The Administration of Early Childhood Education Programs

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The National Association for the Education of Young Children Code of Ethical Conduct believes that there are certain values that teachers should always keep in mind while educating.  The Association states that "Standards of ethical behavior are based on commitment to core values that are deeply rooted in the history of our field."  The core values include ideas such as: appreciating childhood as a unique stage, basing work on the knowledge of child development, appreciating and supporting the close ties between family and child, knowing that children are best understood in the context of their family and culture, respecting the dignity and uniqueness of each individual (child, family member, and colleague), and to try to help children and adults achieve their full potential in the context in relationships that are based on trust, respect, and positive regard.

My vision as a teacher is to have a classroom…a safe place in which all students will be challenged to meet their potential by having the opportunities to realize their intellectual, physical, creative, and social/emotional potentials.

As an educator, I am commented to the success of and well being of the students.

My decisions whether personal or professional, are dependent on my values and the environment that I am in too. I believe that being honest with people especially children and their families will lead to the creation of a lasting relationship based on trust and credibility.

Students are highly influenced by their teacher and their surroundings, therefore, I must make sure that I influence the students in a positive way. The things that teachers say and do are easily absorbed by little ears that we do not think hear us. Guiding the children/ students through educational work is one aspect of being a teacher, however, the other half is helping them to build their character and understand good morals and values. Teachers must cherish their students for each of their own individual abilities and talents, recognizing that everyone has something different to offer. Not only are the teachers able to teach the students, the children/ students can also teach us something new every day. Teachers must also honor all of their students as individuals. It does not matter how they look, where they come from, how well behaved or not behaved a child might be. They need to feel loved and accepted at all costs. When teachers practice an established schedule and daily routine, a child is offered a sense of security. It aids in creating a relationship of trust between teacher, parent and child. The children become familiar with this daily format and look forward to certain activities. (Klein ,2002) asserted that children who are provided with a predictable schedule and a secure environment are more likely to feel confident about exploring their world… through these explorations children strengthen their connections to the people and environment around them.

It is important that teachers give children a fair chance to show their knowledge when assessing.  "The purpose of assessment is to provide feedback that can be used to improve student performance" ( Orange 2000).  Teachers assess children to ensure that they are understanding the material, and to make sure they are learning.  For young children especially tests should never be the only criteria of assessment.  Instructors should always make sure that their assessment is fair.  When testing a child, make sure that the testing method used is appropriate for that child.  For example, if giving a test that relies on visual aids to administer the test it is important that the teacher is certain that all the children have good enough vision to clearly see the aids. 

When assessing young children in particular it is important to look for more than simply right or wrong.  An in depth look is necessary to see what the children really know before giving them a poor grade.  Children's work needs to critiqued in more than one way to be sure that they really do or do not understand. "Varied assessment methods developed and evaluated by teachers make a significant contribution to knowledge about what children know, can do, and still need to learn." (Isenberg & Jalongo, 2000).

I believe there is no perfect way to teach, and it is hard to find the perfect solution to every problem.  The best way for a teacher to deal with ethical situations is to try to avoid the problem to begin with.  Teachers should always think about their actions and evaluate their behavior on a regular basis.  Problems that deal with concepts such as bias, or favoritism can be avoided by a teacher simply evaluating himself and his behavior.  Problems with assessment and confidentiality just take a little consideration, and thinking through.  If teachers would refer to the Code of Ethics it might help lead them in the most appropriate and ethical actions and solutions. The National Association for the Education for Young Children Code of Ethical Behavior states that; "Above all, we shall not harm children.  We shall not participate in practices that are disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitive, intimidating, emotionally damaging, or physically harmful to children."  They say that, that principle has precedence over all others. Finally, it opens everyone's mind of how children should be treated and the roles a family plays in a child's development. I am a strong believer in the family-centered approach because it focuses on meeting the needs of children through the family unit, whatever that unit may be. The programs include the family as an integral, inseparable part of the child's education and socialization. The benefits of the family-centered programs are not just limited to children they also benefit parents, teachers and the community too. When parents and teachers work together they enhance children's emotional security, which facilitates development and makes it easier for children to develop and learn. Families can also gain greater knowledge of resources from the professionals in their children's program. Collaboration is a key word. The point is for professionals to become allies with families and share power. In a partnership, each partner brings a special set of strengths and skills that enhance the group. Through building relationships and ongoing communication the partnership results in mutual learning as both sides share resources and information with each other. Everyone benefits: the early educators, the families, and the children.

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