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When I Think of Child Development

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today”  Stacia Taucher

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out” Dr. Seuss

These two quotes are so true because we tend to forget that a child is someone already and we tend to look at them and see what they will be in the future.  They are already someone today and they are who they should be at the time.  We shouldn’t try to force them to be someone they are already someone.  Also, we should teach our children that they don’t need to fit in they should stand out and be who they want to be.  They should be their own person and not what someone else wants them to be.

Testing for Intelligence

Standardized testing can be great but, it comes with its downfalls.  I can see both sides of the tests.  I know they are set in place for us to see how the child is doing in the subjects that are tested.  It gives us something to work with and it helps us see where the child and the school is and where the teachers need to bring the kids.  I see that part of the testing because as teachers we need to know where the children are and where we have brought them from the beginning of the year.  I know that in the state where I live you can’t move up to the next grade if they do not pass the standardized test.  I am against that policy because there may be underlying reasons on why a child fails a test.  This is the downfall because there may be children who are not great at taking a test and will fail.  They pass the school year but, the fail because of the test scores.  I think this may increase the drop out rate for the high schools not being able to pass the test.  I have struggled with this for many years because my daughter has a learning disability and they don’t have a modified test for her, she has to take the same test as everyone else.  As she struggles every year when it comes to this time she fails at least one area.  This lowers her self-esteem all the time and I am there to help pick her back up again.  I think they also place too much pressure on the kids to pass this test and teachers are starting to teach to the test.  I don’t agree with this either because they are forgetting all the other important things children need.  Not only does all this stress out the child but, it also stresses out the teachers too.  It has been known that they may or can lose their jobs if scores are low.

In Finland, the few tests students take are low stakes. Assessments are used as a tool for professional development and to help teachers gauge student growth, never for accountability.  When Finnish student take the standardized tests they tend to excel in them.

Consequences of Stress on Children’s Development

The summer of my 8th grade year my dad was laid off from his job and my mom was the only one working in the house.  There were 5 of us and my sister just had a baby which made that 5 siblings and a nephew that my mom and dad had to help raise.  My mom didn’t have a high paying job so we lived day to day and my parents made due with what they had.  My brothers and I were in many sports and were very involved with the school.  This made everything very hard.  I remember eating rice and beans a lot as well as anything that was affordable for them.  My parents tried not to let us feel the effects of the financial situation but, we did in some ways.  We had to shop at the thrift stores to get our clothes when we saw other kids in our grades getting the name brand clothes.  I had just tried out to be a cheerleader for the high school right before my dad was laid off and I had to quit right before the school year started because we couldn’t afford it.  Although I was upset I understood that we as a family had to make sacrifices so that we wouldn’t struggle more than we had to.  My parents did everything in their power to support us and help us through this rough time.  Poverty is not easy to deal with especially when you are growing up and in high school.  This is when we as teenagers want to impress our friends.  I know now that my parents did an amazing job of not letting us feel that we were in poverty.

There are many countries that suffer from this also because they don’t have the means to pay for food and health care.  I know that in certain parts of third world countries they have to starve at times and neglect their sicknesses due to lack of money.  I know that there are charities to help the families over there but, it is still not enough for them to survive.

Child Development and Public Health

I chose immunizations which is a process that stimulates the body’s immune system by causing production of antibodies to defend against attack by a particular contagious disease.  Immunizations are there to protect us from different diseases that may be harmful to us but, given an shot will help either eliminate you from getting the disease or protect you from the disease if you do get it.  The symptoms are far worse if you get the disease than if you didn’t.  I chose this one because when I worked with the infants/toddlers I remember a couple of parents being skeptical about their child receiving their immunizations.  I used to tell them that it was ultimately their decision but, I let them know the pros and cons of immunizations.  I told them that yes the child will get a little feverish, fussy and will be a bit sore but, the consequences of them not getting the immunizations is far worse because they can get any of the diseases and the symptoms will be far worse and can possibly lead to death.  I know that the media had a lot to do with this when they had this whole story on immunizations and autism.  This had played a role in the rise of parents not giving their child the immunization.  Also, lack of health care can take place when it comes to getting the immunizations.  Some parents can’t afford to take their child to get their immunizations because hey don’t have the money.

