Professional Development

Scott Brouette

Program Director

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Scott works with college students on an early childhood literacy initiative through the AmeriCorps, but before that he taught preschool for 24 years. He was actually a communications major when he stumbled into the early childhood field by taping kids for a communications class project. The director saw how well he worked with the kids, and encouraged him to volunteer. The rest is history.

Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. He has also attended numerous conferences, read countless articles, written for early childhood magazines and journals, and presented at conferences. With all his experience, he’s learned that flexibility, patience, and the ability to see learning as it happens are some of the most important skills a person in the early childhood field can possess.

 

Video Interview

 

Interview Q&A

What do you like best about working the Early Childhood profession?

The thing that I like best is seeing that “Ah-ha” moment on children’s faces when they figure out what they’re doing or the answer to something.

 

Why should anyone consider this field as a profession?

I think it’s important for people to realize that what you’re really doing is helping children. You’re not going to make millions and millions of dollars, and a lot of times you are not going to get a pat on the back saying “You did a good job!” or “Great!” or “Thanks for helping us with that!” The whole idea is that you are helping the children and seeing the look on the children’s faces when they learn something and when they are able to do something on their own. That’s the biggest reason to go into the field of early childhood education.

 

What do you want the community to know about the importance of the early childhood profession?

I would like the community to know that early childhood education IS important, and quite possibly (I may be biased), but it could quite possibly be the most important part of education. It’s children’s first chance to learn in a formal setting and to become part of a group. They’re forming friendships, they’re forming ideas on how to actually think, they’re learning how to share, they’re (in a lot of cases) learning how to sit at the table and eat. They’re learning all those essential things that (without early childhood education) may not happen. It gets harder and harder each year for parents to do it all, so early childhood education is very important, because it is that first chance for children to learn in a formal setting.

 

What has been the biggest surprise about working in your position?

The biggest surprise I’ve found in early childhood education is the lack of male role models in the classroom. There are still so few men in the field, and it’s important for children to get both of those angles of teaching – male and female – and see men interacting with females and vice versa. And seeing men in a more nurturing way is important for children to see. I don’t know how to change it, but I wish there were more men in early childhood education, because there are children who don’t have male role models in their lives.

 

How do you stay up-to-date in all the research and information in early childhood education?

I read a lot. I’m a reader—I do like to read! But I’m also still very involved in different early childhood groups, and go to early childhood conferences, and network with other teachers.

 

What are the best ways for teachers to work with parents?

The best way to work with parents is helping parents remember that they are their child’s first teacher. They are a part of this – it’s not just, you give me your children for the day and I do it all and then they go home and you don’t do anything with them, and vice versa. You have to combine the two and remember that they’re learning all the time, and as parents, you are a teacher.