Time Well Spent!!!

Growing up, I had always loved playing teacher to my little cousins and family friends but I never considered becoming a teacher. For one, my parents would not have agreed to it; not because they did not think it was a noble and important cause but solely because it was and still not a good-paying job in my community. Also, I was always curious about the fact that my mother always said that the reason I am very smart is because I attended a preschool. However, as my first son grew, I realize that I just wanted to impact knowledge onto him, I loved seeing him explore, ask questions, and learn to do things by himself. That re-awakened the desire and I knew for sure that very soon, in the nearest future I would establish an early childhood program. I also knew that to be effective in this field, it is very important that I equip myself with the required skills and knowledge. I did not want to open a preschool as a business like most people in my community, I want the preschool so that I can do what I really desire; making positive impact in the lives of young children.

My journey started about 22 months ago and I must confess that though it was challenging, I never doubted my decision. I have learnt so much during this period and I am grateful to Walden for affording me this wonderful opportunity. I now have a deep knowledge of how children develop and learn as well as the effective programs and practices that help young children flourish. I have come to understand that every child is unique and gifted and their development should never be compared to another as they blossom at different times. I also know that it is important that I have a critical and self-reflective understanding of my values, beliefs, and biases and use this understanding to improve my work. In addition, I also know that there are various issues that impact early childhood like issues bothering on equity and excellence, poverty, importance of play, changing demographics, worthy wages, and so many other issues. 

With all the above insights coupled with my knowledge on advocacy, my long-term goal is to make positive impact in my community by providing an exciting and enlightening experience to young children and their families in my program and also collaborating with others in ensuring that similar experiences are given to children and their families at other programs. I would like to express my profound gratitude to all my colleagues for their contribution into my learning. I appreciate all the information and reflections of experiences shared. I would also like to thank all my instructors for their guidance, wealth of knowledge transferred, and devotion in ensuring that we garner as much as possible within the allotted time. I came into this program with very little knowledge and no practical experience, all I had was my passion and hunger for knowledge and you not only met my need, you surpassed my expectations. For these, I am truly grateful. I wish you all the very best in every area of life and I pray that all your desires be met and may your destinies be fulfilled.

Though we have never met face to face, I consider all of you my good friends and I know that …

You can always reach me through my email:   abookie2001@yahoo.com

Blog:   https://adebukolaadewunmi.wordpress.com/

As you go on, please remember that 



Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

It is comforting to know that there are quite a number of international organizations that work for positive social change for children and families. There are some that will readily come to mind like UNICEF and UNESCO but I was able to pinpoint to three that have similar visions as mine and that I would like to be part of. For instance, the mission statement of International Step By Step Association (ISSA) stood out for me. Part of their mission is to unite professionals and partners to deliver high-quality early years services equitably and they challenge existing knowledge and practice and co-construct new approaches and models. Two of their goals that resonate with me are raising awareness of the importance of quality care and education, through informing the general public and influencing policies and developing resources for practitioners working with young children. ISSA is open to all organizations and individuals who wish to be part of the community. Organizations can join as members and individuals can become friends of ISSA by sending a request mail. I have already sent a mail and expecting a response from them very soon.

Another international organization that caught my attention is Save the Children organization. Their mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Under education, they support programs that are proven to promote learning in school and in the community and they influence global and national policy to improve children’s access to quality education, from pre-school care through to adulthood. They also collaborate with UNICEF in providing education to children during emergencies, ensuring that particularly vulnerable children don’t miss out on the benefits that education brings. There are couple of job openings but the job that may be easy for me to get is the post of FIELD MANAGER – NIGERIA.  I will be responsible for the efficient and effective operation of support services – Logistics, Security, Finance and Human Resources/administration and required to maintain effective relationships with all other key players in the area (NGO, UN, and governmental) to ensure effective coordination of activities and ability to implement. To qualify for this role, I must possess education to MSc/MA/MEng level in a relevant subject or equivalent field experience, have previous experience of managing a team, previous experience of project management, including multi sector programs, excellent communication skills, and strong influencing skills and experience in advocacy, amongst others.

