Friday, February 8, 2013

Why Me? Why NOT Me? Heroes in Education

I'm being featured as one of the 365 Heroes in Education over on Anthony Salcito's Daily Edventures blog. I'm floored, honored, and trying to process how this all happened.

I mean seriously, I spend about 9 out 10 days lounging in pajama pants. I am continually covered in some kind of goo (even when the children are not around, I am a goo/food/mess magnet).So, I continue to ponder, Why Me?

During my interview process, I had to ask, "How did you find me?" Come to find out, it was here, because of my blog that they were able to find me and why I am being highlighted. How cool is that? I love that technology is allowing us to be connected in various nooks, crannies, and corners of the world. 

However, I do struggle with some of this kind of recognition. I know that what I do makes a huge difference in this world, and I don't need to be labeled a "hero" by a blog connected to a large corporation to realize that. I also know that there are hundreds if not thousands of other heroes out there that are not being mentioned. Many of which contribute just as much if not more to the field than I do.  When I started to scroll through the list of heroes they have identified, I noticed something bothersome.... Where are all of the early childhood educators?

And seriously, are you kidding me.... in the same list as Sugata Mitra and Howard Gardner. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? HOLY WHA!) Then I started to think more about this....  I was asking why me? When I really needed to focus on why not me?

We don't need to be well known or publicly out there to be a hero.  I would bet money on the fact that everyone is a hero to someone. We all have qualities and have done things that could be deemed heroic at one point or another, and all of the teachers, parents, grandparents, scout leaders, 4-H leaders, ..... All of us  who take the time to really be with young children are heroes.

So, after taking the time for some serious reflection.....

All I really have to say, is "WOW! How COOL is THAT!"

You can find my interview on Daily Edventures here.

Our local television station also came out, and you can find the story here. 
(airing on Friday - will post the link as soon as it becomes available)

Thanks for reading, 
continuing to inspire me, 
and for being everyday heroes!

P.S. I would recommend continuing to take a look at the Daily Edventures Blog. I nominated a whole bunch of really AMAZING HEROES, and I know that they have already contacted a few of them!


Unknown said...

Well I always knew you were amazing Amy - this confirms it. I am so happy for you - I hope you can feel the happy vibes all the way from Australia!

Tom Bedard said...

Amy, you do a great job of representing the profession. Who needs a cape when you have an awesome wig. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely! Why not you? Your post on that blog is indeed heroic; you go way out on a limb, you push the boundaries, you argue your positions so beautifully clearly and logically and you are a true inspiration. What more do you need to be considered a hero?

You bravely and forthrightly make your case, and I agree with every word of it. It's especially brave to say on a technology blog that less technology is needed in children's lives, not more, that screen time is not the best use of children's time and that technology is just one tiny part of a child's growth and development - it has its uses but it is not central to their development. I love the position you take on how technology can be usefully employed with children: hands-on active use of cameras and recorders and creative software, where the children are in control of the technology, not passive consumers of media and so-called "educational software".

Instead you argue that free play and dirt and mess and freedom and time are crucial and central, that outdoor learning and forest schools and connection with nature are crucial. That respect for children as the arbiters of their own learning is crucial You argue that child development knowledge and the commitment and passion of educators is crucial, and that social media is a brilliant way for educators to network and develop skills, and to share freely the ideas and methods that lead to true quality of education.

I especially agree with your position on quality and quality improvement programs that are not based on sound developmental psychology, that are not normed and validated and that are designed and controlled by faceless bureaucrats who know NOTHING about working at the coal-face of early childhood education. Who would not recognise REAL quality if it jumped up and slapped them in the face.

Most of them have never actually worked with children at all, and worst of all they believe that if something can't be measured with a standardised test it does not exist. Almost nothing that is a true indicator of quality education is testable by a standardised test and vice versa almost nothing that is measured by a standardised test has any relevance to either quality or educational outcomes.

Bravo! You are a hero! Thank you for being so brave - it needed saying and you said it, loud and clear. I just hope that the people who make the decisions are listening.

If not it's about time they did, and if necessary we must force them to listen. Because the early years of a child's education are the most important of all, and ECE is too precious to be destroyed by these bureaucrats and politicians. We must be as brave as you; we must make our stand; we must have a revolution in ECE and we must be prepared to fight long and hard for the things we KNOW to be true.

Alec Duncan, of Child's Play Music.

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