Making international connections is a critical way to build professional resources. Over the past eight weeks I have followed, www.worldforumfoundation.org, whose mission as sated on the web site “ is to promote an on-going global exchange of ideas on the delivery of quality services for young children in diverse settings.” This mission and the information I have gained and had the privilege to share with my colleges has inspired me to expand my professional growth beyond my classroom, school, town, and state to the nation as a whole. It is inspiring to read an learn about the dedicated advocates that take the time and initiative to meet on critical topics in the early childhood field to support he needs of children all over the world.
We as teachers know we learn more and grow more when we bring our challenges to our colleagues and we collaborate on solutions. When we come together as a group of professionals who personally care about children and each other we can freely ask for help, share ideas, and learn from each other’s strengths. Now blow that concept up and out of your program and you state and include colleges from around the world with vastly divers experiences and knowledge, that is the world forum. We can all be advocates at whatever level we are ready. Starting by forming a solid collaborative working relationship within our school or program is a critical beginning step, then branching out to collaborate with other local programs to extend the communication and support, and on and on.
Following resources from around the world has expanded my professional and personal understanding of early childhood education. It is important as professionals that we are aware of the issues and trends in the field in which we are a part of. Making increasingly more professional connections allows us to stay knowledgeable and continuously grow professionally and personally. Each article I read caused me to take time to reflect on my own practice and inspired me to improve. I shared many of these insights on this blog to inspire others to also reflect and continuously grow professionally and personal. Never think you are done learning.
By connecting with other early childhood professionals through blogs, web sites, articles, and research, I have been able to benefit from their insights and diverse knowledge. It always amazes me how different we all think and interpret the same information. Many time over the course of these eight weeks my colleagues and I have reviewed the same site or research and came away with very different information and insight to share with each other. This is the power of connecting with others and collaborating on the many issues and trends in the field of early childhood. I truly appreciate the insights my colleagues have shared and I have grown in my professional understanding and personal passion.
My vision for my self, my colleagues, and for the field of early childhood is that we can all see the value we each bring to the field. Each of us early childhood professionals have had different childhood experiences, educational experiences, life experiences, professional work experiences that have shaped who we are and how we see children and the field of early childhood education. This diversity is a gift, if we communicate and collaborate with each other on a local and national level. We must become greater advocates for our profession and be the voice of children who are not able to speak for themselves. Continue to seek the latest research, strategies, and insights from others in our field and continuously reflect on our practice and how we can support children and the field of early childhood education.