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Kansas Community Training: Professionalism for the Early Childhood Educator

Over the last decade, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has brought us into a new era of working with young children. They have encouraged us to implement developmentally appropriate practices, to establish child-centered programs, and to value the importance of what we do. As this new era unfolds, we must prepare ourselves for new roles and responsibilities. In order to envision new roles, we must let go of old stereotypes that might limit what we do with and for children. The concepts of teacher and caregiver present a picture of one who is in control; of one who dispenses knowledge; and of one who serves as the central figure in a program. In truth, the central figure of any program should be the child. Therefore, we must continually re-examine and re-define what we do and how we see ourselves. Once someone knows his or her trends in how they deal with things, and spends some time understanding their internal beliefs about their work, the importance of interactions with others and the dynamics of putting it all together they quickly become more genuine, effective and efficient professionals.

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