Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Early Childhood Educator Jamaal Miller by Mike Prochaska
Jamaal Miller, from Baltimore, Md., currently works at Little Flowers Early Childhood and Development Center as the after-school coordinator for G.R.A.S.P. (Generation Recharge After School Program). Read on to learn more about Jamaal…
Q. What are the advantages of being a man in Early Childhood Education? What do men bring to the classroom?
“… Where I work students get a sense of having positive male role models they don’t get to see in their home or communities. In addition to what they see at home it gives hope, a different perspective on goals and aspirations in life.”
Q. Why is play important for children?
“Play is important because it allows a child to create. Paying close attention to most of my students when they play it’s always rewarding whether it be on the playground or in the classroom they always enter into a different world that is combined with what they witness and what they create. I’ll often hear some of the things I say to them or my rhetoric when correcting them OFTEN in their play … and I’ll hear what seems strange to me but what I’ve also grown to know as their brain either what comprehends or creates.
“So, play is very important because it provides students time to use their imagination and in a world that we live in today escape to a place they would LOVE to be and deem safe. LET THE CHILDREN PLAY!”
Q. What’s your favorite memory working with kids?
“My favorite memory is when I asked students to mimic their favorite adult. Several of them mimicked me and it was amazing to witness because I got a chance to see how they see me LOVING, nurturing, a disciplinarian, cool, the nice guy that gives several chances. They displayed me having so much patience it was one of the most rewarding experiences. I have so many.”
Q. Anything inspiring to tell anyone thinking of going into this field?
“This job isn’t for everyone and if you don’t have the passion for it don’t pursue it. However, if this is what you love it will be one of the most rewarding experiences in life to see what you’ve planted in one’s life come to grow and bear great fruits of love and labor you’ve put in.”