Profile of a Volunteer

 

Mrs. V is a teaching veteran who uses her retirement time to instruct not only students but teachers.   Her time is willing given to students while her payment is returned to different programs within the school system. As a former teacher, Mrs. V recognizes the importance of connecting students to the world around them. She locates as well as constructs instructional material that engages and motivates learners.  She believes in maximizing student interest by frequently assessing their needs, tailoring the learning experience, and using techniques that purposely heighten student motivation. Every activity created by Mrs. V encourages students to use prior experiences to support learned content. As a result, strong relationships are built with community stakeholders that provide the comprehensive educational and social skills needed to support student success.

Mrs. V supports the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Community stakeholders are influential in her ability to nurture the school environment and its students. She works with community stakeholders to establish strong and authentic connections to outside resources. Her belief of uniting families, community stakeholders, and schools have accrued positive results for personal as well as professional growth.

Mrs. V has made a huge impact to the educational success of many students and teachers.  Her encouragement permits students to display the necessary pillars of character. Her constant usage of the six character traits instills a culture of kindness in a positive learning environment. Through interactive lessons she is able to support students with character development as techniques are learned that integrate values in life. Through her lessons students improve their understanding, gain experience, and embark on a period of exploration that transcends beyond classroom instruction. Students also are very eager to participate in community activities that inspires them to protect their environment and learn about local history in such a remarkable area on the Chesapeake Bay.

Volunteers are not superhuman people is a valuable take away in watching Mrs. V volunteer in classrooms. Volunteers are everyday individuals who simply care. Mrs. V cares about students and making sure they receive the best education possible. As a result, she is willing to engage students and families in the learning for betterment. Her hands-on approach to learning is used to drive student understanding as well as improve their application of academic content and eventually success.

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Social Media to Get Connected

Social media helps to connect people.  It is an opportunity to bring a diverse group of people together. In today’s society, social media has so many advantages. It offers a platform for ideas and causes, but equally important introduces the thinking of others. My participation with social media is not huge, yet I must say that it has increased over the years. This year I have been extremely eager to embrace social media more than ever to stay abreast of political issues. Additionally, being a teacher I enjoy using different websites to get ideas, meet colleagues, or even discuss the benefits of educational programs.  Of course, Facebook also permits opportunities to correspond with friends.

Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc lend themselves to effective advocacy. They are fast and convenient ways to stay connected to important issues but also offer free sites for advertising. In being an advocate with issues of concern, there’s no better way to get your message in front of millions of people than by posting it online.

Social media is a great tool to educate and inspire others with regard to various early childhood programs. Social networking sites have been increasing in recent years; as a result, I am able to reach more friends than I normally would. Therefore, I am able to share ideas, feelings, and details with regard to early childhood programs that enrich the lives of children and their families.

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Advocacy Messages

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.  This message embraces many of the best values offered by Americans. It incorporates values such as a belief in equal opportunity not only in education but also in human dignity and hope.  The popular saying is timeless.  It was created during a time wherein the popularity of African Americans attending college was extremely low, launching the Supporting Minority Education Campaign.  This campaign was effective in encouraging Americans to support the United Negro College Fund.  As a result, over 60,000 minority students have attended college each year with support. The Ad Council’s partnership helps UNCF’s important work. Since its collaboration UNCF has raised over 4.3 billion dollars which support more than 400,000 college-bound minority students.

Make More, Teach

Becoming a teacher is an important job.  It is a job that makes a difference.  With many teachers eligible for retirement it is crucial that others are recruited.  Yet, this recruitment cannot be any individual but only the best.  Therefore, it is crucial to help students choose career paths in the field.  In choosing the profession students are able to transform education in America.  The Ad Council supports this notion by teaming up with Microsoft, State Farm, and the U.S. Department of Education.  In collaborating and enlisting multimedia audiences, the message supports that teachers make a lasting impact not just today but for future generations.

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My Own Capacity

Which issues impacting young children and their families and/or the field of early childhood fuel your passion?

 There are so many issues that impact young children, their families, and the early childhood field. Yet, poverty becomes a major barrier.  This issue fuels my passion as a teacher because it substantially impacts children in negative ways. Children are directly affected by the depression and stress that are displayed by parents dealing with economic deprivation. As a result of families experiencing economic hardship, they are often forced to choose between necessities for their survival.  This causes family dysfunction but also permit children experiencing poverty during their preschool and early school years to have lower rates of school completion than children and adolescents who experience poverty in later years.

What special skills do you have that will contribute to your advocacy efforts? How will you incorporate these skills into your work?

it is my responsibility to support children and their families every day.  In doing so I have to be able to use my expertise as a teacher/advocate to stay informed, engaged, and effective with regard to issues that directly affect early childhood education, but equally import children. In possessing a passion for advocacy, I can attain suitable resources that allow me to elevate my voice and advocacy efforts to new heights.  Therefore, permit children to achieve unlimited amounts of success.

