From the NAEYC Standards:
STANDARD 7. EARLY CHILDHOOD FIELD EXPERIENCES
The standard according to NAEYC:
Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
Key elements of Standard 7:
- 7a. Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3-5, 5-8)
- 7b. Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs)
How I strive to Achieve this Standard in my Practice:
Childhood in general is a time of rapid and frequent changes as students grow and mature. This experience is arguably even more intense in Early Childhood, where a mere matter of months in a child’s life can see that child undergoing major developments, both physically and in terms of skill development.
As such, I believe it is important for an Early Childhood Educator to engage with and be knowledgeable about all age levels under the Early Education umbrella. In this way, the teacher can be fully informed about where a child has come from, where he/she is now, and where he/she can be expected to go in terms of physical and cognitive development. To this end, I have made efforts to be involved with children of all ages at my school.
Keeping informed about all of the age levels in Early Childhood through work with older grades:
In order to have the opportunity to engage with, support, and learn about the older grades in Early Childhood, I volunteer twice a month with a Second Grade Girl Scout Troop in my school. Through this work, I have gotten practice with developmentally appropriate practices for managing older children and for supporting their social-emotinoal development. It also affords me the opportunity to work with them in a setting outside the classroom. I take part in both learning and play activities and know that I am taking an active part of their learning. Getting to work with them outside school hours, however, allows me to be part of learning in a more informal environment and thus allows me to forge a different kind of relationship with them than I might as a classroom teacher.