Final Thoughts and Reflections

For my final assignment in my current coursework, I have been asked to reflect on the experiences and work I have done and how it has changed me.  During this course, I have learned much about my personal values and biases and how my comments can be unintentionally hurtful to those that I have not taken the time to get to know better.  In our world of multiple cultures and values, it is never a good idea to assume that the people you are talking to share your beliefs.  In interacting with peers through discussions pertaining to assignment, I learned much about different cultures and even some about my own culture and how people see things I value differently.  Sometimes it is difficult for me to remember that there is a massive environment outside of the small town I inhabit and that issues and concerns are important there also.   I was extremely surprised to find out that even though I consider myself a tactful person, I still have made comments in the past that could offend people.

In working to learn more about other cultures, I enjoyed reading the book, The Spirit Catches You When You Fall, that discussed the Hmong culture and a young girl that suffered from a debilitating disease.  The struggle that her family faced in working with medical professionals during her illness, but trying to hold on to their cultural values was tragic and left me feeling that the doctors involved needed to reflect on their bedside manner with patients. My community is seeing an increase in the number of families from different cultures and it is important as an early childhood profession that I continue to learn as much as I can about each family and their background and culture in an effort to provide a positive learning environment for their child.  

I feel that I connected and gained the most from the work that I did on working with children dealing with the trauma of poverty.  I work with at-risk children every day and the information I have gained from my course project will be beneficial for understanding and  working with families and their children that live a much different life that I am accustomed to living.  I would like to further research families living in poverty and how it affects the children.  There is so much research available and so many variable that can affect the way children respond to negative adversity and I want to learn as much as I can in order to give these children a solid foundation for learning and socialization.  In gaining more insight into my topic, I hope to be able to raise awareness of the need for quality early childhood education for all children and advocate for more funding in my community so that children that live in poverty can gain necessary skills in order to enter Kindergarten ready to learn with their peers.  I have been a long-term resident of my community so I can see the effects of generational poverty on families I have known all my life.  I want to try to help my students become successful learners in order to be able to break the cycle of poverty.  

Fadiman, A. (2012). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. 

 

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8 thoughts on “Final Thoughts and Reflections

  1. Hi Kimberly,
    Overall, this course was truly inspiring and challenging for me. However, I have learned from your insightful discussion postings. I also admired your outstanding knowledge on child development. You wrote, “I feel that I connected and gained the most from the work that I did on working with children dealing with the trauma of poverty.” Do you anticipate using your Course Project (Major Assessment) challenge for your doctoral project? You have chosen a relevant challenge that many children and families experience worldwide. It is always a pleasure collaborating with you; I wish you all the best in your future courses.

    Shamanie

    • Shamanie,
      I am not going the doctoral route, I am working towards an Educational Specialist degree. I love teaching 4 year olds and I believed that the Ed.S. program fit my needs. I am going to continue working on furthering my research on children living in poverty in order to become a better teacher and early childhood advocate. Thank you for your kind words and best of luck on your doctoral project.

  2. Kimberly, I enjoyed reading your blog, especially as you spoke to your insights gained on culture and realizing that the world is much bigger beyond your town. I think we often forget that what we are accustomed to may not be, and often is not, what others are accustomed to. It is this realization and acknowledgment that creates a world that is accepting and tolerant of others.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Kacey

  3. Kimberly,
    I also enjoyed reading the book The Spirit Catches You When You Fall Down; as you mentioned, it really helps one to understand different families and cultures from a different perspective. This course has definitely opened my eyes as an educator in the field of early childhood education and the importance of being able to communicate with various cultures. I enjoyed reading your post.

    • Thank you for your response and I have enjoyed learning about the world of blogging. I feel that writing helps me put things into perspective and also helps me better process information. The story of the Hmong family and their struggle was very painful for me because of the difficulties they suffered in trying to raise their child in their culture. I admired them for their persistence in treatment for their child even after the doctors treated them poorly and social services took her away. The Hmong traditions are very important to them and they are very committed to living their lives, even in the US, immersed in their beliefs.

  4. Kimberly,

    Thank you for your honesty concerning your personal values and biases. I moved from the conservative south to the Chicago area, have lived overseas in other countries, and consider myself to have a global view of life. However, just when I have these thoughts, someone or something comes along to challenge my values that usually give indication of a bias. We all have biases and to not admit that is not being honest with ourselves. In this course I have been made to realize that we will have biases, but it is what we do with them that determines our growth as part of the human race and as a professional. When someone looks at my life I do not want them to say she was perfect, but I would like for them to see that I was a work in progress, ever-changing myself to help improve this world in which we live.

    Darla

  5. Thank you for your comments, Darla and I agree. I do not want to be remembered by my students as being perfect, I believe that would make me a very boring teacher, but as someone that taught them how to make mistakes, laugh at themselves, and treat everyone with respect.

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