Blog for Walden student Abby Lazarus

This blog is for the purpose of sharing school works with other peers and classmates amongst the Walden family, as I work my way through my degree program. It will be maintained through out my student years.

EDSD7084 – MD1-WK1- Blog

Scholar Practitioners as Program Evaluators

Collegiality amongst peers and fellow professionals brings growth, development, and new knowledge to all group members. Through this course, I will grow in knowledge through the course materials and the discussions with all of the professionals within this course. This knowledge will be used to support me as I continue to grow and expand my business. It will help me lay a foundation for my growth in real data collected through evaluation procedures discovered in EDSD 7084 course work. The course will allow me to find which program evaluations fit my program and inform my practices. Evaluations can support all areas of a program’s quality, parent communication, staff relationships, community partnerships, and much more.

Through discussions in this course, I hope to get to know my colleagues and learn more about their work programs. This information will help me to expand and make additions to my program. It will help me to add to my professional teaching toolbox.

When a program is considering evaluations, it needs to consider what they are looking to change. What changes is the program hoping to implement? Having a clear vision or goal helps a program to seek their goal. A program should have a clear and measurable objective or objectives. Evaluations are a means to provide information to meet those set objectives. Early Childhood assessment helps teachers communicate important milestones in students’ development to families and provides teachers and parents the opportunity to work together to support children as they grow. By evaluating overall group performance, administrators can determine specific areas of program need and identify teacher and staff professional development to improve their ability to support all students.

Evaluations gain our knowledge. I understand that in using evaluations, my program benefit not only benefits from the data acquired. It can help me adjust my teaching style, the way I interact with families and with coworkers. The information gathered can help back me up or support initiatives or ideas I have wanted to implement in my work with young children. Evaluations open up opportunities and growth for all involved.

Abby Lazarus, M.Ed.
Abby Lazarus, M.Ed.

CEO of Lazarus Holdings, LLC. An Early Childhood Company. Small Business owner, Early Childhood Teacher and Advocate. Current Walden University Student pursuing an Eds. in Early Childhood Education.

EDSD7084 MD6 Blog-

It is the job of scholar-practitioner to seek education to develop or hone their skills, gaining new insight into previously acquired knowledge. Scholar-practitioners recognize problems, examine them closely, and search for productive solutions. Scholar practitioners can reflect on and assess the impact of their work. Through activities, such as evaluations, scholars gain more knowledge through their collaborative efforts with colleagues. A scholar-practitioner understands and believes in their views, values, and morals. They use this and their voice to advocate and lead change.

To effectively lead an evaluation, a scholar must first identify the stakeholders, then develop a sound plan or model the evaluation will follow. What are you trying to discover, and how will you gather the data? Having a plan helps to clarify the steps necessary, to assess and then understand the outcomes. It is essential to know how the findings will be used and the data distributed to stakeholders. Scholars will celebrate the positive findings, discuss the places for improvement and communicate the lessons learned through the experience with stakeholders.

One of the most significant barriers would be having the self-confidence to lead and make sure the plan is being followed, and the data is organized in a manner in which all stakeholders can understand the system. I believe the most important downfall to avoid when leading a program evaluation is avoiding burnout. Evaluations are time-consuming and add to a person’s workload. Collaborating effectively is not always each stakeholder’s strong suit, and gathering information, making time to meet to discuss, and generally working in a group is hard.

The adverse effects of burnout can spill over into all areas of one’s life, not just at work. Burnout doesn’t just affect the mind; it can affect your physical being and lead to more illnesses. To avoid burnout, it is important to make sure you rest, take time away to gather thoughts, and reflect on the work you have already done. Staying organized, asking for help, eating right, and exercising will help ease burnout.  

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Karen Goulandris
3 months ago

Abby,
           In the video with speakers referring to NAEYC accreditation, Amirault (Laureate Education, 2016a) mentioned that the process of accreditation was to improve one’s self and program. Accreditation holds the teachers and administrators accountable and provides many opportunities for self-reflection. Although I am not part of a center-based accreditation, I have been involved in higher-education NAEYC accreditation. I have found the that self-reflection piece has been the most important. The criteria for the accreditation provides ample opportunities to look at assignments and results of some key assessments that are used to collect data to show how students are meeting criteria aligned to standards. The results regarding student grades are not what determine reaccreditation, it is the self-reflection piece and making changes to reflect continuous improvement that are most important in the reaccreditation process. Our faculty work to show clear alignment of assignments to standards and then clear assessment of meeting the standard. The work is well worth it when we see that the changes improve student performance and outcomes.
Karen Goulandris
Reference
Laureate Education (Producer). (2016a). NAEYC accreditation [Audio file]. Baltimore, MD:Author.