Council Letter | A Month Full of Appreciation

May 23, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

May Day is a great holiday to enjoy with young children by taking them to a park to pick wild flowers, making a daisy chain, filling a May Day basket with flowers for family and friends and singing songs like Circle Around the Ring to the Right. May Day also kicks off a month of celebration that honors many folks who contribute to our children’s lives. Mother’s Day takes place in May, along with National Provider Appreciation Day and Teacher Appreciation Week. May is the time when many young learners spend their last day in preschool before going to kindergarten in the fall. They can thank qualified teachers, like those who earn a CDA®, for getting them ready for the schooling to come. And new CDAs often enter the early childhood field in May since that’s when many high schoolers graduate with the CDA®.

This month, we profile one of the high school students who has earned this valued credential. Taylor Greer pursued her CDA® in the past two years while working at Corry Alliance Childcare in Pennsylvania. Taylor tries to prepare the children she serves by helping them become the best people they can be. “So, we talk a lot about kindness, loving others, helping others,” Taylor says. And she’s good at imparting these life lessons to kids though she’s only 18. “I have a fair amount of practice working with children since I have several younger siblings who are close in age,” she says, “and I helped my mom bring them up. So, I’ve always had a motherly side, and I’m extending it to nurture other people’s young children.”

So are some of the moms who Salina Washington guides as Child Development Associate®/Professional Development Support Specialist for Alabama. It’s a role that puts many miles on her car as she connects with CDA® candidates statewide, including a young Head Start employee who contended with several moves and two sick children while earning her CDA®. And Salina can identify with candidates like her because she also was a working mom while earning her CDA®. “I feel their pain,” she says, “when they tell me it’s hard finding time to do the work needed to earn the credential. Their journey to the CDA® was my journey, too. So, supporting them is personal for me.”

Salina knows where these moms are coming from, and Sarah Menkedick has a similar sense of empathy for the mothers she describes in Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America. Read our review of her book to see how today’s risk culture and a long tradition of selfless, single-minded motherhood has crippled the lives of moms who reach for the elusive ideal of a “zero-risk child.” Too many moms endure constant stress as they fret about everything from hurting their child while sleepwalking at night, to a child smothering from wearing a hoodie, to the chance of a burglar breaking in and putting their baby in a microwave oven. Menkedick was one of these frantic moms until receiving help and realizing that “a mother needs to reclaim herself, to find space in which to breathe and grow.” A mother’s affirmation of her own needs and desires is essential to having an authentic relationship with her child.

But finding that breathing space can be hard for moms who are professionals in ECE, as Dr. Moore tells us in his blog, The Many Faces of Moms. Educators and moms are two sides of the same coin since a mother is a teacher at home and a teacher is a mother at school. It’s tough for one person to fill two such essential roles at once. And Dr. Moore has seen what it takes since his mom taught at Head Start when he was a small boy. Mothers like this can feel anxious and torn as they strive to give their best to children in the classroom and to those they care for at home. These mom-teachers play the mother of all roles, and they deserve extra appreciation this May. 

With all our appreciation,
The Council for Professional Recognition


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