Becoming An Early Childhood Educator is Possible!!

There are many persons who have thought about becoming a teacher and yet may feel it is too late, especially if the thought of going to college for a four-year degree is out of the question. However, as part of the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC), Steepletown is committed to “growing our own” teachers. Early in the history of the ELNC, a CDA (Child Development Associate credential) Program was offered to those who were interested in becoming a teacher. Beatrice Salgado, a teacher at the Early Learning Center was one of those individuals, who after earning her CDA has now been a preschool teacher for the past 8 years!

Steepletown worked with the ELNC and two amazing trainers- Rachelle McKissick and Antoinnet McCutchen, to offer a training that helps individuals explore the role of a preschool teacher. The training consists of 12 hours of instruction-based conversations on licensing, curriculum development, teacher-child relationships, etc. which is followed by a 2-4 hour observation in either an infant/toddler or preschool-age classroom. Not only do participants of this training walk away with a much better understanding of what it takes to be an early childhood educator, they also receive a $300 stipend for completing the training.

Erica Martinez recently completed this training with nine other parents. She shared that growing up she always wanted to be a teacher, but since she completed high school on-line, she was not eligible for financial aid nor could her parents afford to help her with the cost of college. When she heard of this training, she saw it as an opportunity to get back on track with her dream of becoming an early childhood educator. Erica will be hired to work full-time as an apprentice at the Steepletown- Early Learning Center this upcoming school!

The training is called Parents Partnering as Teachers primarily because it has been marketed to parents of one of the ELNC sites. Truthfully teachers are partners with parents in the education of their children, so the name is a bit misleading. And yet it is meant to be an invitation for parents (and other adults) to learn firsthand the role of an early child educator, which is someone who works with children ages 0-5. Another training is coming up in a couple weeks and will again be offered later this fall- see the flyer on Steepletown’s home page. This is a great opportunity for those who want to actualize their dream of becoming an early childhood educator!

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Dick Bulkowski

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