In what ways do you hope to grow in order to be a more effective advocate?

Public education is changing.  Educators do not always know if these changes are for the better.  However, to ensure the future of children I must be willing to speak up.  This is not an easy task being a quiet person.  Yet, the task is one that I must engulf.  I must embrace a growth mindset that makes education reform a priority.  This entails growing thoughtful to help others understand the importance of education.  In spite of budget woes, I must share in the responsibility of making education great.  This begins by reaching and teaching every student but also being mindful of opportunities to speak up and speak out to not only colleagues, but other stakeholders who can change the future of education.

 

 

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My Role As An Advocate 

Advocating for children was a path that I knew I would follow. As eloquently described by William Ayers, “Teaching is a life calling that breaks through boundaries by redefining all aspects of life”. My motivation to advocate for children became strong when I chose the profession of teaching but stronger when I became a parent. It was at this time that I realized there were so many laws that I was not familiar with even in my profession and more that did not offer children the quality of education that they all deserved. Therefore, it became essential to acknowledge and foster advocacy for young children. This effort was crucial at the micro as well as macro levels since children often were not able to speak up for themselves and communities were depending on their future efforts to enhance society. In speaking up at the micro level, political figures hear the concerns of those they swore to represent. In being able to hear concerns, changes can occur. These changes at the macro level can have a tremendous effect not only on the individual or local community, but society as a whole.

As stated in an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In becoming a community leader on early childhood issue the strengths of every child can be developed. Community leaders are important because they attempt to eliminate issues that interfere with the well being of children. Ignoring these issues is not an option or a deterrent instead it becomes the motivator in helping students and their families overcome the challenge. In working hard to nurture their school environment community leaders help students be productive citizens. Success occurs because community leaders with the assistance of state leaders, families, community stakeholders, and schools, attain successful solutions that are vital for growth. Lobbying strategies to mobilize others can include developing fact sheets, reports, and analyses that provide information to those in the position to influence public policy; bringing together large numbers of constituents whenever there are public hearings or town hall meetings; organizing letter writing (e-mail) campaigns that flood policy makers with the ideas and desires of their constituents; and working with the media to provide coverage of important issues and events. Hence, informing others to develop a productive advocate plan, everyone can succeed.

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Personal Advocacy Reflection

 

Many voice their concern about the safety and welfare of children. Unfortunately, many choose to voice those concerns but take no action. That is not the case with Ms. Susan Lawson. Therefore, it is no surprise that the person who I believe to be a perfect advocate for children is Miss Susan (not her real name) as students affectionately call her. Susan was not able to have children but opened her home to many. She became a foster parent to numerous students in my classroom. She became the mother that many were never fortunate to have in their young lives. Yes, through state and federal assistance she was given support, but unlike many, she was not a participant because of the financial funds. She genuinely wanted to protect children and ensure that they were given adequate resources to become successful adults. While, removing children is sometime sadly necessary, it was uplifting to watch Miss Susan work her magic.   She took on the challenge of being a positive role model who not only nurtured children but guided them on difficult journeys. She was able to establish relationships that every child should possess in order to be emotional equipped later in life. I am happy to say, every child that passed through her door have further pursed their education and have graduated college with remarkable grades. In observing the success of one small lady, I recognize that every one can make an impact on the life of a child. As a teacher I am in a unique position to drive and shape education but more importantly the future of children. In watching Miss Susan, I know I can also make a difference by staying abreast of news surrounding education and engaging in dialogue about critical issues in the field. In teaching children and helping them reach academic success, I can empower them.

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When I Reflect About My Collegial, Professional Learning

Post at least three consequences of your experience being a part of a caring, collaborative learning community for your professional growth and development. Use any format you choose.

In being a part of a caring, collaborative learning community:

  1. I am able to be open and understanding with regard to numerous perspectives regardless if they are unlike my own.
  2. I am able to embrace the support and advice from colleagues. This support can also guide my thinking in the same manner or in new directions.
  3. I am introduced to various issues that negatively effect the education of children while also working towards practical strategies and solutions.

Post one goal for using this collegial experience to enhance your advocacy, policy, and/or system development work on behalf of young children, families, and the early childhood community.

To effectively teach children there are so many factors that must be addressed. In being familiar with advocacy, policy, and/or system development work on behalf of young children, families, and the early childhood community I am to provide the necessary instruction, practices, and emotional support that children require to succeed. Thus, my goal when completing the course is not to cease familiarity with these issues but also enhance my understanding of the connection. In discovering the connection between so many life-changing issues, I can assist children and their families in reaching unbelievable heights with regard to their education.

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