January Message from Deb
Are excellent teachers born or made?
This question has forever plagued the education field, and even more so when referring to those who teach our youngest children.
Many believe that teachers who work with young children simply need to be kind-hearted and love the work that they do. However, those who study the field know that there is more to it than that.
Great teachers are made over time and experience, through education, perseverance, practice and guidance.
Wouldn’t you agree that when getting on an airplane, you hope that it is not being flown by someone who just loves planes? This analogy is often used to convey the intricacy and difficulty of working with children of any age.
Certainly, we want our teachers to love children and to be happy in their chosen profession, but it is equally important that they understand child development, planning of developmentally appropriate curriculum, classroom management, assessing children and responding to their individual needs, and health and safety practices. This is how professional educators are “made.”
Research has now markedly shown that all teachers benefit from continued education, earning degrees in the field, and ongoing professional development. At PIC, we have made supporting these pursuits a priority.
- We participate in PA’s T.E.A.C.H. program that provides scholarships and supports to early childhood teachers to increase their education and compensation.
- We have joined the very first statewide registered Apprenticeship Program for teachers working towards their associate’s degree and who earn credit for their work experience. Read an article in the Atlantic about our very own Jameelah Jones who is on her way to earning a degree this spring.
- We offer financial support to help teachers with the cost of purchasing books and taking teacher certification exams.
- We host ongoing professional development opportunities that have included credit-bearing courses on literacy and enhancing trauma awareness.
- We close PIC for three In-service Days per year for all-day professional development sessions. These include required trainings such as first aid and fire safety, as well as curriculum-related workshops.Our next in-service day will be Friday, March 23 and will feature a training by Marcia Nell, professor at Millersville University and author of the book From Play to Practice: Connecting Children’s Play to Learning, who will focus on using loose parts to help children learn skills in problem solving, critical thinking, science, literacy and math.
- Each semester we host pre-service teachers from area colleges and universities who spend time in our classrooms learning from our teachers who serve as mentors.
- We have become a leader in providing ongoing professional development and support to teachers in other child care programs who tour our facilities, see our classrooms in action, and attend workshops and that our own teachers have opportunities to lead.
- PIC teachers and administrators present at local and national conferences on specific areas of expertise.
At PIC, we will always seek teachers who show a great love for children and for the work they do. We also take great pride in the role we play in “making” excellent teachers and those who have become leaders in the field.
Wishing all a very Happy New Year and one filled with your own continual growth and development!