HiMama chatted with Jane Ann Benson from Early Childhood Ally and our 2020 ECE of the Year Award winner about what it means to be an ally in the field of early childhood education and getting the right people to notice our work in the field.
We’ve rounded up her top tips for advocating for yourself as an educator:
- If you don’t advocate..who will? The more you advocate for yourself the easier it gets!
- Advocacy begins in higher education– As a student, this is a critical time to learn why advocacy is so important and to advocate early before you’re in the field.
- Even the small things count as advocacy- Professional development courses, offering high-quality education- this is all advocacy.
- Look locally- consider the people you vote for, the schools in your community, the parks you visit- these all matter to communities, educators, and children. Start small and grow from there!
Jane Ann continues to explain that making small changes to the concept of being an “advocate” can really empower people to see their circle of influence.
Advocacy can be seen in the decisions we make every day including the people we talk with.Jane Ann Benson
Consider your community, the events you attend, and the families in your center- we can influence these people in the language we use and how we frame the importance of early childhood education. We should take every opportunity given to us to shed light on this very important field. This is an opportunity to flex the little muscles to practice advocation for yourself!
Want to learn more about Jane Ann and her work?
Check out her website and sign up for her monthly newsletter.
To learn more about different early childhood education curricula and programming approaches available and the influences that have shaped the field into what it is today, check out our post on the history of early childhood education.
Episode 240- Transcripts Coming Soon.