Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With ECE Teacher Khavin Joseph by Bill Ellis
Khavin Joseph is a curriculum coach for Tiny Trees preschool in Seattle. Tiny Trees is an outdoor school for children ages 3 to 5. Khavin shared a little with us about working in Early Childhood Education and the importance of play for kids.
Q. What are the advantages of being a man in Early Childhood Education?
"Advantages? I'm not sure. But I think men can bring a different presence and perspective, just as a person of color or a [gay] person can. The more diversity in staffing the better!"
Q. Why is play important for children?
"Research continuously shows that play is how kids learn. Their experimentation with the world around them allows them to make sense of things, and build upon that learning. Its sad that play isn't valued."
Q. Why is outdoor play important?
"In a word? Risk. Children need a healthy dose of risk in their play to show them that they can do hard and sometimes scary things. Appropriate risk is an integral part of early childhood development".
Q. What is your favorite memory from working with kids?
"So many to choose from! But few things give me more joy than when a child solves a problem on their own. Or when they truly show kindness to one another."
Q. What is your favorite book to read to the classroom?
"Again, so many favorites! But I'd say 'Where the Sidewalk Ends,' or 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.'"
Q. Anything inspiring to tell anyone thinking of going into this field?
"I'd tell anyone going into this field to listen first, speak second. The children teach us so much if we pay attention. Also, learn to read upside down."
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