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Ashford 6: – Week 5 – Instructor Guidance

Week Five Instructor Guidance

Way to go! You did it! You made it to the final week of your Early Childhood Education Capstone course. Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your accomplishments in this course.  After all it is your accomplishments that will allow you to fulfill your dream of a career in early childhood education.  If you need a little motivation and encouragement to take the next steps in your career, watch the video below! 

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Overview of the Learning Week

Wow, it is hard to believe that it is time for our final week of class.  We have been on an amazing journey so far and I know that this final week will also be great.  This week all of the learning that you have done not only in this course, but throughout your degree program will come together in your ePortfolio.  You will use the case study to analyze the connection between NAEYC’s Standard of Commitment and the dispositions of teachers.  Finally, if you have not already done so, you will need to complete the Program Comprehensive Exam. Let’s get started!

Instructor Expertise

Case Study Explanation

In the final week of the case study, you will have the opportunity to hear what the parents of the students in Mrs. Ashland’s class have thought about what she has done for their child throughout the year as they nominate her for the Golden Apple Award.  This week will also wrap up many of the storylines that have been running throughout the case study each week. 

The Importance of Positive Relationships with Your Coworkers  

“Good working relationships with your coworkers will enhance the program for children and make your work easier and more pleasant” (Feeney, Moravcik, Nolte, & Christensen, 2010, p. 447).  When you have a positive working relationship with your coworkers you have someone that you can trust to go to when you are having trouble whether it be with curriculum, a student, or a parent.  In the case study we saw a great example of this type of relationship between Mrs. Ashland and Mrs. Ford.

There are many ways to go about building positive relationships with your coworkers. One of the easiest things that you can do is to make yourself available to your colleagues. This can be as simple as eating lunch together, setting up times to meet regularly, or sending them an email to let them know that you wanted to talk with them about how some of your students are doing.  Another way to establish strong relationships with your coworkers is to maintain their trust. If your coworker tells you something in confidence, then you should respect that and keep the information confidential. While this sounds like an easy task, all too often issues that are shared in confidence are not respected. Finally, take some time to get to know your colleagues outside of school. When you have the chance to interact with your coworkers in a setting other than school you will get to learn a lot about each other. 

How are the ideas shared in the previous paragraph related to the dispositions of quality early childhood educators that were shared in the text? Take a minute to reflect on this. You will also have a chance to solidify your understanding of the dispositions of quality early childhood educators in the first discussion forum of the week. 

Dispositions and Job Interviews

The beginning of chapter 9 introduces the concept of dispositions and how these particular characteristics can help early childhood educators be successful in finding employment and maintaining employment.  When you go to interview for a position, you will most likely be asked the question, “What are your strengths?”  Interviewers ask this question because they often have specific characteristics that they are looking for in potential employees.  After answering this question, they will likely follow up with, “What are your areas of weakness?” Ughh! Of course you  don’t want to talk about your weaknesses!!   

This question too is a  common interview question and it is important for individuals to know their areas of weakness so that they can work on growth.  For example, you may soon be interviewing for a job in which you have limited experience.  You might respond to this question by saying that despite not having a lengthy ECE background, you are an eager teacher who is willing to listen, grow, and reflect.  When we identify our areas of weakness and acknowledge that we have a plan for growth it shows others that we are committed to coming stronger, better professionals.  

Once again, think back to the dispositions shared in the text.  Which of these dispositions do you feel are your strengths?  Which ones might be your weakness?  How can you use your reflection regarding these dispositions to help you successfully navigate your first job interview?   



Becoming a Reflective Early Childhood Professional

Along with learning about the dispositions of teachers in chapter nine of our textbook, we learn about the importance of reflecting on a daily basis. Reflection is an important quality for educators to possess. “Specifically, educators’ reflections and evaluations of the development and implementation of their guidance skills with children are particularly important in order to effectively meet individual children’s needs”  (McFarland, L., Saunders, R., & Allen, S., 2009, p. 505).  It is through the process of reflection that I feel you can evaluate whether or not you have been effective and ensure that your students will be successful as well. 

