A Time of Reflection: Growth is on the Horizon
By DeJunne’ Clark Jackson, MA, MAT, MEd, CALT
Like most of us, the end of 2020 brought about hopes for renewals and visions of grandeur! After all, we could certainly use those rose-colored glasses we hear so much about when looking ahead into 2021. The term reflection seems to be an appropriate theme for thinking about the past and planning for the future. Thusly, at the start of this new year, the staff at the Center for Development and Learning (CDL) are taking this time to reflect on our past efforts and effectiveness in our programs, specifically, our CDA Cornerstones program.
If you are not familiar with Cornerstones, it is a Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)-approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate program which credentials teachers that are working in early learning centers. Through this program, teachers qualify to obtain their Child Development Associate credential. This certificate enables early learning center teachers to be recognized for the professional training they have completed, as well as provide access to valuable resources such as the School Readiness Tax Credits.
This past year the Cornerstones program at CDL was honored to have had the opportunity to work with the company TPI-US. At their core, “TPI-US envisions a system of teacher preparation where every level of leadership takes relentless ownership of their graduates’ effectiveness in the classroom and continuously evaluates their practices to ensure new teachers—and their students—are well prepared to thrive on day one.” Some may get anxious and/or apprehensive about a comprehensive evaluation; however, we approached this process with a sense of openness and a level of awareness that this was a necessary step toward growth and development.
It is never really comfortable to go through such an invasive process, especially when you’ve had to face challenging obstacles. The biggest challenge we all faced was the unforeseen COVID-19 pivot in our operations. But with challenges come opportunities. Opportunities for change, for growth, for development, for greatness. As a result of our experience, we are certain to have many benefits internally and externally. We forge ahead committing to excellence, integrity, and positivity that will manifest itself as effective teachers and blossoming children.
Well, we made it through and can definitively report that because of this process, the wonderful support of the TPI team, and the unwavering work of the CDL early childhood staff, the future of the CDA Cornerstones program looks pretty rosy and bright! Be on the lookout for Cohort 6.0, new and improved, to launch this spring.
To learn more about how you can become a Cornerstones program participant, please visit our website at www.cdl.org/cda-cornerstone/.
DeJunne’ Clark Jackson, MA, MAT, MEd, CALT
Vice President of Program Development