Professional Development Opportunities for Early Educators
I MUST TELL YOU ABOUT THIS EXCITING NEWS! I was given this incredible opportunity to partner with ChildCare Education Institute who provides high-quality, online training courses and programs, applicable to those who work in an array of child care settings, to take one of their courses to better my understanding of Creating A Multicultural Environment for kids!
The CCEI640 course directed at understanding what an anti-bias, multicultural environment looks like was incredibly inspiring. As a preschool teacher, I know how important creating a diverse classroom is so all children feel accepted but I’ve always been stuck on exactly what that looks like — this course provided help with just that.
It was a quick course that got right to the point! It consisted of videos, short but extremely informational slides (my kind of slides) and handouts incorporating a little something for all learning styles! I was extremely impressed with the easy-read quick knowledge they provided which is perfect for a working mom!
A multicultural rich environment plays a huge role in allowing children to feel accepted and included. The CCEI640 course from ChildCare Education Institute gave great ideas on how you can accomplish that. One idea was moving your play stove out of your kitchen area and creating a fire pit to cook food over while providing pretend foods and cooking utensils from around the world. Another example was providing many diverse materials in your block area such as (fabric, sticks, rocks) along with pictures of buildings, temples, pyramids, Teepees and different looking homes. While it is great if you can provide multicultural materials for kids to explore it is also encouraged that you could ask parents to send clothing for dramatic play, unique recycled food boxes, instruments or anything that might represent their child’s culture.
I also liked the fact that families could contribute a favorite song to the class and the teacher could incorporate it into their weekly planning and all the children could learn a song that is important to each child! I thought that was a pretty clever idea! One important thing the course did discuss was that educators shouldn’t just teach about any and every tradition but ones that really reflect the cultures of your students in your class.
One more thing I wanted to note that I learned was how critical and intentional our questions need to be worded when asked to children. For example, we should not ask “where does your dad work,” rather ask them what they can tell us about jobs. If we ask where their dad works this unintentionally leads children to feel out of place if they don’t have a dad, their dad doesn’t work, dad isn’t in their lives etc. I was blown away by that because I never really thought of it in that way!
The best part is that CCEI’s courses meet the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials–and for me being a licensed preschool teacher I got IACET CEU’s for re-licensure! After this course, I am truly inspired to become a better teacher and I will most definitely bring what I learned to my classroom. I would highly recommend taking one of their 150+ courses they provide in both English and Spanish. I know you will not be disappointed!