Gayle Y. Garrett Competency Goal VI To maintain a commitment to professionalism Function Area 13: Professionalism As a professional, I promote child development, learning and build family and community relationships. I continue to attend professional development sessions and read articles about early childhood. I am a continuous, collaborative learner who demonstrates knowledge in my field from all types of sources. The Philadelphia School District provides the Head Start staff with many in-service training programs that are built into my schedule.
My on-site professional development deals with areas such as the curriculum, nutrition, health, mental health, career development and parent involvement. As a teacher assistant, I do on-going observation of the students in the classroom; I gather information about many skills on a checklist. This includes writing, print awareness, language, and the purposeful use of materials. When I do observations, they include detailed notes so I can relate them more easily to many of the goals and objectives set for the children. I focus on about four children a day and spend about 15 minutes during rest time looking over my observations.
I make sure the classroom is arranged so that there are interesting hands-on activities for all children. Also, I arrange space so that the children can navigate in and out of the space safely. I help choose activities that best meet all children’s abilities. Also, I participant in helping the children at mealtimes, I guide them washing their hands before and after each meal. I have the children assist in setting the tables, instruct them to keep all food and utensils on the placemats, and encourage them to use all utensils. I sit at the table with the children and model appropriate mealtime behavior.
When I sit with the children at mealtime, it is an opportunity for language and social development. I encourage the children to participate in conversations. I also conduct circle time activities and assist the children with completing their journals and writing their name on their name strips. As a professional, I talk to the parents about the Head Start program. I work with the Head Start Family Service worker, Special Needs Coordinator, Nutrition Representative, Education Coordinator, Head Teacher and the Principal of the school.
I work cooperatively with them to keep my classroom and students on the path so each child can reach their goals. In addition, I show a commitment to professionalism by demonstrating knowledge in child care service. As a professional, I work with young children and their families. I am knowledgeable in child care services and can provide information and support when needed. In conclusion, professionalism is an extremely important area when working in Early Childhood. I am determine to be the most professional teacher assistant for my teacher, students, and parents.