Sunday, April 28, 2019

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

This week...the final week- we embark on a journey to step out into the wide world as skilled educators in the fight to counteract bias behavior and promote fairness and cultural awareness in the classroom. When I initially started this journey to obtain my Master's Certificate over a year ago, I assumed that I would be exposed to information to which I already had a good grasp, and could then progress through the material--already knowing which way I should go forth. This turned out to be far from the case. This journey through the lands of Anti-bias education has really given me a solid understanding of current issues that are arising in the classroom and how to handle those issues that arise with the children first and foremost at all time. The course has taught me to dig into the root of the concern and follow through with strategies that will allow me to better serve the families and children within the classroom, but also to help the children become more culturally aware and encouraging to one another. 

One of my favorite past matriarchs and ancestors in the art of education and psychology of all time, the late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing said this:
"Children are the only future of any people. If the children's lives are squandered, and if the children of a people are not fully developed at whatever cost and sacrifice, the people will have consigned themselves to certain death."
This has always struck me as being a powerful statement--if we do not keep children and their educational development at the heart of everything that we do, we can forget about the next generation having any source of hope or guidance and the cultural competence of families and children will decrease little by little. It is, therefore, my hope to build self-love and cultural awareness at all time within the children in the classroom. I am a firm believer that children, especially melinated children need to see the value in themselves and their potential to flourish in this world. My mission is even stronger now that my initial journey with Walden is coming to a close--I feel so much more knowledgeable that I can create a strong and safe space for those children who are often trodden upon in this life! 

To my fellow educators and sisters in the field, I thank you, your experiences and sharing of wisdom and knowledge. All of you have truly inspired me to expand my own way of thinking and apply some of your methods to the way that I am currently thinking about the way that I approach many situations. Thank you- and may the ancestors and Most High continue to guide you throughout your endeavors!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

UNICEF has always been an organization that I have known to have the interest of families and children at the heart of everything that they do. When I was a senior in high school (not so long ago) I remember being the Vice President of a community service club where one of the projects was to go "Trick-or-Treating" for UNICEF. It was at that time when I had my first brush with the work that they do and knew that it was a great cause for our organization to support. 

For this assignment I chose the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. I chose this area mainly because my roots lie in the Caribbean and I wanted to find out what resources UNICEF offered within this region. The Latin America & Caribbean region covers the countries of Panama, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Costa Rica and other South American and islands of the Caribbean in this region. Within these regions UNICEF focuses on Nutrition, Education, Protection, Equal Opportunity, and a Clean and Safe Environment.  There are many challenges within this region that include lack of electricity (due to hurricane damage, and other tropical storms), starvation and dehydration due to food shortages and lack of access to proper nutrition and access to clean water. There is also an issue of proper refuge for the migrants that are within these regions, especially those that are indigenous to the land, along with receiving proper education for the children that reside in these areas. UNICEF is set to counteract many of these negative pitfalls, and does so through providing educational programs that will improve learning and skills development and provide early childhood development programs for young children; establish programs geared towards reducing malnutrition and eliminating the transformation of life threatening diseases (such as HIV), and even furthering the cause of making sure that the community has access to programs that will help rebuild the overall community for those people that are indigenous to the land. 

Personally, I know that these resources will not only help provide passageways for a healthier living environment, but I know that it will also provide access to resources that will help to better the educational development of the children within the region. I personally know that when children and their families have access to the proper resources and are not spending their days and nights worried about the basic needs for survival that the children have a better success rate in focusing on their educational growth and development. Our resource for this week pointed out that children who reside within areas that have a very low income or and environment that is needing the basic necessities that they have a greater chance of experiencing behavioral problems (Trustees of Columbia University, 2010). We as educators have the obligation to point children and their families to those resources that will make a positive impact the children's lives and the community to which we serve


Trustees of Columbia University, The. (2010). National Center Center for Children Children in PovertyPoverty (NCCP). Retrieved from:

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

The topic of the sexualization of children, is always an extremely hard topic to encounter within education and more importantly within parenting of young children. As an educator it is always extremely hard to have these conversations arise and make their presence known within the classroom and within the society that we live. The dangers that sexualization weighs on the lives and spiritual/mental/physical well-being is life-altering and as educators, guiders, and parents--we should take special care to not allow our children and the lives of the children that we encounter within the classroom  setting to become corrupted by the signals and images that mainstream media is portraying for them to follow. 

