Friday, November 25, 2011

My Connections to Play

 My Connections to Play

     If I were to consider myself as a five year old child, I would ask my best friends Karen to play with me in the Science Lab, but after we explored in the Science Lab, we would walk over to the Art Lab and use paint and colored construction paper to paint what we did and saw when we explored. I love Science and being able to use/ touch a wide range of materials i.e., pine cones, bugs, seeds, soil, and even using magnets and metal materials to see if they attract to the magnet is exciting to me, because I see a lot of these same materials in my everyday life and because I am able to use them in school, I have a better understanding of its purpose in my everyday life. 

     However, I am supposed to document what I saw in my lab and I hate writing with pencils; I am happy my teacher allows the class to use all writing materials to express ourselves freely. As a result, Karen, and I walk over to the Art Lab and used paint brushes and different colored paint, to paint what we did/saw in Science Lab, we even painted pictures of ourselves using magnifying glasses, and a microscope. Since this was my first time using a microscope, I did ask my teacher to assist us because we did not know how to magnify objects, and we needed help placing the slide onto the clips. I am happy my teacher never tells me to stay in one lab, she allows everyone to explore freely and we can use all of the classroom materials to write, draw, or paint how we feel or what we did in our learning labs.

     As a future artist and scientist, I included a picture of my best friend Karen because I enjoy talking to her and sharing ideas, I included paint and a paint brush, and a picture of my teacher helping children in the Science Lab use the materials. Although I am five years old, I have developed a passion for the arts and science because I can be creative and use my imagination; even if Karen isn’t there, I pretend I have an imaginary friend playing with me (Alman, 2002). My teacher provides all students with a wide range of materials and she always assists us in using materials older students use; my mother always says she likes my teacher because she introduces use to new materials, vocabulary words and allows us to work collaboratively to share ideas. And as a result, my family has become more involved in my education because they ask me questions related to what I am learning in school, and we don’t just sit around and talk, my parents take me outside and we go on nature walks and run and play outside (Ginsburg, 2008).

   I feel play is different from the way I played when I was a child and even my son who is now 13. Technology wasn’t as available to me when I was growing up. In fact we didn’t have computers, we used typewriters, and children were not allowed to use them. Today, my students have period dedicated to technology, and they are allowed to use lap tops during learning labs to play developmentally appropriate games that are engaging and interactive. In addition, I feel play is a healthy way for children to learn because all activities are hands on and children are allowed to be creative, and use their imagination. However, I would like to see children spend more time engaging in physical play; there is a huge obesity epidemic in our country that wasn’t as prevalent when I was a child. Children should be able to play simple games such as jacks for hand and eye coordination and many children have no idea what this game is.

       My best friend Karen               Paint and brushes              Teacher explaining how to use a microscope


Almon, K. (2002). The vital role of play in early childhood education. Retrieved from

Kohn, A. (2008). Progressive education: Why it’s hard to beat, but also hard to find. Retrieved from


Friday, November 11, 2011

Reflecting on Building Relationships

Forming and maintaining healthy relationships have had a positive impact on my life because I know I have a support system that will keep me grounded and in some instances will serve as an escape whatever problems I may face in my life. As I have gotten older and matured, I have experienced the loss of relationships with family and friends which did hurt me deeply, but I have realized that I cannot make excuses for other peoples behaviors and to just let those relationships go if they become over baring and emotionally draining. However, I have learned that healthy relationships consist of trust, honesty, respect, and communication and when one of those components are missing, the relationship can be subjected to hardship.

There are several people in my life with whom I currently have positive relationships with. And I am blessed to have a partnership with my significant other  with whom has been a blessing in my life in more ways than one. Below is a list of people with whom I have relationships with:

Parents- I have a great relationship with my parents that began when I was in my mother womb; I can rely on my parents for anything and I know that they would go to the ends of the world to ensure the happiness of my son and myself. My mother is the type of women who taught to be independent, while my father spoiled me, but they both taught me to be humble and appreciative for all of my blessings.  To be honest, I always had a close relationship with my parents but our relationship strengthened even more after I had my son and after they moved to North Carolina.

Cousin- Although I have a biological half sister with whom I grew up with, I have an extremely close relationship with my older cousin Ceadina whom I have always admired and looked up to; she has truly set the bar high for me to be all that I can be. I value my relationship with her because she tells me when I am right or wrong, listens to me vent, and always puts things in perspective for me.

Son- I have a great relationship with my 13yr old son whom is my motivation to go this far in my academic career; having my son pushed me into becoming self sufficient, humble, and to be a blessing to others. My son is a constant reminder of my faith, and his laughter is like music to my ears and when he gets on my last nerve I have to breathe and let him know that love is kind and patient but I also need to mold him into a young man; and I love every minute of being his mom! I am blessed to have the type of relationship with my son where he can talk to me about anything, he keeps me informed of all of the latest music and slang; he is defiantly keeping me young at heart!

Boyfriend/Man- I am blessed to have a healthy relationship/partnership with my boyfriend (although I feel I’m too old to say “boy friend lol”). God has truly blessed me with a man whom shares the same values and interest as me and whom treats me like a queen. Our relationship is strong and continues to strengthen because we have a friendship and we respect and trust each other. I am happy to say that we have our individual lives and our life together.  We maintain our relationship by traveling, having quiet time, staying in constant communication via phone, text, and ect… But the key to maintaining a healthy relationship is communication, trust, and listening. After being in bad relationships in the past, I have learned to appreciate the small things my man does for me and as a result I want to give him so much more. I am at the age where I don’t have time for games and the relationships that I form I value and are dear to me, but having a partnership with a man whom constantly encourages me to do better, models good parenting, consistent with the way he treats me has also taught me to take pleasure in the simple things in life that I used to take for granted. I am truly happy in my relationship with him and I thank God everyday for blessing me to have him in my life!!

One challenge to maintaining a healthy partnership  is when you have people whom have negative opinions on your relationship  or simply want what you have can be difficult. But my partner and I are very private and we keep our relationship between us, and more importantly we have a friendship and I treat him the way I want him to treat me.

Girlfriends- I don't have too many girl friends so I value those relationships that I do have and I have gown to learn that each girlfriend I have serves a purpose. For example, I know what friend to call if I want to go out and just have a good care free time, or what friend to call if I need professional advise. One challenge having girlfriends is when they don't understand that your family and partner takes up a lot of your time and you can not talk on the phone the way you used to or hang out as late as you used to. But I love spending time with my two closest friends but it becomes difficult for me because my friends don't get a long with each other.
The relationships that I have with my family, friends and partner has a positive impact on my work as an effective early childhood professional because my loved ones always give me words of encouragement which motivates me to want extend myself to my parents/families when they are faced with adversity. For example, I give my personal cell phone number out to those families whom face trying times i.e., child has medical conditions, domestic issues and ect… My goal is to be a resource for my families and to do all that I can to provide their child(ren) with the necessary resources so that they have a successful school year. One thing that I have noticed about me is the happier I am in my personal relationships, the happier I am when I enter the classroom. However, I have learned that once I open my classroom door, I have to leave all of my personal issues at the door. My philosophy is a happy teacher makes a happy classroom/students.
Relationships are not easy and requires a lot of work, nurturing, patience and time.  


My 13yr old son