Self Reflection is good practice for all educators, and today we're glad to share the reflections of six different final semester ECE students. Hajra, Nikita, Shilpam, Raihana, Sangeeta and Maninder are all from Sheridan College; they had this to say about lessons they had learned from Field Placements,
"The topic we wanted to talk to you about is our personal experiences in our field placements throughout the years, what we have learned and how we have in-turn become better ECE’s!"
We are thrilled to share these questions, reflections, and stories.
On Mentorship - Nikita
“It is so important to have a good mentor as my first placement mentor was very supportive. She taught me how to be a better ECE. She supported me and guided me throughout my placement. She gave me really helpful advice such as how to solve problems with children, how to assist them, guide them and be there for them. It is so important as ECE’s to have mentors or someone who can help guide and support us to be better ECE’s. Professors in this field can be mentors as well. My very first placement was at a PLASP child care centre and my mentor was so helpful and supportive. Since that was my first placement, my experiences and what I learned really had an impact on me as an ECE and it is something that will stick with me forever.”
My placement at the AECEO has given me a taste of the real world. Each week I come into the office and I decide how my day will play out. I plan my day based on specific goals I’ve set to achieve in my placement and administrative work to support the organization. In addition to working on my administrative duties, I attend meetings across the city with my field educator and other members of the AECEO. Each meeting I have attended has opened my eyes and my mind to the various powerful roles that exist in the early years sector and the field of early childhood education. I have had numerous opportunities to attend meetings as a learner and observer as well as a contributor to the important discussions that take place; I have had the opportunity to join the collective voice for ECEs across the province.
On September 28th, I had the opportunity to attend the OCBCC (Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care) “Big Tent Meeting” with members across Ontario. There were approximately 30 professionals present at the meeting, ranging from early childhood educators to researchers to retired professionals who continue to advocate for early childhood educators and child care workers across the country. At first, it was quite overwhelming to be in a room with such an inspiring group of individuals and I was not quite sure how I fit in. The first half hour I found it a little challenging to follow along with the discussion as the vocabulary was quite advanced. However, as the meeting progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly connected to the topics and I felt a surge of passion for the field of early childhood education. I was able to see the struggles that all these professionals were fighting to overcome, such as devalued work, low wages, and a lack of stability in the workplace due to a lack of government funding.
As part of the Early Childhood Educators of BC and the Canadian Child Care Federation National Conference in the Spring 2019 they are hosting a Students Voices as Leaders to be listened to. They have created a blog site at http://ececstudentleaders.weebly.com/ and are inviting students, instructors and ECEC field professionals to celebrate the voices of students as leaders. Every few weeks between now and the conference they will post a new question to explore , currently they have:
a) why student voices
b) celebrating student work
Any one is free to add in comments and resources to celebrate students as leaders.
Please share and join in the conversations across the country!
I am a George Brown College Student in the Early Childhood Education diploma program, and I have done my third field placement at The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO). The field placement at AECEO was entirely different from my first two placements in two ways. Firstly, instead of working in an Early Childhood setting with the children, I was working in an office environment. Secondly, the focus of my work was representing registered early childhood educators (RECEs). I chose this alternative placement to gain more in-depth knowledge about the field of ECE, the issues currently being faced by the sector and the role and importance of advocacy in the ECE sector. At the beginning of my placement, I was very nervous and overwhelmed. But, as the time passed and with the support and guidance of team AECEO, I started to understand the different tasks and activities, the AECEO is a part of and lead.Read more
When I first began my internship at the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) I had a combination of nervousness and excitement. I knew very little about the organization, but I brought curiosity and enthusiasm with me to expand my knowledge of the early childhood profession. I felt welcomed by all of the AECEO staff as soon as I walked through the doors. They made me feel like I was part of a team, something I had never experienced before. I could not wait to begin my journey as AECEO`s summer intern!Read more
The opportunity to intern at the AECEO during the provincial elections was a really great learning experience. I got to see firsthand, the on-going advocacy work of the association as they worked hard to ensure early childhood educator voices were being heard by candidates and voters.Read more
I am currently a third-year student in the Early Childhood Leadership degree program at George Brown College and I’m interning this summer at the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO). During my orientation I read through a list of published policy reports and AECEO publications.Read more
Blog post by Min Kyung You
GBC ECE Student
Field placement experiences are critical for students in early childhood education programs in Ontario. During placement, students have opportunities to apply their theoretical knowledge and skills learned from course work into practice with young children, families and community. While I was an ECE student at George Brown College, I had three different field placements with children of all different age groups. Having different placement experiences, I learned valuable and practical skills and gained knowledge while in working in childcare settings.Read more
For as long as I can remember, I have been inundated with the message that I am “good with kids”. It is true that I have always had an affinity for young children; even in my own childhood I would jump at any opportunity to play with a baby or to help a parent change a diaper. I started babysitting at a young age and continued to do so all through my adolescence and into early adulthood, making the transition to full-time childcare work as I served as a nanny for several different families in my early twenties. The notion that I was innately talented at caring for children, however, never sat right with me. It reeked of the feminization of care work, devaluing the knowledge and skills that I acquired over a decade of childminding. I loved all the children infinitely, of course, but the work was physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. I had internalized these messages so profoundly that I was uncomfortable with speaking up about any professional challenges that I experienced for fear that my identity as a naturally capable caregiver would be compromised. I was left with the feeling that the work I was doing was unskilled and unimportant, and that I was somehow less competent and intelligent as my friends working in different fields.Read more
Being an intern has its perks!
Are you a student interested in policy and advocacy? Do you want to see a change in the early childhood profession in Ontario? If so, the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) is the ideal organization to complete your placement with! Hesitant? Let’s look at four reasons why you should do your placement here…