Every time I reflect on my personal and professional growth and development, I think about one of my initial posts where I shared the following caption, because it is as real as what I do when working with children living in less than ideal conditions. I encourage you all to visit UNICEF.org. Like us, they have taken great strides to improve the quality of life for children and families around the world.
“The children initially started their experiment to block the view of a garbage heap. Now, they eagerly tend their garden, a respite from the day’s challenges” (UNICEF Syrian Arab Republic/2016/Ourfali).
Becoming aware of your own feelings and beliefs, self-reflection (Walden University,2021,0 EDUC 6164) and an examination of how these influence the manner in which I interact and the manner in which I communicate (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010) raised an eyebrow. Not because of my charming personality, but because of the marked therapeutic improvement in family communication, noted by the clinicians involved in the therapeutic team (Walden University,2021, EDUC 6165).
Thinking about what stimulates my drive to do what I do in the interest of the well-being of children and their families, I am always driven by what I can do right now. The Capstone course was like a bright new daylight light bulb, in the dark corner of my mind. What can I do? I pondered. Will I sound pompous? This course taught me that having a vision is only as good as what I put into it. I am not politician, and I am not very tactful when speaking politics, I am not and educator, and don’t remember the grammatical rules taught during early childhood, what I can do is communicate with children, I am a behavioral modification technician, and I am a student of the art of the anti-bias approach to learning. I am in a position to give of my time, to share what I have learned, to learn new things, to interact, to support, and inspire others to do the same.
Today has been surreal. Thank you all for sharing in my journey and helping to put those potted plants on my windows and giving me hope. Every one of you gave me reason enough to act now, and I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to improve the lives of all children, one painted and potted tin can at a time.
Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. 3(2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Chapter 3. “Becoming an Anti-Bias Teacher: A Developmental Journey” (“Become Aware of Your Own Feelings and Beliefs” and “Examine Institutional Advantages and Disadvantages” on pp. 22–27).