Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

This week I want to share three international early education organizations or communities of practice that appealed to me; job opportunities that interest me within those organizations and the skills and experience that  are needed to competently fulfill each of the roles~~~

  • Consultancy

    Technical Assistance in Early Childhood Intervention, Switzerland
    Organization: UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund
    Country: Switzerland
    City: Geneva
    Office: UNICEF Geneva

    Closing date: Friday, 24 February 2017
    Job no: 502898

    Work type: Consultancy

    Location: Switzerland

    Qualifications of Successful Candidate

    1.Higher university degree in medicine, public health, child development, and/or early childhood intervention
    2.Knowledge and expertise early childhood development and intervention, as well as monitoring, screening, and assessment tools in the region, such as the International Guide for Monitoring Child Development
    3.A good understanding of UNICEF’s work in CEE/CIS on home visiting and early childhood intervention, as well as UNICEF’s approach to disability
    4.8-10 years in the relevant technical field
    5.Excellent analytical skills
    5.Fluency in English and Russian required
    6.Prior experience with UNICEF, particularly in CEE/CIS on related topics an asset

    The consultancy will be home-based. The consultant will participate in the ECI Conference and Network Meeting in Belarus, undertake two or more country missions and one meeting at Regional Office in Geneva. Applicants indicate ability, availability and daily rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without all the requested information will not be considered.

    I like UNICEF and participate in its annual Trick or Treat fundraising program with my classrooms. UNICEF has a 70 year history of working in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. As the world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. It is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization..


  • Education Program Manager – South Sudan

Programming Bentiu, South Sudan

Mercy Corps is currently implementing Education in emergency programs to provide Safe & Protective Learning as provision of strengthened formal education, life skills and psychosocial support to build resilience and improve the well-being of children and young people affected by conflict in Unity State (Rubkona, Panyijiar) and Western Equatoria (Mundri East) States, South Sudan.

south-sudan-map-140130The Program Manager will report to the Director of Programs.

  • He/She will be responsible in managing all the education and integrated psychosocial support/conflict resolution activities in the different States (Unity and Western Equatoria) with Mundri East as main duty station.
  • He will work more closely with the national EiE Program managers and Senior Officers to ensure that the resources of the program meet its targets and deliverables on time and that target beneficiaries are mobilized.
  • The job demands regular interaction and coordination of Education partners and UNICEF and the PM shall coordinate activity implementation with these partners.
  • This position includes, developing tools for assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, capacity building of Mercy Corps staff, reporting, and evaluation of the program and preparing periodic reports back to donors

Essential Job Responsibilities: Strategy & Vision
Provide program technical guidance, coordination, supervision and monitoring designed to meet program objectives, deliverables and goals.
Lead the Education in Emergency activities based on a strong contextual understanding of South Sudan and in line with Mercy Corps values
Provide technical input for Mercy Corps’ Education programs
Ensure inclusion of national technical staff and other key stakeholders into strategy process.
Promote the development of a holistic strategy through creating linkages with other sectors strategies (NFI, WASH, Protection).

Knowledge and Experience

BA/S or equivalent in relevant field (Education Management, Public Administration, Management or related social science field).
3-5 years of education programming in emergency/early contexts (urban, peri-urban and rural) with vulnerable communities.
CAAFAG experience is a plus.
Strong technical background in a broad range of youth development interventions in emergency/early recovery situations.
Demonstrated capacity in management, managing activities and teams.
Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of UNICEF programs.
Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders including host governments, and national and international NGOs.
Excellent oral and written English skills required;
Previous experience in similar contexts.
Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational skills.

  • Maple Bear Teacher: Bring the best of Canadian education to students worldwide.

Teach at Maple Bear Global Schools in China

Maple Bear Salary and Benefits
Start Dates: Ongoing 2016 start dates
Student Level: Early Childhood
Training: Pre-departure orientation and training provided
Salary: 12,000-15,000 yuan/month, depending on experience and location
Flight Roundtrip Airfare covered by school
Housing Partly furnished apartment
Health Insurance Provided
Bonus Completion bonus
Contract length 1 year

Bear Requirements

Bachelors degree in Education, Early Childhood Education, or a related field
Native English speaker
Experience teaching or supervising young children
(Preferred) Teaching license issued by the teacher’s provincial or state government

Maple Bear has locations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhengzhou.

Beijing, China’s capital, is one of the largest metropolitan centers in the world, and the second-largest in China. With a history dating back 3,000 years, Beijing offers ancient and modern sights, and a number of cultural institutions.

