September 2022 Council Letter: We’re Looking Forward to Seeing You at EELC

September 29, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

The Early Educators Leadership Conference is almost upon us, and the sense of excitement is soaring. Our staff has been working around the clock to make this year’s conference the best we’ve ever held, as Dr. Calvin Moore says in a recent video clip. Expect to have fun and get informed as we focus on an urgent theme: Building Career Pathways to Equity by advocating for young children, families and the educators who serve them. We’ll take a deep dive, Dr. Moore explains, into how to build systems, policies and paths that put our field on the right track in the workplace, as well as the classroom.

And this month, we profile a few of the people who are moving our field ahead. You’ll have a chance to chat with them at the EELC. So, this is just a preview of what’s in store when you meet our two EELC scholarship winners and our Council advocate awardee, Erin Smeltzer. They stand out for their devotion to the communities they serve and their conviction that they can make a difference in our field.

Erin, for example, has always believed she “could change the world for children.” And she picked up this passion to serve from her mom, a fire fighter and paramedic. Her mother’s example guided Erin even though she went into a different field. As a preschool teacher, she sparked a love of learning in young children before joining the Florida Department of Education, where she helped build an early learning system that puts young children first. Now, she heads the Children’s Forum, a national group that sets up many workforce initiatives for teachers, including making it easier for them to earn a CDA®.

Getting the proper training is a big part of being a professional in ECE, according to Dyanna Sibert, one of our scholarship winners this year. She’s a family child care provider, whose early trials have shaped her practice as a teacher. Dyanna was bullied as a child because of the color of her skin, so now she’s keen on teaching children to treat each other fairly. She also struggled as a single mom, so now her mission is to do all she possibly can for the single moms who rely on her to keep their children safe.

There isn’t enough quality, cost-effective care like the kind Dyanna provides, and it’s a pressing social issue our second scholarship winner, Javier Nicasio, addresses as a CDA instructor. He sees his work as part of the fight for social justice in the community where he lives, a crusade he was stirred to pursue by a middle school teacher who urged him to give back by being an advocate for others.

Both she and Javier are Hispanic, and their contributions are especially timely as we mark Hispanic Heritage Month. So, we’re featuring several pieces that explore the experience of Hispanic teachers and families. See what this month means in our early learning settings when you hear from the Council Alumni Network (CAN). Then read Dr. Moore’s blog on Celebrating Hispanic Teachers. They make a key contribution, he explains, because children learn best from teachers with a knowledge of their language and culture. So, we need to remove roadblocks that stop Hispanic teachers from earning the credentials they need to meet children’s needs as our country continues becoming more diverse.

We also need to break down the walls of language and culture that stand in the way of two-way communication between teachers and immigrant parents from around the globe, as we point out in our latest paper, Partnering with Immigrant Parents. And there’s common ground for collaboration since love of young children crosses borders. By reaching out to immigrant parents, teachers gain new insights on how to keep their children on track—and that builds paths to equity in early learning, too.

See you soon at EELC,
The Council for Professional Recognition


Recently Posted:

Blog - Text Search
Blog - Category Search
Blog - Search by Tags
Blog - Publish Date