January 2023 Council Letter: Resolutions, Reflections and Hope

January 26, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Everyone can make New Year’s resolutions, no matter their age. And that includes our youngest children. Some good resolutions for preschoolers include: I will clean up my toys by putting them where they belong. I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating. I will try new foods, especially different veggies. I will learn how to help clear the table after meals. I will do my best to be nice to kids who look lonely or need a friend. And I will talk with my parents or another adult I trust when I need help or I’m feeling scared.

The grownups who children often turn to include their teachers. So, our educators should make resolutions that will help them be at their best for the young learners they serve. Teachers should learn new strategies that will allow them to meet the diverse needs of our nation’s children. They should think of new ways to make lessons more engaging. Teachers should set realistic goals for themselves and the children. They should practice self-care and focus on their achievements, instead of their failures, with young learners. And they should connect more with colleagues or groups that can give them support.

Teachers can count on us here at the Council, and our New Year’s resolutions include finding ways to advance the early learning field and find solutions to the staffing shortfalls it faces. We’re reimagining the CDA® process to make it more streamlined and user friendly. We’re partnering with the Maryland State Department of Education to help Maryland educators earn their CDA and alerting other educators to scholarship opportunities nationwide. We’re encouraging them to join the Council Alumni Network, an online forum where educators can share ways to reach professional goals. We’re urging them to make their voices heard by participating in the 2022 Economic Census. And we’re also urging high school students to enter the ECE profession, as we’ll discuss at a special webinar next month. In the meantime, you can read about two folks who already help high schoolers build careers by earning a CDA.

At Buckeye Career Center in New Philadelphia, OH, Bobi Thompson is looking for a special spark in students that shows they’re invested in working with young children. And some of her students recently showed their commitment to the early learning field at a statewide signing ceremony where they pledged to earn their CDA by graduation. “I was excited to be there,” Bobi says, “as I watched the students take a great first step toward a career in early childhood education.”

And “there is great value in earning a CDA,” as Monquelle Shamburger tells her students at A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham, AL. Still, once you’re in the field, “you need the passion to persevere” she says, “because teaching young children isn’t easy.” So, it helps if you can act on the guiding rule of Monquelle’s career: “whatever you expect or whatever you want for your own kids, you’ve got to want the same for everybody else’s kid.”

Many lawmakers are starting to feel this way, as Dr. Calvin Moore says this month in his blog. “All politics is personal,” he points out, “and many of our leaders are parents who are dealing with the daily roadblocks of raising young children.” They include two new moms in the Vermont State House who are struggling to find the child care they need to perform their official duties. And dads are also concerned about the child care shortage. Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II recently said, “As a father, I know the importance of having skilled child care professionals to care for our kids.” And this month, several members of Congress brought home the message by doing daddy duty in the U.S. House. As they changed diapers and fed their children, they put a spotlight on a problem that plagues many of our country’s parents. These lawmakers and others like them have resolved to find solutions to the child care shortage in 2023. And Americans of every age should be looking forward to what’s ahead.

Happy New Year,
The Council for Professional Recognition


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