I am truly excited to have accomplished my goal of obtaining my Associates of Early Childhood Education at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC). It has been both an incredible learning experience and enjoyable journey.
When I began my first classes at NWTC, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I knew I was an eager student and that I loved young children, but didn't know what more I would learn. Even though I had many years of experience working with children, I never realized how much more to early childhood education there was than just "teaching children." One of the most important things I was taught is how to truly observe children. While learning more about child development and the different stages children go through, I was able to see how the developmental mile-stones could help me become a better educator. I now realize that there is a purpose to all of the running records, timed samplings, and anecdotal records. This is something I had never used in the past. In addition, I learned the importance of developmentally appropriate practice. This in-turn has made me want to advocate for the early childhood profession.
Throughout the last two years, I have seen myself become a much more confident teacher. The experiences in practicum; especially the lead week in my fourth practicum, have given me faith in myself that I haven't felt in the past. I have increased my knowledge about child development, early learning models and have determined the best model for my teaching philosophy. Some of the most influential growth experiences include creating lesson plans, being a lead teacher in practicum and understanding how a child develops physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially.
As I move forward, I am anxious to move to the next phase in my career. I have been accepted at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where I have enrolled in the Early Childhood Program to obtain my bachelors degree and a dual license in special education. I eventually hope to become a kindergarten or first grade teacher.
While gathering all of the documentation for this portfolio, I was quite amazed at the amount of work that I have completed over the last two years. As I began putting things together, I realized all of these experiences and artifacts give a fairly good summary of my knowledge in early childhood. Although it was very time consuming, I am happy with everything I have accomplished.