Teaching R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the Classroom
Caitlin Branscome understands little ones. She knows it’s not about shaking fingers and keeping them in line, but it’s about understanding how children ages 0-8 process information and communicating to them in a way that allows them to learn and grow.
“Before, you’d hear about parents spanking their children. But you think, ‘What if I just talk to them about this issue,’” she said. “My classes at New River have really helped me learn that children deserve respect, just as much as adults do. I’ve learned to be a more responsible caregiver. Even when they’re playing, they’re still learning. They don’t have to be planted in front of a worksheet to learn something.”
Like many Early Childhood Education professionals, Caitlin has had a lifelong love and a natural inclination to enter the field.
“When I was younger, my mom used to keep babies in the church nursery and I loved going in there with her – helping and playing with the toddler,” she said. “I’ve always been around children and I loved being a caregiver. In high school, I even did an internship through my school’s early childhood program.”
Caitlin, who is working towards her associates degree at New River Community College, also works as a toddler room teacher at her local YMCA. She encourages any one who is interested in getting a degree in early childhood education to go for it.
“It’s absolutely a wonderful program that really teaches you things about children that you would have never thought about before,” she said. “This field is such a rewarding field – so rewarding, that at the end of the day when you have the children hug you and love you, you know that they’ve had fun.”
Caitlin hopes to go on to receive her bachelor’s degree and maybe one day open her own early childcare facility.