Week 8: Farewell and Best Wishes



Facebook: Jada Smith

One of the major lessons I learned throughout this course is the fact that my thoughts of lack of equal access to quality daycares in New Orleans was not exaggerated, and that it really is a big problem within my city. Discovering the overwhelming percentages of families who cannot afford the high-quality programs they deserve has motivated me to truly try to tackle this statistic as an Early Childhood professional.

Another thing I learned were all of the resources and programs that are in place to increase the quality of Early Learning centers. Some of which include the T.E.A.C.H program, Agenda for Children, NAEYC, Stand for Children, and the Association for Early Learning Leaders.

A third truth that I have learned is that collaboration is a major source of help when trying to complete a plan. The discussions we have had as a class have really opened my eyes to a lot of different views and have supplied me with ideas and additional resources to look into throughout this process. Without the input of fellow classmates as well as Dr. Embree, my capstone would have had a different turnout, but I am proud of what it became. I will take the thought that working together will always take you further than trying to do everything along. Team work makes the dream work!

My long-term goal is to open a “chain” of nurseries dedicated to infants through one-year olds. I want to be a place that gives parents, especially new parents, a peace of mind while they have to be away from their babies. I want them to enjoy low student to teacher ratios, a clean and sanitary environment and a calm and serene atmosphere. I would also want to open just one full age daycare that would accept one-year olds through the age of four. I want to have a brand that people recognize, seek out, and are overall pleased with.


            It is crazy to feel as emotional as I feel right now. When I embarked on this journey I could only dream of the day when I would complete it and look forward to having my degree in my hand, and that day is almost here! It has been a pleasure to interact with all of my classmates during this term and it is truly special to have witnessed some of you grow from the beginning of this program to the end. It has been such an amazing experience to learn of so many new ideas and various thoughts regarding our field. I just want to thank each of you for your help and input and I wish all of you well on your professional journey from here on out. We are a motivated and optimistic group and for the sake of the betterment of this field, I truly hope that all of your dreams come true! Good luck to all!

Dr. Embree, you were such an amazing help and guide throughout this curse. Without your guidance and suggestions, I would have never built such a strong capstone as I was able to. Your feedback, even when I was emailing you two or more times a day, was always responded to quickly and showed me which direction I should take. THANK YOU for always being accessible and thorough with your explanations and expectations, I owe my success in this course to you and the most high because Lord knows there were a lot of praying nights! I am so happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that you continue to make a difference in the life of Early Childhood professionals because it means the world! Thank you again.

Much success and lots of love to all of you,

Jada Smith





Agenda for Children. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2018, from

Association for Early Learning Leaders. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2018, from

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2018,


T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood National Center. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2018, from

What We Stand For. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from




Week 6: Jobs/Roles in ECE Community Internationally

The first international organization that I would like to be associated with would be The Global Partnership for Education. Much like the mission I am on to bring quality childcare to underprivileged children in my city, the Global Partnership for Education “is the only global fund solely dedicated to education in developing countries.” (Global Partnership for Education. (n.d.). Although not the same in depth, the idea of helping children who are overlooked is a common goal. Global Partnership for Education “GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership and funding platform that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries in order to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning. GPE brings together developing countries, donors, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector and foundations.” (Global Partnership for Education. (n.d.). I would aim to be a part of the Secretariat that is housed in Washington D.C. The website only names the managers of each division, but I would want to work for the Strategy, Policy and Performance sector.

The next international group I would want to be associated with would be Save the Children. “Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.” (Save The Children. (2011). I guess the theme of my interest is pretty obvious, I am very interested in helping children in need. With the educational aspect covered by the Global Partnership for Education, Save the Children focuses on the safeguarding of children which is essential. “Save the Children is committed to conducting our programs and operations in a manner that keeps children safe and protects them from harm. We insist on 100% accountability for safeguarding the children we are privileged enough to serve.” (Save The Children. (2011). The position I would be interested in would be a Specialist, School Age Program. “Under the supervision of the State Program Director and working as a member of the state team and in collaboration with the national program team, the Program Specialist oversees and supports program implementation, monitoring, and evaluation at assigned partner sites.” (Save The Children. (2011). The qualifications I would need would be “Minimum of a high school diploma, 3-5 years of relative experience, experience working in or with school systems, willingness to travel extensively in the state or region and nationally as needed (25% of time), excellent written and oral communication skills, strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated capacity as a team player and relationship builder.” (Save The Children. (2011).