The last organization that I would like to be a part of is the good old UNICEF. UNICEF is a leading humanitarian and development agency working globally for the rights of every child and has spent nearly 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. They are in 190 countries out of the 196 countries of the world. Under education, their priorities are early childhood education and school readiness, quality of education, and innovation in education, amongst others.          The number of available jobs is enormous but the job I would like to do with UNICEF is a consulting one: Consultancy assignment: Finalization of the National Early Childhood Policy. The job entails providing the country with a National Early Childhood Policy that will secure an environment conducive to better service delivery to children from 0-5 years of age as they attend early childhood centers. To qualify for this job, I must have a Master’s degree in Education and/or Child Care, Education Management, Child Protection or Political Science or another field related to the rights and development of the child and must have skills in management and organization of Childhood Institutions, good computer’s skills, and excellent ability to communicate, facilitate and coordinate a participatory discussion process. Unfortunately, the job is in Angola and I must have knowledge of the social, economic and educational realities of Angola, preferably in early childhood matters, including the actual situation of Angolan children; and be able to communicate in Portuguese.







Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

Whilst exploring early childhood education community on a national level, I knew almost immediately that I would be interested in the ones that can influence my current goals and my future goal of establishing a program. I started by exploring my immediate environment and I found the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS). This is the apex association of private school owners in Nigeria with the aim of promoting the welfare and interaction of proprietors of private schools and the advancement of quality educational services in Nigeria. Their mission is to be the incubator of knowledge and orientation required to provide and create the change needed for national development and transformation. I chose this community because as a member, I will have access to the proprietors’ portal, where I can directly communicate with other proprietors. I believe this will help me in my bid to create awareness on the need to implement appropriate curriculum in the early childhood programs. Also, my program will be added to the online directory system, giving it good exposure. They do not currently have a job opportunity but I can actively participate by becoming a member of the community (National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, 2016).

The other organizations that I chose are the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and National Child Care Association (NCCA). NIEER conducts and communicates research to support high-quality, effective early childhood education for all young children. They work with state and national policy makers and other organizations to collect, archive and disseminate information on the status of early education access and quality, exemplary practices and policies, and public opinion. I envisage that I will be able to get a lot of research documents with regards to the challenge I intend to tackle in my community. The current job opportunity available is for the role of an Assistant Research Professor and only applicants with a doctorate in education, psychology, human development, or another field of relevance to early childhood policy and practice, amongst other requirements are eligible to apply. I would have loved to apply for this role because it would avail me the opportunity to access a lot of research documents and other information (National Institute for Early Education Research, 2016).

I particularly like the NCCA because their aim is to promote the growth and safeguard the interest of quality early childhood care and education focusing on licensed, private providers of these services. As a prospective private provider, I know that there is an organization that is out there that has my interest at heart. I also liked what they are currently doing with regards to advocating for equal participation with regard to funding for all providers of Early Care and Education Birth through 5 irrespective of whether it is private owned or a public program. If this is achieved, it will go a long way in alleviating the cost incurred by private owners and will also lessen the fee burden imposed on parents and families. There are no job opportunities but you can become a member either as an individual or by being a member of a State affiliated member (National Child Care Association, 2016).










Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Searching for early childhood organizations, agencies, and communities of practice in my locality was not such an easy task. However, I was able to find the Nigeria Chapter of the Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI). ACEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation and advocate for children. Their mission is to promote innovative solutions to education challenges and inspire action that creates positive, sustainable futures for children worldwide. They are interested in sharing new approaches to the education of children and ensuring that these approaches are delivered in ways that enhance children’s individual skills and abilities and provide opportunities for success in life. One of their objectives is to provide access to cutting-edge research and information that enlightens perspectives and viewpoints on education practices. 

They offer internships during summer period and interns are given the opportunity to gain work experience consisting primarily of online research and data gathering that will contribute to the development of briefing papers and other types of resources. To qualify, you must be enrolled in a graduate degree program that focuses on global education issues with a particular interest in children’s education. I chose ACEI as I am interested in ensuring that necessary actions are taken for positive and sustainable futures for children.

I also decided to look up ECE organizations/agencies where I would like to live in future (Canada). Association of Early childhood Educators in Ontario (AECEO) was the first one I came across. The AECEO is the professional association for ECEs with a mission to build and support a strong collective voice for early childhood educators (ECEs) so they can participate in and influence positive change that benefits ECEs, children, families and communities. Their objectives, amongst others are to build the capacity and leadership of ECEs to advocate for their profession and the children and families they care for and also to participate in advocacy and advisory in order to promote the quality of programs through increased recognition and compensation for ECEs. The minimum requirement for an individual to be a viable contributor is to possess credentials recognized for registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE).