In this week's reading of the article, "So Sexy, So Soon," the authors points out that children within this day and time are being bum-rushed and 'bombarded' with very graphic and inappropriate images about sex and the mainstream definition of 'sexiness' within Hollywood and 'popular culture' (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009). The authors go on to explain that this popular culture and Hollywood mainstream is making a point to over-sexualize materials on purpose, targeted towards children and underage minors with the intent of making the maximum amount in profits--regardless of the costs (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009).
Our text has already informed us that children at a young age are looking at the media and older adults in order to decipher the concepts of self-image, race, culture and other factors within the society. Based on those deciphering, children then make a decision about themselves and how they should react and function within society (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). With this in mind, we should take an extra ounce of care as professionals, educators, guardians and parents to make sure that we nurture our babies with care and appropriate devotion with the notion that their spiritual and mental wellness is at stake!

 There are many examples of the sexualization that I have seen first hand or have seen children fall victim to over the years. The best examples I can thing of are through the media portrayal of the sex within children programming such as Disney, Dreamworks, and major television networks such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. It has been said that the portrayal of sex and adult themes and subliminal images can be seen heavily within children's movies. Below I am including a short presentation put together by "ODD TV" as well as a few images that show children's movies and media portrayals that are unacceptable (not too graphic) but that go to show the extent to which media will portray an image on a "soft-kill" message to children, only to prep them for the "slaughter" as they enter into the age of young ladies and young men. This example can also be seen through the lyrics that of songs that are being presented over the airways that children fall victim to hearing and reciting. These lyrics in repetition almost become ingrained as the 'status-quo' or norm of society and end up being the demise of the self-image of children. Again the reading pointed out that there is a "narrow definition of femininity and sexuality" that is moving girls to focus on sex and sex appeal. Unfortunately, children are encountering these images at a young age and their tiny minds are not able to properly decipher that the material being viewed or seen or heard is inappropriate and should not be applied to their lives (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009). To make matters worse, there are many parents out there who are supporting the demise of their children, but "prostituting" their children's images for personal wealthy and fame and children are being forced into the 'den of lions' so to speak with very few exits. 

This look at the sexualization of children has only supported my reasoning for promoting positive cultural and ethnic images of children when it comes to their self-concept and perception so that the holistic child is uplifted. I have 5 daughter all under the age of 10 myself, and I am very keen and careful about they things that they view and the music that they listen to, because I know that the wrong materials can send the wrong message that can ultimately scar them for life. In my undergrad work, years ago, I looked at the same topics of the media portrayal of children (specifically Brown children) and the effects on their self-concept and worth. Since that time, the messages have only gotten worse, and it is our OBLIGATION and DUTY as adults to "Draw the line in the sand," for lack of better metaphors against the filth and inappropriate images at are damaging children male and definitely female at a deadly rate. If this imagery is not flushed and replaced with positive imagery and self concepts--then the effects may not only result in a physical death of the image and maybe life of a child--it will ALWAYS lead to the possible death of a child's metal health, which as educators/guardians and parents is our Number 1 responsibility to care for!


Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Levin, D. E., & Kilbourne, J. (2009). [Introduction]. So sexy so soon: The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids (pp. 1-8). New York: Ballantine Books. Retrieved from:

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Evaluating Impacts on Professional Practice

This week's class information and assignment is centered on what we as educators should do if we were being targeted for an "ism" within our personal life,  and how that would affect the way we are functioning within the classroom with our children and their families. 

In my scenario, I imagine that I have faced being stereotyped against (as I have) for being a Black Woman, who is in what has been deemed the "lower" socio-economic status, from other teachers or staff members within the very same school that I am employed. I know personally that if this occurred within the school or educational center that I worked, that first of all I must not be surrounded by individuals who were on the same thinking pattern as me, (i.e. that the children are the main focus). I know that I also would need to find positive energy to tap into when interacting with people as close as the staff members. 

Within the media segment that we viewed this week, the Early Childhood Educator, Eric Hoffman, stated that whenever we interact with the children within the classroom, we should focus on helping them to learn about issues through a "child-like" mindset, rather than the "adult" stuff that is going on within society,and more closely our lives (Laureate Education, 2011). With this point in mind, I believe that we should make it our focus to not let our personal frustration overwhelm us within the classroom. In this case it may be more profitable to present little mini-learning lessons with the kids through something such as food or little skits, and be open and honest (with discretion) about my own feelings about shareable parts of my own situation (using myself as an example). The text emphasizes the fact that children need guidance in understanding not only their own views on culture and race, but also how others view these same "isms" and their dealing with those subject matters (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). I believe that the key is to make sure that children understand the dangers in stereotypes and microaggressions, and as educators though we may be experiencing harsh and foul experiences with bias, we should turn that scenario into a teachable moment!


Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Learning about fairness: Culture, language, and economic class [DVD]. Strategies for working with diverse children. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Observing Communication

For this week's blog assignment, we were to observe an adult and child communicating out in public. Though the choices are plentiful for observing adult and child communication, I chose to observe the interaction while out to eat for my 2nd to youngest daughter’s birthday. While regretfully visiting Shoney’s, I was able to observe a mother and father who were eating dinner with their young two children who looked about 5 and 6 years old. The children were constantly picking at each other and calling each other names, and the parent initially attempted to give them non-verbal communication by giving them a warning glare, but when the warning glare did not work, the mother began to slightly raise her voice and threaten for them to leave the restaurant without the children getting to eat their food. After several reminders of the possibility of leaving the restaurant, the father finally said something to the two children that made them stop in their tracks and finish their meal without another word. From this interaction, I learned that though the children seemed to devalue the effectiveness and communication that the mother had with them when asking them to stop playing at the table, and threatening for them to leave the restaurant—it was the father’s ultimate authority and say-so that lead to them obeying the original task and keeping quiet at the table.

In this week readings, a point was made that when teachers are effectively communicating with the children within their classrooms, they do not command the children to do a task. Instead, they use encouraging language and descriptive language that is relevant to the children’s lives (Rainer & Durden, 2010). In this case, the mother’s language and words leaned more towards the understanding side but did not necessarily reflect language that the children could logically reason with in order to make the right decision. The father’s language may have been language that they related to (as far as punishment options were concerned) but did not necessarily reflect encouraging or positive language.

I know that within this scenario that if I were the one dishing out the “encouraging” words towards the same children, because of their age I might present their behavior as a logical thought-process towards, asking them if it makes sense to present yourself in a certain manner, but that is because that is the method I often INITIALLY use, lol to help guide children. In my experience, it often will work, because they will then cause them to respond out loud and thoroughly think about their behavior!


Rainer Dangei, J., & Durden, T.R. (2010). The nature of teacher talk during small group activities. YC: Young Children, 65(1), 74-81. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Creating Affirming Environments

In this week’s lesson we explored the importance to having a creative home care environment, that is not only supportive to the family unit, in relation to the learning environment, but also that is designed to assist the flourishing of a child’s mind. According to the text, the toys, materials, furniture, and books that are arranged within the classroom and home care environment, also has an influence on what the children are learning (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).  In this regard, I believe that the entryway is very important to present a comforting and relaxing feeling for the families and their children that are enrolled within the home care program. This would mean that a calming color pattern should be used with creative glimpses of the types of things that will be explored within the classroom should be a part of the décor, so to pique the interest of the child’s curiosity. The media this week had an excellent example of a home care facility in which Mrs. Castillo made sure to include an entryway to her home that had a place for parents and children to sit down and take in the décor of the room, but also to spend a little time getting comfortable before separating for the day; this ensures that there is a smooth transition to the child entering into the classroom setting (Laureate Education, 2011). 

The second room would then contain the exploratory room that contains pictures, books and cultural/family implementations. My hope is that this room will further pique the interest of the child and their family so that they will be able to enter the room and interact with different activities and images of positivity and cultural experiences. The text again stresses the importance of the rooms reflecting the daily lives and physical environment of the children and their families, so to build positive imagery (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).

The next and last two rooms will be devoted to intense learning (which will contain a little section for a learning lab) and a room for eating and presentations. The learning space will be set up in a circular design so that the flow of energy and mutual meeting ground circulates and flows from child-to-child, and every child feels included within the activity. Appropriate books, posters, and small glimpses of media sources will be within this learning space and will give the children an opportunity to expand their minds. I think that with a level of comfort and inclusion mixed with a little family value, children will be able to function and flourish within a culturally-inclusive and respective environment.


Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Strategies for working with diverse children: Welcome to an anti-bias learning community. Baltimore, MD: Author

Saturday, March 2, 2019


If I could think of any true hope that I have for working with families and children of diverse backgrounds, it would be to step gain a deeper understanding of the cultures and ethnicities that reside here in the United States. This class has called for us to search deeper to learn our true identities, and within that, I learned that maybe I do not know the cultures and ethnicities within the United States as much as I thought I did when I first started this program. I want to understand those cultures and ethnicities, and then incorporate other creative and fulfilling ways for children within the classroom setting to also learn about these same cultures and ethnicities as well... basically a giant celebration!

I think that my goal for Early Childhood Education will be to enhance my curriculum that I am designing to include those cultures and ethnicities that I have learned about from the motivation of this course. I think that this will be a great early childhood educational goal as it embodies all that we are attempting to accomplish within this program!

I really and genuinely want to thank all of my fellow sisters (colleagues) within this course! I loved having a smaller class size because I felt that I was able to really connect through our blogs and postings! Each and every one of you (Ms. Quay, Ms. Lilyann, Ms. Jill, Ms. Shakira, and Dr. Kien) I feel like you all have revealed your strengths and points of improvement, and through that, we have all grown as educators and associates- I hope to see you all the next class and Wish you positive energy into your next endeavors! In the Spirit of the nature of our course, I decided to leave you all with another of my favorite clips on kids trying cultural foods! Good Luck to all!--Iesha