Child Development major Laura Joullian believes she will be ready to step into the teacher’s role in a class of preschoolers when she graduates in May.
She said her confidence comes from her education in combination with her experience in the OCCC Child Development and Lab School. She has worked there as a teacher’s assistant for a year helping with the 4-year-old students.
“Our program is child based,” she said. “We focus on the needs of the child first and foremost.
“Before any other need is met, we make sure their most basic needs are met. The reason for this is we cannot expect for them to focus and learn if they are hungry or were up all night listening to their parents fight.”
If the child is tired or hungry OCCC Child Development instructors meet their needs in a manner that does not encourage attention-seeking, she said. The instructors are highly trained and fully aware of how a 4-year-old child interacts with others their age, as well as with adults.
Joullian said each child in the Child Development Center is treated as an individual. Therefore, every need of the child should be treated on an individual level.
For this reason, OCCC Child Development Center teachers do not teach to the class, but rather to the child.
Assistant Director Julie Wray said a recent Oklahoma Department of Education survey has found that most newly graduated teachers did not receive sufficient preparation for what they would face in classrooms and should have spent more time with qualified teachers before they graduated.
“The program is child directed and the curriculum is project-approached,” Wray said.
“The teachers talk to children to find out what their interest are and then develop the curriculum. This allows the children to dictate what they are learning.”
Wray and all the others involved in the OCCC Child Development Program are a main contributor to students like Joullian wanting to pursue a career in Child Development.
With OCCC’s program, students have multiple degree choices and opportunities to work in the child development field. Joullian said she looks forward to using the strategies and practices OCCC has taught her, when she soon is in charge of her own classroom setting.
More information on the degree plans that are available through OCCC’s Child Development Program can be found at www.occc.edu/childdev.
To contact Addison Hubbard, email firstname.lastname@example.org