The third community of practice is the Association of Early childhood Educators in Newfoundland & Labrador (AECENL). AECENL, a not-for-profit professional organization for those with qualifications in early childhood education or working in child care or related fields. They represent the issues of their members to boards and committees as well as with government. They also bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table as the issues are discussed. In order to apply for membership, you must be Child Care Services Certified and for certification renewal, it is mandatory to undergo 30 hours of professional development. 











It seems like just the other day when we commenced this program, we introduced ourselves and I wondered how this whole course was going to play out. To think that 14 months and 7 courses have passed, it’s amazing to comprehend. I have come to know you all and have enjoyed all your inputs and experiences you shared. I have gained a lot from all your personal and professional contributions.

Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you and wish you all happy adventures, amazing experiences and the journey of a lifetime. I also hope to meet some of you if not all shortly as we specialize but if we don’t, I pray that you all have opportunities to impact positively in the lives of all the children that you come in contact with. 

Lastly, I would like to say a big thank you to all our instructors; who willingly shared their knowledge and guided us through it all. You have impacted my life profoundly and I wish you all the best in the life.

My contact email address is abookie2001@yahoo.com if you desire to get in touch with me. I will always watch out for you on your blogs. 

Thank you all!!!


Adjourning Ritual

I have been involved in so many teams; high- performing ones and not so high-performing ones but I have come to realize that the high-performing teams are the hardest for me to leave. Most times high-performing teams usually have the clearest established standards stipulated at the beginning of the project. These standards are clearly outlined, goals stipulated and expectations are well- spelled out right from the onset. The members are very clear on the reason for the team and what they stand to benefit from the vision, so little effort is required for optimal performance of the team. Relationships are easily developed in these teams and members derive a lot of pleasure in their achievements. Maturity is evident amongst members. These teams usually do not want to adjourn.

The most exciting closing ritual that I have experienced happened in a team that I worked in about 7 years ago. It was a high-performing team. We achieved all the objectives set for the team. By the end of the project, we had developed strong relationships amongst ourselves and we did not see the end of the team as an end to our relationships. 

We have a closure party and exchanged gifts. We didn’t have to exchange addresses because we had already paid visits with one another severally. As a matter of fact, one of the team members got married to the sibling of another team member about a year after the team was adjourned. We all went for the wedding ceremony. We have all remained friends ever since. This ritual has stayed with me ever since and I have often introduced it to other teams that I have participated in. 

Adjourning is an essential stage of teamwork as it brings about closure for the group on a positive note. Group members may feel a sense of loss and their motivation may decline when the group’s work comes to an end. It is therefore important to recognize the group members for their accomplishments and celebrate the group’s overall success. It is also at this stage that feelings of uncertainty and insecurity about the future are alleviated through appropriate plans for the transition (Swarthout, 2016).  Adjourning from my Walden team, since it is unlikely for all of us to meet face to face, I would suggest that contact addresses be exchanged, a blog or social media platform for the group could be developed and maintained; where we get to share our experiences and insights.




Swarthout, D. (2016). Adjourning stage of group development: definition & explanation. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/adjourning-stage-of-group-development-definition-lesson-quiz.html



Conflict Resolution

A conflict that readily comes to my mind was the one that happened between me and my long-time friend, Tolu. She recently missed my son’s birthday party. She knew about the party but still did not come or send her children down. I was really counting on her for support on that day and she disappointed me. I was really hurt and angry. I also noticed that she had been pulling away for some time. At first, I thought stress from work and her family (her husband had been away from home for some time, his work requires some travelling). I went over to her house the next day to give her a piece of my mind. I felt she didn’t value our friendship anymore and I wanted to hear from her rather than guess it.

On getting to her house, I confronted her and really told her off. She also accused me of being insensitive to her feelings; that if I really claimed to be her friend, I would have noticed that there was something amiss with her. We talked back and forth for a while and it didn’t seem like we were closer to resolving the issue. It was much later that I realized that she was having issues with her husband; he was having an affair and asking for a divorce.

If I had known earlier about all that we learnt this week, I would have reacted in a different manner. I would have inquired what the issue was from her instead of judging and criticizing her. I would also have listened actively without interrupting and talking loud. I would have calmly listened for her feelings. I would have compromised by having a smaller party for my son instead of the funfare we had and spent more time with her. Furthermore, I would have strategized with her on the way forward; how to get a lawyer, get informed about her rights and how to move on with her life. 

The conflict would have occurred if I had tried all the above strategies.



Early Childhood Studies