Sailing towards your dreams.
TECTA - the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance- what a wonderful program! Let us give TECTA its rightful place as front page news!! TECTA is a statewide training and professional development program for Tennessee providers in all counties through nine TECTA "district"; sites located at colleges and universities. The free Orientation classes provide the same information in Memphis, Murfreesboro, and Johnson City and all over the state. The Orientation training satisfies two years of the DHS training requirement. Once you complete Orientation and have that beautiful certificate you become eligible to apply for funding for college coursework towards a certificate or degree in early childhood education. So, TECTA not only provides training through the 30 hour Orientation class, it is also a scholarship program for providers wanting to pursue a certificate or degree in early childhood education. What a wonderful idea developed by true early childhood pioneers 20 years ago. These pioneers knew that if they put money into training and education for providers, Tennessee's children would benefit. It may still be the only program of its kind in the country. TECTA at MTSU has watched many providers " make it happen "; as they sailed towards their dreams and attended college and received a state technical certificate or a national Child Development Associate credential. Several students have received the Associate's degree and a few have completed their Bachelor's degree. We have even seen some students complete a Master's degree. Yes, TECTA is a wonderful program. TECTA truly helps providers to " make it happen . "; TECTA has also provided many programs with accreditation fees and providers with registration fees for local and state conferences. The Tennessee Early Childhood Program Administrator's Credential is affiliated with TECTA, as well.
We should celebrate TECTA and appreciate it for the knowledge it brings to providers in an effort to improve the quality of child care for children.
Looking from a Provider's Perspective
By Denise Perkins
Many of you have "Made It Happen"; by choosing to attend one of TECTA's five types of orientation; center-based, infant toddler, family, administrator, or school age. In a recent interview, Libby Colyar from Smyrna gave us her perspective of her center-based orientation experience.
1.Q: How did your impression or expectations of orientation change from the first class to the last class?
A: "After the first class, I anticipated achieving goals in becoming a more professional teacher and caregiver, and when I completed the last class, I felt that I accomplished that goal. I felt more confident in my teaching skills and was able to bring more to the classroom. I think that every teacher in child care needs to experience these learning skills to gain a professional attitude toward teaching.";
2.Q: What did you find to be most beneficial about attending TECTA orientation?
A: "…the most beneficial piece of information was learning that children that are the same age are not always on the same learning level. Through Developmental Appropriate Practice, teachers are able to meet those individual needs in the classroom. The children can learn at their own level of readiness.";
3.Q: Was there anything that you learned that changed your practices in your job?
A: ";Yes, that social interactions among peers is far more important than day after day of worksheets. The children need to be able to express themselves properly and they can learn more through hands on experiences. I enhanced my classroom activities by having children work together through problem solving, and more providing dramatic play opportunities to encourage having more fun while learning.";
4.Q: What were your next steps after completing orientation?
A: "By following the TECTA career lattice, I took the CDA prep classes, earned my technical certificate and graduated this May, 2011. I am now working on my CDA credential and associates degree in early childhood.";
5.Q: Do you have any advice for those who have never taken an orientation class?
A : "Do not be intimidated because the classes are held on college campuses. It is a great experience and helps you to learn how to navigate on campus. The program is user friendly and full of information that you can take back to the classroom on a weekly basis. The TECTA staff is extremely helpful with any issues and loads of fun! This class is guaranteed to raise your self esteem and help you to become a successful, confident and caring teacher!";
6. Q: Did you see any changes in your expectations or understanding of children after you completed orientation?
A: "I now understand the importance of cognitive development, but more so, social and emotional development. Children need to learn how to understand their feelings and act on them appropriately. They need to learn how to make friends, settle differences, and learn life skills to be able to live in society with others.";
How have you " Made It Happen"; for yourself or the children that you serve?
Making CDA Happen! • Dixie is making it happen.
You can, too!
By Shae Miga
Dixie Hobby of Lewisburg is making her goal of CDA happen. She found her motivation to Make It Happen by knowing children are a priority. "There are so many children who don't know where they are going, who they will be with, what/if they will have food… These are the children who need us and I want to help them… love them, and encourage them…"; And not only are the children a motivation for her to obtain her CDA, they are THE reason. "I gained useful information, and more positive materials to use on a daily basis. I really liked gaining so much positive information about redirecting children because they don't need negativity at school, but most of all [I liked], those 20 precious faces I look at each day knowing they need someone to love them and teach them basic things in life. That is what made it worthwhile and I would do again for those children.";
When starting out, Dixie expresses she was a little overwhelmed but soon dug into the work that was required of the college courses and CDA process. She says she had to have confidence and faith in herself. After starting, she shares that the hardest part was balancing work, family, CDA, college classes, and making sure she still made her children's schoolwork top priority. She also conveys how family helped out and everyone worked together for her to accomplish her goal.
