Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  Becoming an Advocate

    Posted 09-10-2017 09:45 PM

    Many teachers of young children find that they are being required to do inappropriate things in their classrooms, from push down academics ("kindergarten has become the new first grade") to no time for play to inappropriate testing.  Sometimes teachers need to become advocates for young children in their schools and communities!  If you are finding that you need resources and support in order to speak up about what is right for the young children you teach, you should be aware of the resources provided by Defending the Early Years.  You'll find comprehensive reports, fact sheets, up to date information, and a mobilizing kit at  Have you  been required to teach skills that you know are inappropriate for the children you teach?  How have the children reacted?  Please share your stories!

    Blakely Bundy
    Defending the Early Years
    Winnetka IL

  • 2.  RE: Becoming an Advocate

    Posted 09-12-2017 07:40 PM
    I've found that many early childhood professionals become nervous when faced with the word "advocate." But as I tell them in my presentations, it isn't necessary to be a policy wonk in order to advocate for early childhood education and developmentally appropriate practice. There are a few simple things ECE professionals can do:

    1. Always refer to yourself as a teacher. It will help put a stop to the idea of ECE professional as "babysitters."

    2. Tell your stories! Most people have no idea what's involved in your day-to-day practice. You can let them know through simple, informal conversation. Share your excitement about the amazing experiences taking place in your classroom and how much it's teaching the children!

    3. Invite parents and policymakers to the classroom to witness what developmentally appropriate practice looks like. Or have them take part in two activities involving the same learning goal: one developmentally inappropriate (a worksheet, for example) and one developmentally appropriate (an active learning experience). They'll see the difference!
    For those who do want to delve a bit deeper into advocacy, here's a great discussion, with representatives from four state AEYC organizations, on the topic: ECE Advocacy 101: You're Either at the Table or on the Menu - BAM! Radio Network.

    Defending the Early Years is an amazing organization, and I'm grateful for all the wonderful work they do! I hope everyone will go on over to their website. Don't let the word "advocate" stop you!

    Rae Pica
    Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting
    Alexandria VA

  • 3.  RE: Becoming an Advocate

    Posted 09-14-2017 09:11 AM

    Hello All,

    Zero to Three just released an advocacy kit that focuses on Infant and Toddler providers! You can access it here - Zero to Three Advocacy Tool Kit

    Benjamin Planton
    Infant Toddler Outcome Specialist - Partnerships for Early Learners
    NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council

  • 4.  RE: Becoming an Advocate

    Posted 09-14-2017 11:43 AM
    Excellent website. I encourage all educators to take part in advocacy. Let your voices be heard. We can be a strong force for change and professional recognition if we band together and speak out in our communities, City Halls and State Houses.

    Clarence Little
    Grove Hall Child Development Center
    Mattapan MA