After 10 cherished months, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program was coming to an end. I went through many emotions as I completed the final paperwork I had to submit to Jill Hammer, my practicum monitor.
Reflecting back on the program, I’m reminded of what a new and exciting adventure it was. After so many years, I returned to school, met new people and did it all in a language that isn’t my mother tongue. It was a challenge but my instructors and classmates made the journey so much better than I could have ever expected. I built memories with my classmates and developed everlasting friendships.
It feels like it has been longer than 10 months since I started the program. Reminiscing everything I learned from the course content, my instructors and my practicum makes me realize how much I’ve grown. Not only did I learn about Early Childhood Education and children’s development, but I also learned about Canada. After gaining an understanding of Canadian culture and what it’s like to live in Canada, I can happily say that I’ve acquired new traditions and a different way of life that I will maintain.
As for many, COVID-19 impacted my social life and expected experience for the program. I was sad that I could no longer see my friends and instructors in person. However, being the great instructor she is, Pat Bates affirmed that she was there for us and welcomed us to ask questions. Through our virtual classroom sessions, we were still able to socialize – we talked about our feelings, how our lives changed with the pandemic, and how we were coping with the circumstances. If you would like to read more about my experience transitioning to online learning, read my blog, “From Classroom to Chatroom”.
I feel incredibly proud of myself for everything I accomplished during the program. I completed more than the required number of resources to receive a great mark and developed the skills needed to help me succeed in my new career teaching children. Through the program, I reaffirmed my love for supporting children’s development, growth and learning.
As for my future, I’m excited to see what comes next and what the world of Early Childhood Education has in store for me.
Since completing the ECE program, I have signed up for a paid cooperative work experience (co-op) through Stenberg. I also applied for different jobs as an Early Childhood Assistant, until I get my full certificate and can be an ECE.
With everything that is going on worldwide, the future is unpredictable. Despite this, I intend to further my education after I complete my co-op. I researched programs that would advance my career in Early Childhood Education, and I was pleased to find another program offered by Stenberg College.
Stenberg’s Early Childhood Education Post-Basic (ECEPB) Dual Diploma program is the next step to advancing your education in the ECE field. This program will increase my understanding of infant/toddler development and children with exceptionalities. Supporting children with exceptionalities has always been of interest to me. Therefore, this program will give me the skills to work one-on-one with children who need extra support. Even though I have some experience supporting children with exceptionalities, I never had the opportunity for formal training.
Taking the ECEPB program will qualify me to work with any age group and children with diverse abilities. It will also broaden my career opportunities by preparing me to work in a supervisory role and handle administrative duties. Another benefit of this program is that it is online, offering a solution for the following question: Should I work or study? I can do both with the ECEPB program!
I am still unsure about what the future might bring, but I know that wherever I decide to go, I will be well prepared as I have the necessary tools to succeed in my career as an Early Childhood Educator.