Last but not least, I would want to work with UNICEF. “UNICEF was created with a distinct purpose in mind: to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.” (United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). UNICEF is a very well known organization and to be a part of its mission would be incredible. The position that interests me within this organization would be an Early Childhood Education Specialist, however it is located in Ethiopia. To qualify I will need “An Advanced University Degree in education, economics, psychology, sociology or other social science field is required or equivalent work experience, a first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree. Minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education/ integrated early child hood development at the international level. Experience working in the UN system agency or UN organization is an asset. Familiarity with emergency response is an asset. Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is an asset.” (United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.).


Global Partnership for Education. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2018, from

Save The Children. (2011). Retrieved from

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2011, from


Week 4: Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community National/Federal Level


            The first agency that I would be interested in being a part of would be the U.S. Department of Education. Their mission is “…to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” (Early Learning: About Early Learning. (n.d.). Within this organization, I would want a lead position within the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. If I held a decision-making position in this office, then I could advocate for money to be put into early education, or into building quality pre-k and kindergarten programs to gives children what they may have missed early on.


            The next Organization that I would want to work with would be T.E.A.C.H. This organization “…provides leadership in the early childhood education field to states across the country and to our nation’s policymakers on the critical importance and value of an educated, well-paid and stable early childhood workforce to ensure the long-term success of our nation’s children in school and in life.” (T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood National Center. (n.d.). Partnering with this organization in order to begin a T.E.A.C.H program in Louisiana to be utilized by centers throughout the state would be a monumental step in improving the quality of early childhood centers state-wide. Having highly qualified teachers with competitive pay will keep them in the field and grow the quality exponentially. The mission of T.E.A.C.H is “…develops, implements and sustains programs and strategies that result in a well-educated, fairly compensated and stable early childhood workforce to ensure the long-term success of our nation’s children in school and in life.” (T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood National Center. (n.d.).


            The third organization I would be eager to work with would be the Association for Early Learning Leaders, National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. “Early Learning Leader’s goal is to strengthen the knowledge, skills and abilities of early care directors, owners, emerging leaders and other early learning pro­fessionals to ensure quality child care programs for young children.” (Association for Early Learning Leaders. (n.d.). The primary focuses of this organization are Networking and Collaboration, Education and Training, Program Quality and Accreditation, and Resource Access. (Association for Early Learning Leaders. (n.d.). Being a Director and partnering with T.E.A.C.H, as well as AELL, would help make myself, as director, as well as my administrators and staff able to increase the quality of my daycare tenfold. With the experience and knowledge I will gain by using both programs myself, I can help other daycares to reform their centers as well, and spread this movement throughout my city of New Orleans. The mission for The Association for Early Learning Leaders “ committed to excellence in the field of early childhood care and education by promoting leadership development and enhancing program quality.” (Association for Early Learning Leaders. (n.d.).




Association for Early Learning Leaders. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2018, from




Early Learning: About Early Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2018, from




T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood National Center. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2018, from




Exploring Roles in the ECE Community (Week 2).

The first organization I want to talk about is Agenda for Children. “Agenda for Children was founded to make Louisiana a state in which all children can thrive, by ensuring that the basic needs of children and families are met, that our children are nurtured and well taught, beginning in the early years and continuing through adolescence; that they are protected from harm; and by acting in ways that combat racism and other forms of oppression.” (Our Mission. n.d.). Agenda is the lead agency for NOEEN (New Orleans Early Education Network). “NOEEN is comprised of all publicly funded early childhood care and education providers in Orleans Parish—more than 150 public schools, non-public schools, Type III early learning centers, Early Head Start centers and Head Start centers—serving more than 5,500 publicly funded birth to five-year-old children.” (New Orleans Early Education Network. n.d.).

Being that I work in a publicly funded center, I am able to attend trainings free of that align with curriculums we choose, and various topics about early childhood education. Since I know what good it can do I would like to be a part of this team in order to gain further knowledge of the agency before I open my own business. With that being said, I would like to hold the position of CLASS Coordinator within the Agenda Organization. The system for accountability within our public early education system is the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System). Toddler and Preschool programs must undergo a spring and fall assessment in order to be given a level of proficiency that will be accessed by parents when picking a daycare home. I would want full knowledge of this system and what is expected so that my future center will be up to par.

To become a Class Coordinator the following requirements are needed:

Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Early Childhood Education or related field

5-7 years of industry experience 

Experience supervising and coaching 

Certified CLASS Observer in at least one age group 

Louisiana Pathways Trainer Certification (or eligible to receive it) 

Valid driver’s license and transportation


The second Organization I like is the LAECA (Louisiana Early Childhood Association). “The mission of the organization is to increase awareness of the needs of young children and to work for the knowledge and understanding of young children from birth to age eight.” (Welcome to LAECA. n.d.). This organization is associated with the Southern Early Childhood Association and is for parents, teachers and early childhood providers who are dedicated to aiding in the improvement of lives of children from birth to age 8. (Welcome to LAECA. n.d.).

