Becoming a Professional Have you ever really thought about what the term “professional” means as an early childhood educator? What exactly does it mean to be a professional in the field of early childhood education? By definition, a profession is “an occupation that requires extensive education and/or specialized training” (Bredekamp, 2017, p. 527). As a student enrolled in a master’s level program, you are indeed receiving both extensive and specialized education in your field of study. It is important that you not only see yourself as a professional, but also that you understand how to uphold your role as a professional in the field of early childhood education. That is where this first post this week begins. To prepare for this discussion, review the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation that you read in Week 1 of class. For your initial post you will Compare and contrast two professional organizations available as an early childhood professional and explain how joining organizations such as these enhance your ability as an early childhood professional (e.g., NAEYC, National Head Start Association, etc.). For a comprehensive list of ideas please refer to the weekly guidance. Explain the professional standards that are relevant to your future career path (i.e., national, state, or local standards, child care licensing requirements, etc.). Defend the importance of upholding each of the below key elements of Standard 6 in the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation . Be sure to support this portion of your discussion with information from your text and the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation . 6a: Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field. 6b: Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other professional guidelines. 6c: Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice. 6d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education. 6e: Engaging in informed advocacy for children and the profession. Justify how by upholding and promoting professional standards and practices, early childhood leaders can have a positive impact on the research that “poor quality, ineffective teaching inhibits children’s ability to reach their full potential” (Bredekamp, 2017, p. 534). Provide at least three examples to support your justification. Create or locate an inspirational quote that embodies what it means to be an early childhood professional. Be sure to properly cite who the author of the quote is. Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers’ posts. Using the article How Parents Feel About Their Child’s Teacher/School: Implications for Early Childhood Professionals (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. , provide a minimum of three suggestions to your peer about they can further their professionalism through the creation of a stronger parent–professional relationship (Knopf & Swick, 2007, p. 293). Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. Remember, continuing to engage with peers and the instructor will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic

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