December/January is typically a time when people reflect on their lives, their habits and goals, and the direction they are going. They evaluate whether they are meeting the goals they’ve set and even whether those goals are still meaningful or appropriate in their lives. They identify if small changes are needed in their lives or whether there is a need for dramatic differences .
As an early childhood practitioner, it might also be a good time to think about your professional life and your commitment to young children and their families.
- Are your skills current?
- Have you completed all the training that your state or community requires annually?
- What are your professional goals for the coming year?
- What steps have you taken to accomplish these goals?
The early childhood landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. Most states are making investments to improve the quality of child care in their communities. Many have established quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) to address quality, accessibility, affordability, and other early childhood issues. Providers who participate in quality initiatives typically have professional development plans that include educational goals and program improvements. In many communities coaches or mentors work with programs and providers to help them meet their professional goals.
As you reflect on your professional activities, there are several things you should consider:
- What early childhood qualifications, including degrees, do you already have?
- Are you currently enrolled in college level classes?
- Are you working with a college advisor, a coach/mentor, or anyone else to help you accomplish your professional goals?
- Do you face barriers in meeting your educational goals?
- Are you receiving any tuition assistance, scholarships, or grants?
- Do you have an updated professional development plan?
- What are your professional goals for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
In future blog postings, we’ll be exploring professional development issues in greater depth. Questions are welcome.