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Making Caring and Learning Together a Career

by Margie Carter
January/February 2017
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/making-caring-and-learning-together-a-career/5023366/

Despite continued research and extensive literature on the importance of children’s early years, the ECE field continues to struggle as a viable profession. Low status, high stress, inadequate salaries and working conditions all conspire to deter teachers from making this a career. Those of us who are aging and retiring from the field wonder and worry about the future of our beloved profession.

While we press for suitable policies and economic solutions to stabilize the early childhood field, how can we support a new cadre of teachers to move the profession forward? What will grow and sustain new leadership?

I mourn when I see wonderful teachers leave the field, or even leave the classroom to take up administrative positions that might give them a slightly larger paycheck and sense of agency. Somehow we assume this is the only viable career path for those who want to work on behalf of children or ongoing teacher improvement. I want us to rethink this notion and invent new possibilities for a sustainable career in ECE. As we work on financial solutions, we have to simultaneously enhance our work environments, our organizational cultures, and the intellectual engagement of our teachers. This seems a different focus than most ...

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