Overview I hear frequently from early learning professionals who are angry, frustrated, annoyed, or all of the above over the state of our profession and want to advocate for change. Whether it is caused by meddling educrats, philosophical misalignments with coworkers, or developmentally inappropriate parent expectations, the solution is always the same: something needs to … Continue reading Six Ways To Dip Your Toe Into Early Learning Advocacy
During a recent social media exchange concerning weapons play on my Explorations Early Learning Facebook Page, a commenter suggested we agree to disagree. I agreed. Minds were not going to be changed--why not politely move on?
Over the last six months, nearly a dozen frustrated early learning professionals have shared tales of developmentally inappropriate social media content they’ve run across. The content has ranged from cookie cutter craft projects, to infant toddler learning apps, to chatter about play from people who did not seem to understand play. These frustrated folks wanted to engage with the content creators and advocate for play, but were understandably reluctant.
Like the crack of a starting pistol, November begins the official college application season. But for students, this race started long ago.
Many of today’s kids have lived their entire lives, from sunup until midnight, in a fierce tournament with their peers. (I was one of them. A decade after graduation, I still can’t think of a period when I’ve worked harder than in high school.) From kindergarten to 12th grade, schools brag about how “competitive” they are. That means it’s not enough for students to do their best. Whether in the classroom, on the athletic field or at home on the computer, they must always be better. Youth has become a debilitating endurance test.
The thing is, we don’t even really know what we are racing for, much less how to tone down the competition. And most people don’t seem to be benefiting from this frantic contest, either as students or as adult workers. Americans are improving themselves, but the rewards keep flowing uphill to the 1 percent.
If you are watching children in your home because you think it's easy money, because you think it's a low skill, low effort way to work from home....GET. OUT. If you are working with children because you think they are cute but have no tolerance for the ones that challenge you or don't fit your mold...GET. OUT.
Hallelujah childhoods don't come from structure, rules or cute Pinterest crafts. They come from relationships. Protecting the right to a hallelujah kind of childhood demands that we go further than the "liking kids" that got our foot in the door. We have to know, trust and accept every single child in our care. And they need to know it.
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