Shanghai is China’s largest city and a major financial center. Located in Eastern China, this modern urban center is a showcase for China’s booming economic presence.

Zhengzhou is located on the south bank of the Yellow River, and is the capital of Henan Province. The city is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China and is a major transportation hub for the rest of the country. As an educational and economic center of the province, it is a rapidly growing city.


The Maple Bear mission is to deliver a student-focussed learning system in a safe, secure and stimulating environment that prepares students for success at the post secondary level and that instills a passion for life-long learning.

The Maple Bear vision is to provide a high quality pre-school, elementary and high school education based on the Canadian philosophy and best practices that meet the expectations of global parents and is in conformity with local education regulations.



Education Program Manager – South Sudan

Teach at Maple Bear Global Schools in China


Exploring National and Federal Careers in Early Education

Part of becoming a professional in any field is the ability to job seek and evaluate your skills against potential career/job objectives and descriptions.  I chose the following positions because two are in the nonprofit sector and the other would allow me to work on the national level with the Department of Education in the United States.

Executive Director

Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), one of the world’s most prestigious and respected authorities in the field of child development, seeks an experienced, energetic, and entrepreneurial leader to become the next Executive Director and to help lead the organization into an exciting and ambitious future. This future includes a new headquarters location in Washington, DC; a bold strategic plan that envisions substantial growth and expanded impact; and new initiatives spanning a broad range of disciplines. The next Executive Director has an extraordinary opportunity to lead this historic transformation and, in so doing, to affect the lives of millions of children worldwide.

SRCD, founded in 1933, is a multidisciplinary, not-for-profit, professional association with, a membership of approximately 5,500 researchers, practitioners, and human development professionals from 65 countries. The mission of SRCD is to advance developmental science and promote its use to improve human lives. These goals are pursued through a variety of programs, publications, and policy advocacy initiatives.

The ideal candidate will have an established reputation in child development with a substantial research background and a deep understanding and appreciation for the domains of both research and practice. SRCD seeks a leader with a passion for children and child development, vision, energy, entrepreneurial drive, and a strong track record in administrative leadership.

Application materials (resume and cover letter) should be sent to: www.imsearch.com/6032. Inquiries should be directed to Nanette Blandin, nblandin@imsearch.com, 202-552-5521.


Executive Director

Organization: Black Education Strategy Roundtable
Date Posted: 2/2/2017
City: Federal Way
Location: Washington
Country: United States
Primary Category: Non-Profit
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Master’s
Experience Requirement: 5-10 years
Description & Details

Founded in 2006 under the sponsorship of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, the Black Education Strategy Roundtable (BESR) is the leading nonprofit organization working to close the opportunity and achievement gaps for Black/African American students across Washington state. 

BESR is a group of advocates, educators and informers who act on the belief that every student has limitless potential. With an audacious goal that 100% of Black students graduate with a meaningful high school diploma that prepares them for college, work and productive citizenship, BESR is poised to lead the policy advocacy and public engagement needed to achieve this target.


BESR seeks an Executive Director at an exciting time of its growth who will build upon their success and will seize the opportunity to affect the changes that will empower a generation of Black youth. Reporting to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will serve as an ambassador for education reform, using BESR’s existing three-year strategic plan as a roadmap to solidify and grow the organization’s infrastructure, brand recognition, capacity, and impact on advancing equity in education.

Key priorities for the Executive Director will be:

• Advocacy
o Use a thoughtful, strategic approach to convene the right partners to advocate for equitable learning opportunities for Black students.
• Community Engagement
o Build upon and strengthen BESR’s relationships in the local communities of the students and families we serve.
• Strategic Fundraising
o With the support of the Board of Directors, direct and lead all fundraising efforts to ensure that BESR’s work is sustainable.
• Organizational Leadership
o Build out the infrastructure and operations of the organization and guide a passionate, motivated team.

Read more about BESR’s key priorities and ideal candidate for this role in the full position profile here.

