Hello everyone. My name is Felicia Farr. Currently I reside in Tennessee. I am originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana where I did all of my formal schooling even my Master’s Degree. I attended several universities and colleges along my journey in Early Childhood. I received my CDA (Child Development Associate Credential) first from the Council of Recognition in Washington, D.C. All of my degrees have been in Early Childhood Education. I have a passion for young children. I had gaps in my education because I would wait to find a university that offered Early Childhood as a degree as I continued to work as an Early Childhood Educator. I have worked with infants and toddlers up through 1st grade formally and when I was a substitute teacher I went up through high school. I have been a presenter at our local NAEYC Early Childhood conferences in Fort Wayne, and I was on the committee to plan for the conferences in our area in Indiana. I have been blessed with VIP Woman of the Year from the National Association of Professional Women in my education field in 2012- 2013 as well as being Teacher of the year 2012-2013 in my former school in Indiana chosen by the school board. I was excited in pursing my Doctoral Degree, when a Walden representative Beverly Foster continued to call and talk to me about the programs offered. Once she asked what grade level I taught and that I could earn an EDD in Early Childhood, I was sold on signing up. Very few universities offered EDD in Early Childhood.
I love to write and read and spend time traveling across the USA. Every year my cousins and I plan a ladies week to celebrate our birthdays and we try to plan it around a holiday. We pick a different state to vacation in. I also enjoy taking my son with me and we go to various museums or pick a place to go to as a goal of ours. For example we decided one year to go to all the parks in Fort Wayne, whether it was a playground or water park and we did. When we went to Disney World we had to go to every kingdom and ride on just the rides, which we did. I decided to pursue my EDD because I want to make a difference, not only in my classroom but in other early childhood educator’s classrooms. I’m always trying news ways to make my students successful but I want the connection and transition from early childhood and formal schooling to be valuable. As I taught the past 10 to 11 years there is a gap between what a preschool teaches and what a kindergarten teacher teaches. Although Educators in Early Childhood understand how important social, emotional, physical and mental activities are, we lose that in elementary school. Recess barely exists, maybe once a week gym time, art, or music. Children can’t talk unless discussing the curriculum to get prepared for state and national tests. I understand assessments, I understand play, but I don’t understand that we are forcing children to grow up in ways that they may or may not be ready for just to pass advanced tests. If we can make arrangements and allow children and parental involvement when they are in the infant stage to preschool, then formal schooling won’t be so hard. We have to involve every one so that everyone understands the process of how education is going. We can then do what we want with the play and essentials for Early Childhood. We can also create learning experiences at home and in daycares that can nurture learning and scaffold it in a way that the child won’t look like they have been thrown into the wilderness without protective gear when formal education starts.
My success has been my patience and my faith in my creator. I have had support from family and friends. So I would surround yourself with haters and supporters. You need the haters to keep pushing you forward to excellence with criticisms and you need the supporters to have your back to push you there to finish strong. I also have a great quote from Lemov (2010), No coach in the world would let players enter the huddle without a helmet on or catch a fastball without a glove. Every student must start class with books and paper out and pen or pencil in hand. To me we have to be prepared for our students and expect excellence from the start not get halfway through the school year and expect them to start passing state states a month before they are to take it, by quick reviews or new material. If you are not a comprehensive member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) I would sign up for it because they offer books and magazines for expanding knowledge for free! One of the books I received this year was on Overcoming Goliath. One of the stones in the book which is sectioned off says to be bold and brave. Be disruptive innovators- seeking new ways of doing things, positive deviants- identifying existing solutions that are not yet wide spread, and be an adaptive leader who can involve others in learning and mobilizing for solutions. I get the best advice from reading and collaborating with others. Always find an accountability partner that can be just as innovative as you!
Lemov D. (2010). Teach like a champion. Jossey-Bass Teacher, San Francisco, CA.
Washington, V, Gadson B., Amel K. (2015). The new early childhood professional.
A step-by step guide to overcoming goliath. Teacher College
Press/NAEYC Colombia University. ISBN: 978-0-8077-5663-8