I am mega excited that Judith answered me so quickly! If there are spelling errors, these are direct quotes for Judith. I hope you enjoy reading her comments:
What issues regarding quality and early childhood professionals are being discussed where you live and work?
I LIVE AND WORK IN LOS ANGELES. THE STATE IS FACING HUGE BUDGET CUTS ACROSS THE BOARD, WITH EDUCATION (INCLUDING EC) TAKING BIG HITS. FOR INSTANCE, FUNDING FOR STATE PRESCHOOL IS TO BE CUT DRAMATICALLY, BUT THE STATE PRESCHOOL PROGRAM IS EXPECTED TO SERVE THE SAME NUMBER OF CHILDREN. AT THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL, CLASS SIZES ARE RISING AND TEACHERS ARE ON EDGE BECAUSE NO ONE SEEMS SAFE FROM THE PINK SLIP.
What opportunities and/or requirements for professional development exist?
IT IS DIFFICULT TO REQUIRE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN A FINANCIAL CLIMATE LIKE THE ONE WE ARE EXPERIENCING. HEAD START STILL HAS SOME PD MONEY FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, BUT THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FOR NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND. ACTUALLY, THOUGH, MANY PEOPLE FINISHING TEACHING CREDENTIALS ARE OPTING FOR JOBS IN HEAD START AND OTHER PRESCHOOLS. THE TIMING IS GOOD FOR THEM BECAUSE HEAD START HAS RECENTLY INSTITUTED REQUIREMENTS FOR A BA —JUST WHEN HEAD START TEACHERS CAN NOT AFFORD TO TAKE THE CLASSES AND PEOPLE FINISHING TEACHING CREDENTIALS HAVE THE DEGREE AND CREDENTIAL IN HAND BUT NO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL JOBS.
What are some of your professional goals?
MY PROFESSIONAL GOAL IS TO END MY CAREER JUST AS ENTHUSIASTIC AND PRODUCTIVE AS I WAS WHEN I BEGAN IT. I ALSO WANT TO FIND MORE AND BETTER WAYS OF ENGAGING CHILDREN, PARENTS, COLLEGE STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONAL IN COMMITTED WORK FOR THE WORLD’S CHILDREN — IN WHATEVER FORM THAT SHOULD TAKE FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL AT ANY GIVEN POINT IN HIS/HER LIFE
What are some of your professional hopes, dreams, and challenges
PERSONALLY, I AM TRYING TO BALANCE THE DEMANDS OF TENURED FACULTY TO DO RESEARCH AND PUBLISH WITH THE DEMANDS OF MY POSITION AS PRESIDENT OF OMEP-USA.