My third area of interest would be to find and join a community of practice for Early Childhood Directors. I could even be the person who started on in the New Orleans area. I think it would be beneficial to all directors involved, as well as their centers, to have a collaboration of professional and educated colleagues who deal with the same issues but may have different outlooks. I really think it could be the beginning of something great for New Orleans as a whole if it were to grow and include directors from all over the city.

While I know of many people that have started small daycares and had them flourish overtime with no previous early childhood experience, the technical requirements to becoming a director are as follows:

Associate or bachelor’s degree (in early education field) for public schools; high school diploma or equivalent for private preschools

Licensure required in most states: most positions require Child Development Associate (CDA) or National Administration Credential (NAC) certifications

Preschool teacher experience often preferred

Communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills (Labor Statistics, U. B. n.d.).

I assume that this is to become a director in someone else’s center, but I do plan to open my own.



Labor Statistics, U. B. (n.d.). Career Requirements. Retrieved January 20, 2018, from

Welcome to LAECA. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from

New Orleans Early Education Network. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from

Our Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from

Week 8 Thank You!

I want to take some time out to extend a personal thank you to everyone in this course, but particularly those whom I have had the pleasure of sharing discussion and blog groups with. Some topics that we have discussed the passed 8 weeks have caused us to think about some tough issues, and in turn we found the courage to share them with each other. THANK YOU all for allowing yourselves to be vulnerable enough to open up to us, your colleagues, in an effort to better understand communication and what it means to build and sustain meaningful professional relationships. It has been a difficult journey for me in particular, but I am hoping it was all worth it. I enjoyed reading the opinions and experiences of everyone, and I think that this is a great group of professionals with a very wide range of knowledge, experiences and capabilities. I know we will all accomplish great things in the future! Good luck to all of us!



Week 6

In contemplating the groups that I have been a part of over the years, the one I had the hardest time leaving was my partnership with my last co-teacher. I say this because we entered into the two year old classroom not knowing each other, and after her co-teacher for some years had been let go. It was a difficult situation because it was unexpected across the border. Because of the circumstances, Terionne was not very receptive or open to me as a co-teacher. It took time for us to build a relationship, and even more time for us to begin to collaborate effectively in the room. After a few months of working together, we began feeding off of each other without realizing it. Our work began to compliment each other’s and we soon had a routine down pat, even a friendship. We still hit hurdles along the way (creative differences), but we were able to work through them and come up with strategies that recognized both of our efforts. Not to toot our horn, but we had our classroom rocking. Being taken from the classroom with her shook up the entire center, and we still get questions to this day about it, even though it has been almost a month. Although we did not have a traditional adjourning phase, we had the one last day to enjoy our room together before parting ways, and quite frankly, it sucked. It was hard to leave and environment we built from the ground up, especially considering the circumstances under which it happened. However, because of the work we put it, we did build a genuine friendship and for that, I am grateful.

I wish we would have been able to better prepare ourselves, our parents, and of course our students for the sudden change. I think a going away party would have been fun and would have put a pleasant spin on an unsavory situation. I can only imagine that it would have cut a lot of questions out, because it would have put a positive spin on things. I think that leaving this group of peers I am pursuing this master’s degree ith will be bittersweet like most partings are. However, I know that us parting ways will mean that we ultimately accomplished what we set out to do when we began this journey together, and so that is one ending I am definitely looking forward to. I believe that adjourning is essential to teamwork because it offers an opportunity to recap the most important aspects of the journey you took as a team. Even if the result was less than satisfactory, it offers an opportunity to look at where things went wrong and come up with ways to avoid that outcome in the future. It is always important to look back on your work when it is complete in order to internalize the growth that occurred in the process, even if you feel it was minimal.



Week 5

This assignment will be an easy because I am currently in the process of a major disagreement/ conflict with a coworker. As we all know being in this field, it is easy to bump heads and disagree about what is appropriate behavior regarding children. Those differences of opinion are sometimes blown out of proportion and result in negative situations. I will not go into detail about the disagreement, because it is a touchy subject and quite frankly, will be too long to discuss via blog. However, the situation resulted in both parties preferring not to be around or work with one another any longer. The plot twist, is that we were put together to work in the same room; the infant/toddler room, where communication is absolutely vital.

This week has made me look at this situation in a more objective view, and reading our text has pointed out two very important concepts that I need to carry into work with me in order to resolve this conflict once and for all.

