Growing up in a crowded home and oppressed community, I always knew that the only way out was through schooling. It wasn’t until graduating high school where I realized there might be a chance at succeeding academically if I pursued college. I also noticed the major impact my success had on my family and community. Growing up, I was the third oldest of seven children and the 1st to attend college. In my community, I am recognized among my peers as the only girl to graduate college and pursue a graduate degree. Based on my personal experiences, I envision myself as a future role model and inspiration to those children on a similar path.
My ultimate goal in life is to work as a Speech Language Pathologist/Teacher in a school setting. Before entering a graduate program in the speech field, I became passionate to learn about child development and questioned the various ways in which children learn. It is now clear to me that my beliefs on the way children learn aligns with a sociocultural constuctivist approach. As mentioned before, I grew up with lots of siblings and learned how to perform daily tasks by observing and interacting with them. Vygotsky’s scaffolding technique became part of my teaching style when I observed it being used in a speech therapy session. For example, the clinician would give the client a phonemic cue which not only gave the client some help, but a chance to finish pronouncing a word. My experiences observing a preschool also validates how I admire the work of Vygotsky, just watching teachers ask open-ended questions after a read aloud proves that scaffolding can be used at any given social time. So far, courses in early childhood education has allowed me to identify and expand on the ways children learn. Moreover, topics on developmentally appropriate practice, the importance of play, and changes in social reforms are crucial elements I was once missing out on.
Schooling is the prerequisite to one’s education because meeting the demands of society requires everyone to take part in a world that works as a whole to keep it going. In my opinion, it is never too early to help younger children prepare for the expectations of society through the collaboration of language and child development. It is also important to have children understand that they are not only meeting the expectations of society, but contributing to it as well. Therefore, early childhood education is the starting point and probably the most pivotal moment in a person’s life.