This is a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.
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My name is Laura Polanco, and I work full-time for Worcester Child Development Head Start as a Family Service Associate. I also work part-time for Worcester Family Partnership, helping to facilitate literacy-based playgroups and as a home visitor for the Parent Child Home Program. I have been in the early education and care field for 11 years. During these years, I have held several different positions: a parent volunteer, assistant teacher, teacher, and coach/mentor.
I am still working on my own education. I am blessed to be involved in two programs as I work towards my master’s degree. The first program is a partnership between Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester State University that grants a Leadership Certificate. The other program is Worcester State University’s Improving Teacher Quality Grant. Without these options, I would not be able to financially acquire my Master’s degree. Programs like these help make us stronger educators so that we can provide a high-quality early education to children.
Early childhood sets the foundation for a child’s learning. Just like a house needs a strong foundation to be able to stay up, so does a child. I feel these early years are very crucial in setting the stage for each child to be an immersed learner as they grow. We empower these children to believe and accomplish anything they set out for. These are the most important years of a child’s life. We need to make sure their foundation can endure anything that life may bring their way and that they come out stronger than ever.
It is very important that we speak out and let policy makers know we are setting this foundation. The children in our early education classroom will be the policy makers of the future.
One of my favorite super heroes in children’s literature is Rainbow Fish. At, first, Rainbow Fish was not nice but along the way he empowered himself and the other fish by giving each of the fish a shiny scale which empowered them to feel better about themselves. He was a hero in this story.
As educators in these children’s lives, we are their superheroes. They look up to us with the highest respect, and they trust us to help guide them. All superheroes have a superpower and ours as educators, parents, legislators, or any adult that touches a child’s life is the power to EMPOWER. I had a negative experience with a fourth grade teacher when I was growing up. She basically told me I was a horrible writer. Till this day it affects me when I write papers. This teacher was a villain in my life because she affected me in such a negative way and took away my power in that instance. We make a lasting impact on every student’s life we touch. Please remember to use this super power that you have as a gift to EMPOWER each and every day because we are children’s superheroes. They look up to us, wanting to be like us. Never forget that!