Minimum Qualifications

All candidates should have a minimum of five years of relevant experience working in nonprofit leadership, public education, fundraising, communications, partnership and program management, and/or operations. He or she will have exceptional speaking, listening and writing skills. She or he should have a passion for BESR’s mission, and a knowledge of education reform activities. Advanced IT skills are required, with a preference for candidates with experience using Content and Project Management applications and Accounting software. A Masters’ Degree or equivalent work


Performance Improvement Officer 

Salary Range: 124,406.00 – 187,000.00 $ /year
Open Period: Thursday, January 05, 2017 to Sunday, February 05, 2017
Series & Grade: ES-0301-00/00
Position Information: Full Time  Permanent
Promotion Potential: 00
Duty Locations: 1 vacancy – District of Columbia, DC
Who May Be Considered: You are encouraged to read the entire announcement before you submit your application package. Your application may not get full consideration if you do not follow the instructions as outlined in the section “How to Apply.”
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: Yes


About the Agency

This position is located in the Office of the Deputy Secretary (ODS). The incumbent serves as the Performance Improvement Officer (PIO) for the Department of Education with responsibility for providing executive leadership over all phases of the Department’s strategic and performance planning process with a particular focus on program management, financial management, acquisition management, information technology, and human capital.

ODS focuses on the development and implementation of policies, programs, and activities relating to elementary and secondary education matters. This mission addresses a wide spectrum of interests ranging from safe and drug free schools, special education and rehabilitative services, to the education of students living in poverty and students with linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, and the promotion of educational reforms.

Travel Required:

  • Occasional Travel
  • This position requires less than 25% travel.


  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • Requires a financial disclosure statement, OGE-278.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Public Trust security clearance.
  • Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.


Additional Duty Location Info:

1 vacancy – District of Columbia, DC
Serves as the principal advisor to the Deputy Secretary and other agency leadership on all issues within the Department pertaining to compliance with the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010.

Serves as the principal advisor to the Deputy Secretary on the implementation of the agency strategic planning, performance planning, and reporting requirements provided under sections 31 USC 1115-1122 and 5 USC 306, including the contributions of the agency to the Federal Government priority goals. Oversees the selection of agency goals and objectives, including opportunities to collaborate with other agencies on common goals.

Conducts regular reviews of agency performance, on a quarterly basis and an annual basis, of progress achieved toward agency priority goals.

Serves as the principal advisor to the Deputy Secretary on the development and use within the agency of performance measures in personnel performance appraisals and other agency personnel and planning processes and assessments.

Serves as the principal advisor to and representative for the Deputy Secretary on the Performance Improvement Council (PIC).


Qualifications Required:

EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQs): Unless you are currently under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program approved by OPM, you must submit written statements (narrative format) describing accomplishments that would satisfy the ECQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as ‘ineligible.’ You must limit your narrative to two (2) pages per ECQ. When uploading your ECQs, choose the Supporting Document Type called ECQ.

ECQ 1 – Leading Change: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent in this ECQ is ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

ECQ 2 – Leading People: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. Inherent in this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

ECQ 3 – Results Driven: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent in this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ 4 – Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ 5 – Building Coalitions: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

To view additional information on the proper preparation of Executive Core Qualification statements available on the Office of Personnel Management’s website please click here.

MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQs): All applicants must submit written statements (narrative format) of accomplishments that would satisfy the technical qualification. You must address each technical qualification separately. You must limit your narratives to two (2) pages per technical qualification.

When uploading your MTQs, choose the supporting Document Type called MTQ.

MTQ 1: Demonstrated experiences in solving complex problems and utilizing data analysis to lead a strategic approach for developing a culture of continuous improvement in the areas of reliably, process cycle time, cost, quality and productivity.

MTQ 2: Demonstrated knowledge and experience in establishing goals for organizational component(s) to assess progress towards overall mission accomplishment.

MTQ 3: Demonstrated experience in directing the activities of multiple independent teams working towards varied organizational goals; setting standards, and monitoring and reporting outcomes.

When responding to the MTQs, you must clearly show that you possess the experience, knowledge, skills and ability to perform the duties of this position by submitting narrative responses in which you detail your experience in each of the MTQs.

Your examples should be clear and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope, and complexity of the programs managed and program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts.

Applicants who use “see resume” as a response WILL NOT receive consideration for the position.

How You Will Be Evaluated:

Applicants will be evaluated by a Qualifications Review Panel of senior officials. The panel will rate and rank applicants on the basis of the quality and extent of total accomplishments, experience and education. The panel will determine the degree to which candidates possess the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the mandatory technical requirements of the position and the mandatory executive core qualifications requirements.

Among the factors the evaluation panel will consider in determining the applicant’s relative capacity and fitness for the position are education, training, experience and demonstrated executive level qualifications. The Panel will rate and rank your resume against each mandatory technical qualifications and mandatory executive core qualifications to determine the best qualified candidates.

Candidates determined to be best qualified will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration for the position.