The first concept I need to implement is forgiveness. It is not easy to forgive someone in general, but it is even harder when 1.) they were wrong and 2.) they do not apologize. However, forgiveness is not done for others, it is a personal thing and I need to let go of the situation and move on from it. The second concept has to do with having a cooperative mindset. Seeing as we both work in the same class, and seeing as we both would rather not; it is important to remember that she is struggling with this just as much as I am. Therefore, in order to move forward, we have to work to make both of us feel comfortable in our workspace. That means collaborating together regarding ideas and decisions of the classroom as well as compromising when we do not see eye to eye. Conflict and conflict resolution are not easy, but these assignments have helped me to see my situation more objectively, and that is a major plus.


Week 4

Considering the tests I took about communication, as well as the scores that I received from my sister and my friend, the biggest surprise was that my friend Brittany thinks that I do not have any communication anxiety. This means that she assumes that I am comfortable with public speaking and interacting with people I barely know. Those two things, I am not comfortable with and actually have some deep rooted insecurities with.

I also realized that although I scored moderate on the verbal aggression scale, even with my sister and my friend, their scores were both higher than my own, and for that reason I fell like I need to take care to choose my words and approach to people better. I also think That as far as listening goes, I should refrain from focusing so much on keeping time during my conversations and interactions with others and just focus on being present during the interactions. I think that improving in both of these areas will help in both my professional and personal life by making me more personable and easy to approach and talk to. That will make the communication road a bit smoother between me and others and can only improve my relationships.

Week 3

Reflecting on past interactions with people of different cultures, I realize that I do communicate with people differently based on their culture or group. I may adjust my tone, avoid using my vernacular, switch up my body language, avoid or add certain nonverbal cues, and definitely avoid or touch on certain topics of discussion. However, I do not see this as a negative thing. Especially if I am unsure of what is acceptable to someone, or if our relationship/setting is relaxed or professional, I feel like I adjust to fit the situation.

When I am with friends. I am myself regardless of what group of friends I am around, because I am me, and we are friends because of that fact, so I do not feel the need to alter myself for them. If I am around colleagues, There is a level of comfort between certain ones, so depending on who I am surrounded by, I may avoid certain topics, and use more appropriate or professional language. The same when I am around different races. Especially these days, it is so easy to offend someone, that I find myself being almost silent when I am around an ethnicity or religion I do not know much about. In order to communicate with others who may be different from me, I can try to:

1.) Be more present and open when listening and observing during interactions to internalize verbal and nonverbal cues.

2.) Be more willing to openly share information about myself in order to allow others to get to know me.

3.) Begin to treat people how I perceive they want to be treated, and if I am wrong, seek to understand why, and adjust my behavior.

4.) Not be so quick to assume that everything will result in negative feedback, be more relaxed in new situations.



Week 2

For this assignment I chose to watch an episode of Modern Family on mute, and then re-watch with the sound playing.

Watching the show with no sound, I pick up on a lot of aggressive body language. There was a lot of head turning, storming out, hands thrown up with what seems to be exasperation, eye-rolling, and what seems to be arguing. Based on this, I would assume, the relationships are not very good.

The Dunphy’s, especially the kids, seems to always be in a fuss, and the mom engages in a lot of eye and neck rolling, which I interpret as negative as well. The dad kept a pretty pleasant face, but it looked a bit clueless as well.

Cam and Mitchell seemed to tell a different tale. Mitchell’s face is more stern than Cam’s however, Cam’s bodily language is more animated than Mitchell’s. This makes me think that Cam is constantly trying to engage with Mitchell or get on his good side.

The Pritchett’s seem to be very animated, especially Gloria. I noticed that the veins in Gloria’s neck protruded a lot, which definitely indicated yelling. However, her husband’s body language never seemed to match her intensity.

When I watched the episode back with the volume on, I was not too far off from what I thought. The Dunphy’s were very much so at each other’s necks fairly often, especially the two daughters. The mother often fussed at the dad, who tried to make light out a situation, or was just oblivious to the issue the wife had, which explains his clueless face.

Cam and Mitchell were pretty hilarious. Since Mitchell is Claire’s brother, their mannerisms are very similar and Mitchell was uptight with Cam, while Cam was very flamboyant, and lighthearted about things. However, in some cases when I though Mitchell was fussing, he was more or less whining, so my judgement was way off.

The Pritchett’s were funny as well. Gloria is just very high strung, and the strain I saw in her neck was also not always a fuss, but a whine, or plea, or just over animated talk. Their interactions were hilarious and the body language was very different from the verbal.

I think knowing the nature of a show would have made my account more accurate, however, I think I did fairly well at reading the non-verbal languages presented. I also will start watching the show because it was hilarious.