Immunizations around the world can be different than here in the United States.  They also have the same problem in other countries not wanting their children to be immunized due to the possible side affects.  Then also in countries where there is lack of health care like some parts of Africa then it is hard for the children to have access to this and they will not be immunized.  Also, there is the religious beliefs that hold the parents back from having their child get immunizations.  I have seen this first hand with a parent that I worked with..  Her religion didn’t allow them to be immunized.  So their children didn’t receive any shots as this would be against what they believe in.  A lot of countries have a fear that the immunizations can harm the children so they opt for their country not to have their children get their immunizations.  Although, we are from different parts of the world immunizations have their controversial thought about immunizations which can cause their children not to be immunized.

Childbirth In Your Life and Around the World

The birth that I chose was the one where I gave birth to my first born son.  My pregnancy was right on track and I didn’t have any prenatal problems.  He was growing as normal.  The day I went into labor everything changed.  I didn’t know I was in labor my back hurt but, it wasn’t unbearable pain like I was told.  I was 4 centimeters when I was sent to the hospital my obstetrician. As I walked across the street to the hospital from my doctors office and was put in my room I was still trying to figure out what was going on in my body.  The doctor popped my water bag and everything changed after that.  The pain intensified and I was asking for some sort of medication.  The nurse said that she would come back with Demerol.  Well, that’s when my labor took a turn for the worse.  My sons heart began to drop.  The doctor ran in the room and said Mrs. Vega we need to perform a Cesarean Section because your sons heart is at 10.  I told the doctor do whatever you have to do to make sure my son is ok.  As they ran with me to the OR room I just kept thinking please make sure my son is ok God.  I was put under and didn’t get to see my son until about 9:30 that night.  I was so happy that I couldn’t fight back my tears.  It was an eventful birth and now he will be 17 on Monday.  The reason I chose this birth is because it was my first time being a mom and I was so young and having to make decisions for a life that I created.  My thoughts about birth and child development is that anything can happen that is why it is important to receive prenatal care and this will help in the long run when your child is growing.

Where I chose is the Netherlands.  As I was reading I couldn’t help but, think wow how do these women do it.  They see a midwife and give birth at home.  They don’t even take pain medication.  I don’t think I would be able to do that.  They are given a packet for the birth at home and then a packet for after the birth.  The only way they go to the hospital is if the midwife sees a problem but, even at that they are not given pain medication.  I think that is brave of them because I know what pain I experienced before my C-section and I wanted medication.  Even when they give birth they are released to go home after a couple of hours.  We stay in the hospital for at least 24-48 hours.  If you have a C-section of course the stay is longer.  They also have a nurse go to their house and they do the household chores.  I think this is so different but, I am sure they feel the same way about us here in America.

Birth Customs Around the World:  When it comes to having babies every country has its customs by:  Lara Schalken from Baby

A Note of Thanks and Support

I have gained so many insights in this course and my colleagues have really helped me along the way.  Sometimes I struggled with some of the assignments and then reading their discussions and blogs I think that helped me get an understanding of the assignments.  I loved reading their words and I could see the passion behind what they do and how they are willing to give to the students they teach.  They really helped me with their encouraging words and how they think.  It helped me open up my mind to many different ideas and how sometimes as educator we get fixated on certain ways and we really need to try open our minds to new ideas.  I hoped to have helped my colleagues with some of my discussions and my blogs.  I tried to leave some encouraging words on their blogs and discussions so that they didn’t feel so overwhelmed.  What I hope for my colleagues is all the success and happiness they can have. I know that they will have an amazing journey and I wish them the best of luck on their journey!

NAEYC Code of Ethics

I-1.5—To create and maintain safe and healthy settings that foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development and that respect their dignity and their contributions.

I-1.8—To support the right of each child to play and learn in an inclusive environment that meets the needs of children with and without disabilities.

I-1.9—To advocate for and ensure that all children, including those with special needs, have access to the support services needed to be successful.

I chose these because I feel that they are important to me as professional.  I feel it is important to maintain a safe and healthy environment for children.  Our families expect us as educators to make sure that they bring their children to a safe place for their education.  As for the children with disabilities and the inclusive part, I feel that it is important for us not to exclude any children.  I worked in a PPCD (Prek Program for Children with Disabilities) program and we had an inclusion class and it was great for the children.  They really learned from each other.  I am a huge advocate for children with disabilities because I have seen the difference when the children are exposed to this and how they are resilient to them.