Pacific Union Conference
Office of Education
Volume 16, No. 2
Spring, 2018

Preparing for Professional Development

Compiled by Julie Yamada

Preschool teachers begin by preparing themselves physically, emotionally and mentally for each day in their classroom but are not always as prepared in planning their own ongoing education. It is important for teachers to be proactive in planning their own professional development because practices in early childhood education can change over time. Also, professional development helps teachers to improve their skills and when teachers are confident about what they do then their work is easier and more fun.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for on-going professional development:
  • Create a professional portfolio – Teachers do so much every day for children and their families and often forget to document the things that have happened or the things they have done. Creating a portfolio allows the teacher to see how they have grown and changed as a professional. It is tangible evidence of the teacher’s success. Some things to consider adding to an ECEC portfolio would be:
    • A resume
    • Classroom experience such as lesson plans
    • Professional development plan
    • Records of trainings
    • Philosophy Statement
    • See the newly updated Pacific Union Conference Professional Achievement Recognition Manual for more information.
Portfolios can be created in a binder form or on an online platform such as Google Sites.
  • Write a statement of teaching philosophy –  Creating a philosophy statement can help teachers clarify their values and practice. Some areas to consider as you prepare to write your philosophy statement would be your views on:
    • Ethical conduct
    • Developmentally appropriate practice
    • Values
    • Family support and involvement
    • See the newly updated Pacific Union Conference Professional Achievement Recognition Manual for more information.
  • Plan professional development – To plan for professional development that will be helpful and effective, it is important to first set goals or have a plan to ensure that they can be reached.  Some ways to meet the goals are to take an early childhood class, attend workshops in areas that are specific to a topic that the teacher wants to learn more about, and participate in on-sight or other local trainings.  “Ideally, professional development plans will be living documents that guide school leaders to become fully engaged not only in the individual teacher’s professional growth, but also in the growth of the program.” (MacDonald, 2016)
  • Join a professional network – There are several early childhood organizations that are responsible for advocating for change and support best practices in early childhood education and child care. Some of the more recognized organizations are:
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children (look for your local chapter)
    • Zero to Three
    • The Professional Association of Childhood Educators, Inc (PACE)
    • Californians for Quality Early Learning
    • Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
Obtaining a PUC PAR certificate is an ongoing process and we are here to support ECEC teachers and administrators in our ECEC SDA programs with the process.

Carter, M. & Curtis, D. (2010). The Visionary Director. St. Paul, MV: Redleaf Press.
MacDonald, S., (2016). Inspiring Early Childhood Leadership. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House.
Narey, T. (2018, February 27). Eight Steps to Advance Your Professional Development in Early Childhood Education. [Blog article]. Retrieved from
Remember that you will never reach a higher standard than you yourself set. Then set your mark HIGH, and step by step, even though it be by painful effort, by self-denial and sacrifice, ASCEND the whole length of the ladder of progress.
-Ellen G. White

Supporting Professional Development

Compiled by Julie Yamada

Early childhood teachers enter an ECEC program with varied levels of experience and education. To encourage them to continue their education and grow professionally it is important to provide support. Using an intentional system to support teachers can reduce stress, increase engagement, and lead to higher quality teaching and improved learning outcomes. (MacDonald, 2016)

Some ways to facilitate the professional development of the teachers in the ECEC program are:
  1. Encouraging the teachers to focus not only on the number of hours required for a certificate but help them to see how to link the trainings to their professional growth. This will have the greatest impact for them professionally. A director/mentor can help guide the teacher to find the trainings and workshops that will help to address their specific goals and professional needs.
  2. Team teachers in groups of newer teachers with more experienced teachers. Give them time to meet weekly to discuss what is happening in their classrooms such as activities they have provided for the children or challenges they may have. When teachers are given time to network it will help to build their confidence as they work together on classroom ideas and issues. This will give them the opportunity to contribute to the preschool in many ways.
  3. Directors need to always be on the lookout for teachers who have the potential to become leaders in the ECEC program. Directors should be encouraging teachers to share their strengths, passions, interests, and skills beyond the classroom. Have teachers help with fundraising, writing the newsletter, plan a training in staff meeting, planning open house, and other parent events, etc. Encouraging teachers to take a leadership role in these types of activities will let them know they are valued and seen as a professional.
In the long run, reflective practice and continual professional development are vital to transforming the quality of early childhood programs. (MacDonald, 2016)

MacDonald, S., (2016). Inspiring Early Childhood Leadership. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House.
“It has long been my position that to be better educators, we need to be better learners.”
-Tom Whitby

PUC PAR Manual

The Professional Achievement Recognition Certificate (PAR) of the Pacific Union Conference now has an updated manual to help navigate the process of obtaining a certificate. We encourage all early childhood professionals working in SDA ECEC programs in the Pacific Union Conference to obtain a PAR certificate. The purpose of Professional Achievement Recognition is to certify and acknowledge the efforts and attainments of the early childhood educator who is continually learning and growing within their area of expertise. The intent of the Professional Achievement Recognition process is to support and encourage your professionalism in the Early Childhood Education field. Contact the PUC Office of Education Early Childhood Education and Care Division for more information.
Click on the image for access to the document.

ECEC Curriculum Grant

Purchase the CREATION Kids curriculum and/or support books, and your preschool program is eligible for $100 grant. All you have to do is forward the receipt you receive from Inkling when you purchase the curriculum and/or the books. Submissions will be accepted until November 30. Email.

Upcoming Events

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NAD 2018 Teachers Convention—August 6-9, 2018 in Chicago. You can register for email updates by clicking on the image, which takes you to the webpage for the convention. Contact your conference liaison for more information.

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