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Final Reflection

HD 412 Final Reflection


Cherilyn Helguera
June 3, 2016

Final Reflection

When I started this course, I was excited about learning about family dynamics
rather than solely the child. Working with children for over twenty years has been a
journey of mostly singular focus. In the private sector where I worked, the classroom is
developed to primarily support academic learning. When families are paying for their
childs education, there is a demand to produce a quantifiably intelligent preschooler.
Unfortunately, I see daily that there is more to a child then how much information I can
inject into them.
Participating in Pacific Oaks has opened my eyes to see that the inner workings of
a child are critical. These inner workings contain impart the knowledge base and
relational dynamics of their family. In the third section of the class text A World of
Difference, (Copple 2003), the focus is on building relationships with families. By
establishing trust the parent to become open about the inner workings of their home life
and allow for the teacher to offer resources and support. These added measures positively
reinvest into the child to add to their development.
Reflecting on this, I realized how I view my relationship between my students and
their families. Since I am a college student, I can see how this relationship is important
between student and teacher. The first day of class I was concerned how I would progress
because the course was presented harshly. For the first time in my journey with Pacific
Oaks, I felt incompetent. The professor was extremely educated and continually
reminding the class of that fact. I began to feel overwhelmed and stressed to meet the
course expectations.
The materials in this course assisted with understanding diversity by reading
materials from a country perspective such as, Preschool in Three Cultures. This book

Final Reflection

came at a perfect time because of a family that enrolled in my class. Not only was their
son new to the classroom, but he was also new to this country. Six months ago they came
from China. One of the statements said, the culture believes that teachers are more
important than parents and they are public employees with governmental mandate
(p.209). It is important to value a teacher who is there to assist in the development of
their child, but not to be the most important. I was saddened at how the parents are
devalued. Yet, understanding this idea gave me a way to begin to place more interest
and value on what the parent wanted for their child.
I had a discussion assignment to do for this course, but I needed to choose a
country, China, Japan, or America. I had not made this choice yet. During class my
professor asked us to sit in three separate locations based on which country. Since me and
two other students had not made a choice we were told to sit in the middle of the
classroom. We were also unable to participate in the discussion, which was frustrating
because participation is part of our grade. In my other course, Social and Political
Context of Human Development, I learned about being otherized. This means that you
are excluded by some form of prejudice.
I finally understood this concept and felt humiliated. I wanted to show my
professor that I did understand the coursework and I was prepared, so I continually raised
my hand and participated. That moment was imbedded in my mind and set the tone for
the remainder of the semester. I was no longer excited to attend class, although I enjoyed
being with my classmates. I needed to find a way to get back that confidence I lost.
We were assigned a group project to create a gender-neutral environment. This
was an enjoyable experience with my group. This project was titled, Breaking Gender

Final Reflection

Roles within the Classroom Environment. I never put too much thought in how gender
roles are dictated daily in our society, especially within the classroom. Upon reading the
research materials and my group's collaboration, I looked at my classroom for the first
time as the childs classroom and saw so many dysfunctions. My youngest daughter, for
example, loves the Incredible Hulk. She has action figures, comic books, and posters
throughout her room. Some of our family and friends would question, Is that normal?
My husband and I did not put too much emphasis on it, we just thought it was interesting
that she loved something different and we would support her.
My daughter is not traditional; she enjoys her action figures as well as her makeup
and hair. She loves math and science and looks towards her future in a male dominated
career. As I read through the research materials of my paper, I realized that I did well for
my daughter, but I sometimes had disservice children in my interactions with families.
Instead of judging, I am observing and asking myself, I wonder why the parent is saying
that? or Why is the child behaving that way?
I am not convinced that I have contributed to this class, but I do know there has
been much given to me. My faith as a Christian does not permit me to accept people that
choose to be gay. I do not ignore or separate myself from the gay community; I just do
not accept it. At one point during this course we focused on the topic of gender and
sexuality. I was unsure in the beginning at this topic. I wanted to be careful of my
opinions, since we have two classmates who are lesbian. I did not want any of my biases
to be hurtful to them. My communication and relationship with these two ladies changed
during this course and during our group project. It allowed me to look past the issue of
sexual preference and focus solely on them. Their life choice was either their own or they

Final Reflection

were born this way. I have learned that their goals, family issues, and work stress is not so
different from my own. We have so much in common, that I can say wholeheartedly,
these young beautiful ladies are my friends.

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References

Copple, C. (2003). A World of Difference: Readings on Teaching Young Children in a


Diverse Society. Washington, DC. National Association for the Education of
Young Children.
Tobin, J., Yu, D., & Davidson. (1989). Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China, and
the United States. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press.