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MA Early Childhood Education, Chinese

As an experienced pre-school teacher, I now wish to enhance my significant skills and knowledge by pursuing the MA degree in Early Childhood Education to enable me to become a more effective professional educator. I have carefully researched available programs and conclude that your own is by far the best ‘fit’ for my needs. I am particularly attracted by the fact that the program provides advanced knowledge and skills in the areas of multicultural and multi-lingual settings which are my own areas of special interest.

Although I majored in International Business for my bachelor degree, I had been involved, since high school, with the education of younger children, first as a volunteer in China and then as a professional teacher in the US.  My voluntary work with small children began when I was in high school and continued throughout my university career. During this time, I came to regard young children and their development to be much more fascinating than business and so abandoned the idea of working in the business world to concentrate on teaching. I also came to feel that my own, sometimes unhappy educational and life experiences, had given me insights that could be applied very productively in helping children to achieve their potential.

I began work, as an art specialist at a Chinese/English bilingual pre-school during my senior year at university in China. I taught art, in English, to children aged from two and a half to 5 years. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal about children as well as about myself. However the Chinese teaching methods involved strict regimentation and formality which I soon realized is not always effective especially with the more sensitive children. My own education and upbringing were both traditional and formal, and lacked the warmth, openness and friendliness that are common in family or child/teacher relationships in the US.

I moved to the US, four years ago with my family. I have been involved with the education of Chinese children and other children from a variety of cultural backgrounds since arriving here, I have also acquired an Associate Degree in Social Behavior which has been of enormous benefit to me in my work. I am now the Head Teacher of an International School and also hold two other part-time teaching roles. I believe that I have acquired a very broad range of educational and management skills and knowledge in a comparatively short time from wide exposure to teaching children of differing cultural backgrounds, ages and academic ability.

  I have a particular interest in the uncooperative child and in establishing and dealing with the reasons for their attitudes. This interest arises because I shared their attitudes, to some extent, in my own early childhood.   From experience, I believe that the willingness to devote considerable time in acquiring the trust of a child is key to getting them to attempt to communicate in a second language and then to becoming confident in its use.  I also have a special interest in reaching, and changing the behavior of, the uncooperative or withdrawn child.  I am keenly aware of the great importance of being able to read and react appropriately to non-verbal signals from children and hope to develop this skill further during the program.

I hope to assist in research relating to the most effective means of motivating and encouraging children to apply and extend their classroom knowledge of a second language into their daily lives as I am aware that sometimes children are reluctant to do so thus stilting their progress in the language.

My short term goal is to acquire the skills and knowledge to become a highly qualified and effective pre-school teacher, specializing in language development working with the Chinese community. I also seek to enhance my leadership and organizational skills to be enabled to provide excellent guidance to other teachers and to maximize the educational efficiency of the schools that I shall lead. I know that the early education is pivotal in creating a positive attitude to education and in maximizing the opportunities in all children but is particularly important when the child is from a bi-lingual and bi-cultural background.  I hope to be part of the solution to recognized problems in smoothing the path of children between cultures in the sphere of education and beyond in order to enable them to realize their potential fully for their own benefit and of society generally.

My long term academic and career goals involve the pursuit of a Ph.D. or ED.D. in Early Childhood Education to assist in identifying and applying advances in this field through study and research. Ultimately, I hope to be able to share the knowledge and skills that I intend to acquire by teaching the following generation of early childhood education specialists and to ‘infect’ them with my passion for this vital area of work in providing the educational and linguistic foundations that provide the tools for a rewarding, happy and constructive life for immigrant children.

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