Unlike other Stenberg programs, our classroom was not in the Campus at the mall (Central City). Our classroom was located at New Life Assembly. At New Life Assembly they have a Preschool/Daycare for children between the ages of thirty months and five years of age and also an out-of-school care. Our classes were held in the portable where the out-of-school care is.
So by the time we started our classes the children were off to school. I think it is a nice location, with a big parking lot and if you don’t have a car, you can take transit and it will drop you right outside the corner of the building. The only thing is that if there was a Pro-D (Professional Development) day for the children we had to go to Campus for the day. But I think it was nice to be able to go to the Campus sometimes because that way you have a chance to talk to people that you don’t get to see when you are off campus.
Although even the classes weren’t at campus, whatever was going on at the campus, the staff found a way to involve us. If for example at the campus they were celebrating Diwali and had food, somebody from campus made sure to bring some of the food to us at New Life and we were able to participate as well. So even though we were not at the campus, we were part of the campus.
The advantage of having our classes next to a daycare and a preschool is that you get to interact with the children a little bit. If we had any activity to do, for example when we had our art activities we were able, with permission from the teacher at the daycare or preschool of course, to try the activities with the children. So it was a chance to interact with them and actually work a little bit with them and see first hand if our activities actually worked with the children or not.
Opportunities to practice
So in a way we had opportunities to practice different times before the practicum. And the good thing is that our instructor was there with us in those different times and she was able to guide us when we had doubts. This was very good, since sometimes we had great ideas in paper and once we tried them with the children those ideas were not very good. And since we had our classes next to the children was very easy to do.
The other advantages of being off campus is that New Life has lots of space either inside or outside and since our classes were at the portable we didn’t have to worry if we were too noisy compared to if we were at the campus were we had to be more conscious with the other classes next to us.
Whereas at New Life, if we wanted to do an activity outside, with the permission of the pastor, we were able to do the activity and we had the space to do it.
Check out a video of Early Childhood Educators career.