Dixie has great advice for someone thinking about obtaining the CDA. She says, "I encourage them to go on, even if they're still uncertain. It's better to go on and get started than to lag around to later wish they had gone on and done it. It is one of the most helpful tools and education you can start with in Early Childhood Education.";
One of the many benefits Dixie found was not expected. She says, "Even though I am only the assistant, I learned some great ideas that we are now using. You don't have to be the lead teacher just to make a minor change that everyone picks up on and loves it in the end.";
"The most important fact was TECTA was by my side
every step of the way. It is one of the most helpful tools and
education you can start with in Early Childhood
By Debbie Simpson
It is wonderful to watch adults attend college for the first time. They are generally anxious and nervous, but , oh so very excited. I just cannot wait to go to the first night of class to deliver textbooks and talk about TECTA and the CDA and degree programs - to explore the possibilities with providers. Most importantly, I am excited to begin to put names and voices I have talked with on the phone with faces. This begins a unique relationship for us. While students have so many questions in the beginning of the college experience, it is not long until they don't have any questions for me at all, except "when and where will the class be?"; It generally only takes about one semester, and these students are "good to go";. The college instructors are fully familiar with the role of a child care provider. The instructors value the experiences the students bring to share with the classes. The classes are very relevant to the provider and the early childhood classroom. Don't get me wrong, college is different from Orientation. There is reading to be done at home, and there are projects to do and exams to take. And all of this takes time, but, the students in the classes meet new friends and develop a network of professionals they can call on when they need help with an issue and they seem to enjoy the experience. I have never heard a student say, " I wish I had never done this."; NO!!! They want to take more classes, past the CDA and technical certificate. They enjoy learning and being with other professionals. We invite you to join the college "experience"; if you have not done so. You might find that you really enjoy it.
TECPAC is the Opportunity for Growth
By Lisa Walsh
Pointing Directors Toward Leadership
The easiest way to explain the benefits of getting a director's credential would be to take you on a journey through the process. This journey begins with a director who has completed Early Childhood college courses and Business Management/Leadership/Computer courses. Approved candidates participate in classes called "the academy";. The Academy is comprised of ten sessions spread over approximately nine months. During this phase of the journey directors are assessed, set goals, prepare statements and attend classes. As the journey draws near its end, each director is reassessed and submits a portfolio of core statements. These are documents written by the candidates that reflect on past and current practices as well as future goals. This all sounds simple enough but ask any of the candidates who have completed the journey this year and you will learn that it has been one of the most challenging tasks of their professional careers. Upon reflection of their experiences you might hear words like "mentor";, "trust";, "organized";, "documented";, "informed";, "prepared"; and "partnership"; to describe the voyage. But it is the word "leader"; that shines above the others. A new group of leaders has been born and the early childhood profession is ready for them.
By Debbie Simpson
In recent months, MTSU TECTA has seen several providers begin to embrace the idea of accreditation. We are proud of your boldness!! Accreditation is a process, and yes, there can be an end product, but there doesn't have to be. Remember the expression, "enjoy the journey";? Accreditation is a journey to be worked through and enjoyed. It can bring a staff closer together and will definitely point out strengths and weaknesses of a program. That is really the only way we can begin to improve, when we know where the problems or weaknesses exist. Making improvements brings us closer to higher quality. Some programs go through this journey called the self-study and move closer to accreditation. Others walk through the self-study, make necessary improvements and celebrate their strengths. Either way, the accreditation journey leads to higher quality.
MTSU-TECTA Goes Green! Now E-NEWSLETTERS!
Just Go, Type, and Submit! Beginning in Fall 2011, the newsletter will be provided electronically.
Don't forget to add email@example.com to your safe senders list.
If you would like to receive a copy:
Go: to http://mtsu.edu/tecta/contact.shtml
Type: your email address in the address line
Submit: click 'Submit Information' button
SCAEYC • September 17, 2011 • Columbia
RAEYC • September 10, 2011 • Murfreesboro
TAEYC • October 12-15, 2011 • Memphis