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Job titles

  • 1.  Job titles

    Posted 08-07-2021 09:10 PM
    Good day ECE community.

    We would like to move away from the job titles: Assistant and Floater. We think these titles imply that these educators are less important in some way. We know they are essential. Do any of you know of alternate job titles for these roles?

    Thank you for your service to children and their helpers!

    Best,
    Amy
    --
    Amy Brereton 

    "Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person." - Fred Rogers


  • 2.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-09-2021 01:40 AM
    I believe that both inside a class shall be called a teacher and not one being credentials an Assistant. The one who has all of the education credentials shall be identified as the Lead teacher. The floater shall ba called a teacher as well. Just be identified as a teacher rotates throughout the different classes to help assist within classes.

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    Paulette Liverpool
    Teacher
    The Learning Curve, CDC
    Washington DC
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  • 3.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-09-2021 10:44 AM
    We have an inclusion model and refer to all of our positions as educators as we have both classified and certified staff.  We saw that calling one position and one a facilitator created a rift.

    Kathy Hill
    Dysart Unified School District

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    Kathy Hill
    Federal Projects Director
    Dysart Unified School District
    Surprise AZ
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  • 4.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-09-2021 11:56 AM
    Interesting conversation:
    I understand what you are saying however, why not recognize the ones who have dedicated the time and energy into the education. We call college teachers "Professors" cause they put in the work..."Doctors"  or "Physicians" have earned their titles. It is not punitive to have the title Assistant on paperwork - its the level they are at in their educational journey. I think what matters most is how they are treated...do all staff receive the same respect for what they bring to the center? Just like a human body, a center cannot operate without each individual part which makes every educational team member vital and valuable.

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    Christina Roseli M.Ed
    Quality Care Coach
    Ventura, CA
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  • 5.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-10-2021 07:45 AM
    Christina:
    I love your last line comparing a center to the human body. I have more difficulty with your view of education for early childhood educators.  Many people are unable to access higher education due to financial or time constraints, such as the need to care for children or elders.  And probably all of us know educators who have "put in the time" by teaching and are better teachers than another educator who has been able to put their time and resources into higher education but aren't as supportive of the children in their care.  Often those with the title "assistant" are earning less than those without that qualifier added to their title, so it can be punitive. I invite people to widen their view of the definition of dedication to good teaching.

    Christina wrote:

    I understand what you are saying however, why not recognize the ones who have dedicated the time and energy into the education. We call college teachers "Professors" cause they put in the work..."Doctors"  or "Physicians" have earned their titles. It is not punitive to have the title Assistant on paperwork - its the level they are at in their educational journey. I think what matters most is how they are treated...do all staff receive the same respect for what they bring to the center? Just like a human body, a center cannot operate without each individual part which makes every educational team member vital and valuable.

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    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
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  • 6.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-10-2021 11:40 AM
    Aren,
    I understand exactly what you are saying. I have worked in centers with "Master Teachers" who had all the book smarts but lacked the ability to translate that knowledge into appropriate classroom interactions. However, that is not the case with most ECE professionals who have dedicated their lives to the field and continuing to learn and grow - and they should be recognized for their efforts. As should someone with less education who does an extraordinary job in the classroom. Again, it is all about how staff are treated and respected for what they bring to the lives of the children.
    The "Floater" may only have 6 units but without them no one gets a break, which puts a strain on the director and the teacher. They are an integral part of the Education Team and should be respected and treated as such. People and children will seldom remember your title but they will surely remember the interactions they had with you. :)

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    Christina Roseli M.Ed
    Quality Care Coach
    Ventura, CA
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  • 7.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-11-2021 11:27 PM
    The conflict between access to education vs dedication to practice is real.  But neither in itself tells the whole story of the individual, let along a classroom team as a social unit.  I earned my BA in Child Studies in the 80's at Tufts.  My family was unable to contribute a single penny, and I worked in the dining halls washing the dinner dishes of the rich kids to put myself through school.  I entered the field tired but hungry to make a difference.

    Over the years I have worked with teachers at all levels (having had to work my way up, beginning as an Assistant Teacher for multiple jobs regardless of my BA.)  The problem in my opinion is not that credentials are unfair or don't matter.  The problem is that people think credentials tell the whole story.  There absolutely are state licensed teachers who had easy access to college but don't truly care about doing their best.  There are absolutely teachers with zero credentials that come in as Teacher Aides, work towards a CDA, yet already have the gift, the touch, the heart of a seasoned teacher. And there are rock star teachers who truly know child development on every level because they studied it AND have heart.  And there are aides and assistants who don't care at all, complain all day, and do not carry their weight on the team.  And let's not forget those college kids who decide to join Teach For America, some for opportunity to really jump fully into the profession but also those who switched from a business degree to early childhood at the last minute to "do their time" (often as participants in a community without any ties to it at all) then leave student loan free.