To preview questions please click here.



You can view our benefits at:https://jobs.mgsapps.monster.com/edu/vacancy/preview!benefits.hms?orgId=1&jnum=63621

Other Information:

VETERAN’S PREFERENCE – Veteran’s Preference does not apply to the SES.

SELECTIVE SERVICE If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify at the time of appointment that you have registered with the Selective Service, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION – This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the hiring agency directly. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY – The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

How to Apply:

You must complete an on line application package to include the Resume, your responses to the MTQs, an your responses to the ECQs. To apply, please select ‘Apply Online’ button at the bottom of this announcement. Please note: your on line resume may not be a complete application. Be sure to carefully read this announcement to see if additional information is required and how it should be submitted.

Applicants who fail to submit all information and documents (i.e., Resume, MTQs and ECQs) WILL NOT receive consideration for this position.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process.

NOTE: Applications submitted by means other than those described in this vacancy announcement will NOT be considered.

Required Documents:

1. Resume: In addition to your written statements addressing the Executive Core Qualifications, the Mandatory Technical Qualifications, and other qualifications as applicable, submit a resume or any other written format you choose to describe your qualifications. Applicants typically provide the following information:

Full name, mailing address, and day email address and evening telephone numbers

Educational information, including the name, city and state of the colleges or universities you attended, as well as the type and year of any degrees received

Information about your paid and non paid work experience related to this position including:

  • Job title (include series and grade if Federal job)
  • Duties and accomplishments
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Supervisor’s name and phone number (indicate if we may contact your current supervisor)
  • Starting and ending dates of employment (month/year)
  • Information about honors, awards, and special accomplishments

2. MTQ Statement: A narrative statement specifically addressing the mandatory technical qualifications. Each MTQ Statement should not exceed two (2) pages.

3. ECQ Statement: A narrative statement specifically addressing each individual ECQ. In lieu of the narrative statement, current career SES members, reinstatement eligibles, and SES Candidate Development Program graduates must provide the documentation in item #4. ECQs should not exceed ten (10) pages total.

4. All current and former career SES members must provide an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action documenting their status or reinstatement eligibility). Candidates who have successfully completed an Office of Personnel Management approved SES Candidate Development Program must submit a copy of their ECQ certification.

Agency Contact Info:

Kamilah Starks
Phone: 202-401-1402
Email: Kamilah.Starks@ed.gov
Agency Information:
Office of the Deputy Secretary of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Human Resources Services
Washington, DC 20202

What to Expect Next:

After all application packages have been received, we will review your application to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications based on the information provided and may interview the best-qualified applicants. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability and/or security background investigation. You should expect to hear back on the outcome of your application within 90 days of the closing date of the announcement.


Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

I conducted a web search and came across the Arizona Early Childhood Career and Professional Development Network.The Arizona Early Childhood Career and Professional Development Network serves as a resource to build Arizona’s early education workforce and promote the early childhood professional development system. The goal of this site is to serve as a central, one-stop location that connects early childhood practitioners and others interested in the field with information and resources to advance their careers.

I found many career opportunities but these three intrigued me because they are listed by three what I would determine as reputable institutions: the University of Georgia and Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Actthe Centers for Disease Control and Head Start run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


BBB (Better Brains for Babies) Community Outreach Educator, statewide in GA and regional areas

  1. Better Brains for Babies is looking for qualified educators to help us share the research on brain development with various audiences across Georgia. Our BBB Community Outreach Educators are professionals with experience teaching others, and who have opportunities to share the Better Brains for Babies message with groups in Georgia as part of their professional responsibility.  
  2. Minimum qualifications for becoming a BBB community outreach educator include:
    A bachelor’s degree or higher
    Documented experience in educating others about early childhood development
    The ability and willingness to use BBB materials to teach others about brain development (either within the scope of your employment or as an independent trainer)
    A demonstrated network of professional contacts with whom you can share brain development information
    A commitment to share brain development information at least once per year and to report all uses of BBB information in the online reporting system
    Keep in mind that the screening committee chooses the most qualified applicants for each training session. Space is limited at all 2-day training sessions, so some applicants who meet the minimum qualifications may not be accepted.


