Beyond the Classroom: Early Childhood Education

Tyndale’s Human Services – Early Childhood Education is a unique program tailored to students who want to gain a well-rounded education in the Early Childhood Education field. It combines three years of studying at Tyndale University College with one year of studying at Seneca college to allow students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and a diploma. The combination of academic and practical learning is so important in a field where experience is a requirement and knowledge is also a necessity.

Capture ElishaI recently had the opportunity to chat with one of Tyndale’s current students, Elisha York. Elisha is in her final year of her BA in Human Services – Early Childhood Education. She shared some of her experiences and insights about the program with me.

Can you tell us about your internships?

I have completed my placements in a variety of settings and organizations. I have worked with the YMCA, a private childcare centre, a before and after school care program, a full-day kindergarten class, and the lab school at Seneca College. My roles in these programs have been to assist with the daily schedule in the classroom and planning of activities for children based on their interests. This includes assisting with meal and snack time, walking alongside the children as they are learning through their play, assisting with getting children to sleep at nap time, and helping with transition times.

What is something that has challenged you in your internships?

A major challenge I have experienced during my internships is the differences of practices and opinions when it comes to the child care centres and staff within the centres. In the classroom we are taught best practices; what the ideal situation would be in a classroom. However that is not always what happens. It is challenging as a student because you have to find the balance of following the philosophy of the centre and following the best practices we are taught. These challenges have helped me to form my own balances and opinions on practices.

 What is something that you have really enjoyed about the program?

I have enjoyed all of the hands-on experience I’ve had through my internships. They were truly stretching. They also provided me with an opportunity to gain experience in many different settings. I have been able to try a little bit of everything, which has helped to direct me in knowing what setting I would most like to work in.

What did you learn from Tyndale that you applied to your internships?

The Developmental Psychology course that I took at Tyndale prior to attending Seneca has been very helpful to my learning, and especially in my internships. In my courses at Seneca we reviewed the different stages that children go through. Having the prior knowledge of these stages through the Developmental Psychology course at Tyndale meant I was able to develop an even deeper and more practical understanding at Seneca. Because of this, I had a greater understanding of the children that I interacted with at my placements. I have been able to apply this knowledge to understand where children are in accordance with their development, and better understand why children behave in the ways that they do.

How has this experience prepared you for the workforce?

This opportunity gave me the experience that I’m not sure I would have gained anywhere else. I now have practical experience in the field, which will affect my future in it. Also, my eyes have been opened to what a variety of  Early Childhood Education settings are like, which has given me a base understanding of what to expect in the future.

Do you have any advice for future students at Tyndale?

Your professors at Tyndale and  Seneca have a wealth of knowledge. Take advantage of the opportunities that you have to ask them questions and learn as much as you can from them! All of the professors have so much experience in their field, they will each have different knowledge, ideas, and perspectives that can help you as you enter into your field of work.

 

Kaitlyn Williams

BA Business Administration – International Development 
Third Year
Senior Student Admissions Representative 



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