Council Letter: 2020 in Review

December 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Bad times can bring out the best in people, as we’ve seen during the current crisis. Sure COVID-19 has brought out the worst in some folks—from hoarding hundreds of rolls of paper towels to flouting public health guidelines by flocking to restaurants and bars. Still, we’ve seen most people rise to meet the occasion. In these dark months, there have been moments of light, as Dr. Calvin Moore reminds us in his stirring blog, A Core Conviction for the Coming Year. Our ECE community has stayed strong because we know we’re all in this together. Over the course of the year, we’ve shown how the diverse parts of our sector have converged around a common concern: the health and well-being of our youngest children.

We’ve put a spotlight on the contributions of immigrant teachers, like the ones Maria Fátima Castro trains and supports as director of Central California Migrant Head Start. They play a key role as a cultural bridge for our country’s growing population of immigrant and refugee children, many of whom have been through trauma, as we show in Strangers in a Strange Land. Our new white paper points to the importance of educators who speak the children’s languages, know their background and can put themselves in the kids shoes.

Most of our immigrant teachers are women. So are most of our other heroes of the early childhood classroom, including Tabatha Rosproy, the first preschool educator to be named National Teacher of the Year, who spoke with us about her trailblazing work in early childhood education. Still, we must also hail the contributions of men to our profession. Throughout the year, we’ve recognized men who’ve stood up to challenges and stereotypes so they could serve young children. And this month, you’ll read about Phillip White, founder and president of a college that specializes in ECE. He’s committed to giving early childhood teachers the training they need to keep the light of learning burning bright in children’s eyes.

“Our educators need practical skills that will equip them to stand in front of a group of children and help them be their best,” Phillip says. So, the CDA plays a big part in his program. And it’s especially helpful for men. The credential surrounds men with a bubble of confidence and competence, as we heard this year when we convened a special panel on men in ECE.

The panel was part of our virtual celebration to mark 45 years of the CDA. And our own eyes lit up when we saw that more than 3,000 of you registered for the anniversary event. Together, we heard from inspiring speakers who talked about the impact of the CDA and the promise it holds for the future. The CDA has endured, grown, and expanded globally, largely thanks to educators like you. We’ve been thrilled to tell your moving stories this year.

The story of our sector is still unfolding, and the next chapter looks good. The pandemic has brought attention to the key role that our educators play in the lives of working families. We’ll soon have new national leadership that seems to strongly support early care for all our country’s youngest children—and the ideal of inclusion.

It’s a value we’ve all embraced, and it has brought us together during this trying time. Our shared commitment to children has kept us close despite the need to social distance. Now we must stay strong because there’s light at the end of the dark road we’ve travelled. As the lights of the season illumine our communities and our homes, please keep hope in your heart. This has been the worst of times—but the best of times may be in store.

With warm wishes for a happy holiday season,
The Council for Professional Recognition


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