Health Education Specialist, Atlanta, GA

  1. Department: HHS CDC Center
    Agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Job Announcement Number: HHS-CDC-D2-17-1896649
    SALARY RANGE: $75705 to $117028/Per Year
    OPEN PERIOD: 2017-01-18 to 2017-01-25
    SERIES & GRADE: GS-1701-12/13
    WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States CitizensDUTIES:
    As a Health Education Specialist you will:
    – Responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating public health programs in regards to training and educational strategies to simulate prevention program initiatives.- Design and implement innovative health education strategies to enhance efforts to effectively educate the affected populations, their families, and health care providers on public health surveillance, prevention, and intervention.- Conduct needs assessments to identify educational priorities and needs among diverse audiences interested in public health education.- Develop, implement, manage, and evaluating, public health related education initiatives within the agency and through interagency agreements, contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements.
  2. Basic Qualifications:I have a degree that includes or was supplemented by major study in education or in a subject-matter field appropriate to the position.ORI have a combination of education and experience – courses equivalent to a major in education, or in a subject-matter field appropriate to the position, plus appropriate experience or additional course work that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of the 4-year course of study described in A above.


Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Loxley, Alabama 

  1. ECMHSP (East Coast Migrant Head Start Program) is now accepting applications for ECE Coordinator in a Migrant Head Start Program. Responsible for providing on-going direction, support, training and technical assistance for Direct Services Center in support of quality Early Childhood Education services for migrant children and families.
  2. Preferred: Masters Degree in early childhood education (ECE) or related field with 6 courses (18 credits) in Early Childhood Education and documented years of
    relevant experience working in Early Childhood Education. Head Start and supervisory experience preferred. Accepted: Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field with documented years of relevant experience working in Early Childhood Education. Head Start experience preferred. Supervisory experience preferred. Annual and Sick Leave and employer-matched retirement plan.



First Things First. (2017).Additional Organizations, Resources & Programs. 

Better Brains for Babies. (2017). Become a BBB Community Outreach Educator.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. (n.d.).Health Education Specialist Description at CDC. 

ECMHSP. (n.d.). ECE Coordinator, Loxley, AL.






What K-12 Teachers Think About Their Profession — News One

Become a substitute teacher: Working as a substitute will give you an opportunity to gauge your comfort in a classroom and to identify which grade level may be the best for you. Research alternate licensure programs: There are many options available for career changers who want to work toward a future teaching job while working…

via What K-12 Teachers Think About Their Profession — News One


Evaluating Impacts on Professional Practice: “Everybody Celebrates Christmas!”

Our Head Start center held a professional development day for our staff this past Wednesday. Towards the end of our session, the teaching staff met to discuss our theme for December. I suggested “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with a focus on math, literacy and social studies. My coteacher suggested “A Holly Jolly Christmas” with emphasis on emotions. One staff member suggested “Christmas Around the World”. The remaining staff members just suggested “Christmas” which became the selected theme to teach.  My coteacher and I asked if “Christmas” as a teaching theme was diverse enough to which the rather hostile response from our director was “What do you mean? Everybody celebrates Christmas!”

In our multicultural society, Christmas, although important to many people, is still not everyone’s holiday (NAEYC, n.d.).

My husband was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and therefore did not celebrate Chrismas.  Classmates would ask ‘Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Christmas?’

  • Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.—Luke 22:19, 20.
  • Jesus’ apostles and early disciples did not celebrate Christmas. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says that “the Nativity feast was instituted no earlier than 243 [C.E.],” more than a century after the last of the apostles died.
  • There is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25; his birth date is not recorded in the Bible.
  • We believe that Christmas is not approved by God because it is rooted in pagan customs and rites.—2 Corinthians 6:17 (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2016).

At our Head Start center last Friday we were asked to dress as Pilgrims, Native Americans or Scarecrows. I knew which two I would not be dressing as.

Can teachers celebrate Christmas and be antibias in the early childhood classroom?

“Learning about holidays in school can broaden children’s awareness of their own and other’s cultural experiences, if they are thoughtfully used as part of a more inclusive curriculum about cultural diversity (Derman-Sparks, et al., ABC Task Force,
1989, p. 86) with holiday activities grounded in the principles of anti-bias education” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, pp. 135-136). This means recognizing that not everyone in a program celebrates the same holidays. It requires understanding how national holidays reflect specific historic and cultural perspectives, and carry certain biases. An anti-bias approach also needs a thoughtful holiday policy, which addresses the complexities holidays pose, and integrates the four core goals (Bisson & Derman-Sparks, 2016). An anti-bias program does not have to recognize every holiday in the United States or elsewhere. It does need to recognize those holidays celebrated by the families and staff, because “invisibility erases identity and experience; visibility affirms reality” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 32). However, this principle does not mean every holiday each family and staff member observes. It does mean including at least one holiday that is important to each family — as well as the diverse ways families and staff celebrates the
same holiday. It also means making a distinction between asking children to participate in celebrating a holiday versus inviting them to learn about someone else’s holiday (Bisson & Derman-Sparks, 2016).