    I support the acknowledgement (and challenge) of having each member of a team specializing in something they excel at.  Make good use of each person's very best.  And yes, assign duties to the person with the credentials that reflect, hopefully, their knowledge and skill base to do those tasks.  "Behind the scenes" let's see each human for what they bring to the table, and find ways to show gratitude for that in new ways if it can't be through the pay scale. Within the classroom walls, when children are present, they are all teachers. Period.

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    Mars April Caulton
    Education Coordinator,
    Mary Crane Centers
    Chicago IL
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  • 8.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-10-2021 09:26 AM

    In own eco climate ( classroom) inclusion, equality , culture bubble up in who we are. Loose parts, music,  blocks, books with photos and illustrations, variety of art materials all contribute to each of us expressing our identity. Our identities reflect our strengths, culture and desirers. Being intentional and listening are the most valuable inclusion tool/materials we have.

    Gratefully

    Caroline Carson

    Tucson Unified School District

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 9.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-09-2021 01:27 PM
    Hello Amy & everyone in the community,
    When I started teaching there were many tittles that were used. Even today those same tittles are being looked at as you pointed out in your comments that does not reflect the importance that these well deserved essential workers deserve in the Early Childhood Field.
    With that said, here are a few tittles that will be embraced by many of your educators: Associate Teacher, Co-Teacher, Apprentice Teacher , Co- Facilitator & Co-Guide Teacher. I hope this has shed some light in renaming your tittles. Time for a positive move!

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    Milagros Neu
    Pre-K -K Teacher
    Learning Pods
    Maplewood NJ
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  • 10.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-10-2021 05:05 AM
    Hello Amy,

    I hope you and your family are doing well. While not surprised, I think you raise an interesting and common question that leaders of ECE businesses ask. I found as a Center Director I often asked the question of myself, "why job titles". I found job titles were a part of the system to provide high-quality programs and services to those I served. I also found what mattered was "how" I treated teachers. I found having one teacher lead provided stability in the classroom. I instilled in the lead teacher a call to serve rather than the opportunity to exercise power and control over others and in operating the daily schedule for children in the classroom. I supported Lead teachers in their development as a leader. This included investing in the assistant teacher by treating him/her with respect and valuing what the assistant brought to the goal in the classroom which was ensuring the children were consistently in a high-quality learning environment. I also implemented a Succession Planning Program where the goal was to support assistant teachers to become a lead teacher if that was of interest to them. Ultimately, as the leader of the Center, I acted in ways that show my staff, by my actions, I valued and respected all of the teachers, knowing how important they werre to achieving our goal to have a positive impact on those we served.

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    Robert Gundling, Ed.D.
    Better Futures LLC
    Senior Consultant
    Washington, DC
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  • 11.  RE: Job titles

    Posted 08-12-2021 01:51 PM
    Hello all -- This is a great discussion of job titles and our perspectives on the roles and value of all staff who contribute directly to the care and education of young children, no matter their formal qualifications. I wanted to add here some information about "Power to the Profession", a multi-year initiative by NAEYC and many other organizations in the early childhood field.
    "Power to the Profession was established as a national collaboration to define the early childhood education profession, birth through age 8, across states and settings, by establishing a framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards, accountability supports, and compensation to define the early childhood education profession.
    You can learn more about this at powertotheprofession.org
    The best brief description of the job titles and preparation proposed can be found here, in the executive summary of the proposed "Unifying Framework":
    Power-to-Profession-Framework-exec-summary-03082020.pdf (powertotheprofession.org)
    It proposes that those who work directly with young children have a profession called "early childhood educator"; and that early childhood educators are certified at 3 distinct levels of formal qualifications, called Educator 1, Educator 2 and Educator 3.  This model is similar to the way the nursing profession is certified and licensed, with formal levels such as nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and registered nurse. Nurses at all these levels of preparation are valued members of medical teams, but with distinct competencies and scopes of practice. Educators would similarly have different defined roles in early childhood practice settings.
    This does not mean any organization could not continue to use whatever job titles they wish, such as lead teacher or assistant teacher. It does aim to create a better defined profession for all. Power to the Profession also addresses the needs of the profession to have adequate training supports, career pathways, and compensation. 


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    Susan Hedges
    Director, Quality Assessment and Assurance
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Rockville MD
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