the new student feel comfortable.
4. Research traditions and religious practices that may apply to the child’s culture.
5. Allow the parents to accompany the child on the first day and observe the environment of the class and how their son interacts with the teacher and other children.
By locating an interpreter I feel that will make the initial meeting less stressful for both myself and the family. Also by taking the initiative to research some traditions and religious practices I will have a place of reference to learn more about the family.
Approximately nine years ago I gave in and agreed to purchase a home in my husbands home state of Mississippi. Because his career takes him away frequently we pre-qualified through our bank and selected the area we wanted to live in prior to my contacting an agent. I selected three houses in the subdivision and contacted the listing agent by email. We spoke a few times by phone and I explained we were pre-qualified and trying to close on a home in two months. She was very eager to start the process.
I could tell my race surprised her by the way she rushed me into the house. She tried to remain professional pointing out a few selling points, but her main focus was on the price and the fact that the HOA fees were somewhat steep. I informed her that we had owned and sod two homes in other states and I would not waste her time or mine if we weren’t serious buyers. She apologized but the damage was done and so was my business with her.
I was also done with finding a home. Why would I live in a place that still judged even the ability to live in a certain neighborhood by race? Being fiscally responsible has nothing to do with race,ethnicity, gender, or age. It is the result of good business sense and hard work.
After a few months of reflection I decided to go into the agency again. I was greeted by a very friendly older man who ultimately sold us one of the homes I had on my list. Yes we are the only Black family in the neighborhood, but the experience has not been totally negative. We socialize with many of our neighbors and our grandchildren love playing at the lake with the other kids in summer. I may have been discouraged but it turned out well in the end.