When our Head Start Center celebrates Christmas, Santa Claus, reindeer and presents will be featured….

despite my classroom having a little girl whose first language is Yoruba because her parents were born and raised in Nigeria.  In another classroom, a young girl’s first language is Spanish. 

As I move forward in my education, I pray that I commit the goals of ABE to practice:

• Goal #1 — Identity Each child will demonstrate selfawareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social/group identities.

• Goal #2 — Diversity Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity, accurate language for human differences, and deep, caring human connections.

• Goal #3 — Justice Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness (injustice), have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.

• Goal #4 — Activism Each child will demonstrate a sense of empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).



Bisson, J. & Derman-Sparks, L. (2016). Holidays and Anti-bias Education: Being thoughtful and creative. Retrieved from http://www.antibiasleadersece.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Holidays-and-ABE-Bisson-Derman-Sparks.pdf

Bisson, J. (2016). Celebrate: An anti-bias guide to including holidays in early childhood programs (2nd ed.). St. Paul: MN: Redleaf Press.
Derman-Sparks, L., & ABC Task Force. (1989). Anti-bias curriculum: Tools for
empowering young children. Washington, DC: NAEYC.
Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young
children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC

Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2016). Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Christmas? Retrieved from https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/why-not-celebrate-christmas/

NAEYC. (n.d.). Anti-Bias Education: The December Holidays
Anti-Bias Education: The December Holidays. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/content/anti-bias-guide-holidays/december-holidays



Observing Communication: Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger

I observed Nickelodeon’s television program, Henry Danger/Kid Danger, Episode 2 of Season 3 entitled “Love Muffin” in which the adult superhero Captain Man shares his plans to marry a woman he met three hours ago.

Typical of today’s tween shows and as Smidt (2013) reiterates, the adult is viewed as inept while the child(ren) display more grown up logic. Kid Danger, the child sidekick to Captain Man, engages the woman who tells him that she has the feeling that he–Kid Danger doesn’t like her.  Kid Danger states that the only way Captain Man would want to marry her was if she had done something to him. The woman then offers Kid Danger a muffin as a peace offering. The muffin is poisoned. Kid Danger falls to the muffins power—falling in love with whomever kisses him immediately after eating the muffin—which happens to be a male compadre within the Kid Danger camp. Kid Danger’s friends had been investigating the woman and were on their way to tell Kid Danger their findings.  Eventually, as in most shows like this, Kid Danger exposes the woman and order is restored.

I noticed the body language that both Danger and the woman used compared to the body language of caregivers in the Communicating with Young Children (Laureate Education, 2011) video. ‘Danger’ is scripted TV therefore children and adults are merely acting a part that is not necessarily about empowering children. The language is often over the top and interactions are happenstance or one-uppish.  In ‘Communicating’ the adults are caregivers engaged in the activities, on the level of and assisting in the children’s learning and development. Director Lisa Kolbeck shares how she taps into  Little School of Family Childcare participant Luna’s ‘inner owl’ by listening to her, watching her play and asking her questions.  Luna was able to use her ‘talons’ to sit on branch and create a nest of green fabric.

When I communicate with children in the classroom, listening is paramount.  Our Head Start center has a robust parent policy council with two very dedicated members. Each month they come up with three to five different crafts for the 91 children at the school to create.  In the spirit of democracy, my classroom participants voted on whether to create a cornucopia,.pilgrim, Mayflower or native american. During the voting process, I individually asked the children which craft they wanted.  Only one of the children actually asked me what each item was stating that he ‘didn’t know what any of those items were’.  He is three and in that moment reminding me of the importance of using icons and explaining things. You can never assume prior knowledge as it relates to children and you don’t have to when you can ask questions. I took the time to do just that.  He chose the cornucopia craft because he likes fruit specifically bananas.


Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Strategies for working with diverse children: Communicating with young children. Baltimore, MD: Author

“Love Muffin.” Henry Danger, created by Dan Schneider and Dana Olsen, performance by Jace Norman, season 3, episode 2, Schneider’s Bakery and Nickelodeon Studios, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/henry-danger-302-full-episode.html

Smidt, S. (2013). The developing child in the 21st century: A global perspective on child development. New York: Routledge.