There are many different ways that you can choose to reflect each day. One method for reflecting that is used by many early childhood educators is to keep a teaching journal. At the end of each day take a couple of minutes to think about how your day went. Sometimes you may be able to fill two or three pages and other days you may just write a sentence.  Another way to reflect on your day is to talk with your coworkers about how your day went. What is important is that you take time every day to think back about the day and can then use this reflection to help you decide the next steps you want to take with your students.

Robert Marzano is a well-known educator who has spent a lot of time focusing on how to help educators become better at reflecting. If you ever get the chance to attend a training with Marzano or to read his book, Becoming a Reflective Teacher, jump on it. It will transform the way you look at reflecting on your teaching practices.

As you work on creating your ePortfolio for your final project this week, make sure you take some time to reflect on all that you have learned throughout this course and your degree program. You will be amazed at all you know!

Your Teaching Career

Another idea that stood out to me when reading the assigned chapters for this week in our textbook was the importance of allowing yourself the chance to grow as an educator. Two ideas that are shared in the text that were discussed to help you make the most of your teaching career were to work with a mentor and to attend professional development.

Throughout my teaching career, you may have the opportunity to work with a mentor. One of the most important steps to having a successful relationship with your mentor is to make sure that it is built on trust. This is true whether you are the mentor or the mentee. When working with together, it is important to make sure that you are both there to help each other and to learn from each other. By taking this approach you will set the relationship off on the right foot and be able to learn a lot.

Along with working with a mentor, making a plan for professional development will be important to your success as an early childhood educator. In fact the text said, “While the first days on the job may seem all consuming at this point, it is still vital to take the long view” (Krogh, 2013, p. 222). One commonly used forms of professional development is to subscribe to one of your favorite education journals.  This allows you to read them when you have the time and to save the ideas for future reference. Hopefully you will also have the opportunity to attend conferences as they provide wonderful opportunities to engage with professionals in the field.  As you work on your ePortfolio this week, you will have the chance to develop your own plan for professional development.  You might find some ideas for professional development in the U.S. Department of Education website. 

Helpful hints for Creating Your Education Professional ePortfolio

This week, you will need to finalize your ePortoflio according to the Education Professional Portfolio directions provided in the course.  Remember, you must create your ePortfolio using Google Sites. The content that you will be adding to your ePortfolio is based on work you have completed throughout the course (see the chart below for a brief explanation of which course assignment connects to each component of your Education Professional Portfolio).  You are strongly encouraged to review the chart below, as well as the complete assignment description, early in the week in case you have any questions.  Also, you might find it helpful to use the grading rubric as a checklist while creating each page in your ePortfolio.  As you complete each requirement, check it off and then you will know that you haven’t forgotten to include something. Remember, there is a tip sheet for setting up your ePortfolio using Google Sites located with the Final Project Description under the Week 5 tab.   Finally, don’t forget about the extensive help resources that are available at the Google Sites Help Center. As always, I am here for you so please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. 

ePortfolio Component Connection to Previously Completed Coursework  Tips/Hints for Completing This Component
Portfolio Table of Contents No connection to a previous assignment. Your table of contents will simply list all of the components in your ePortfolio.
Cover Letter Week 5 Discussion 2 Forum You will want to take the letter you wrote as your initial response in the Week 5 Discussion 2 forum and revise it.
Biography No connection to a previous assignment. You will need to create this.  In your biography, you will want to tell your potential employer about who you are. Think of it as your chance to introduce yourself to your employer. Make sure to include either a photograph of yourself or an image that is relevant to early childhood education.


Model of Teaching Initial Response in the Week 1 Discussion 1 Forum Take another look at your initial response that you posted in the Week 1 Discussion 1 Forum.  Use this as a starting point to create a position statement that clearly explains which model of teaching aligns with your philosophy of learning. Make sure to support your thoughts with a scholarly source.
Developmentally Appropriate Practices Week 1 Discussion 2 Forum In the Week 1 Discussion 2 Forum you wrote about one aspect of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP).   For this part of your ePortfolio, you want to talk about DAP in general  and  expand on why you believe it is important to use developmentally appropriate practices with your students.
Approaches to Curriculum Initial Response in the Week 2 Discussion 2 Forum In the Week 2 Discussion 2 Forum, you created a lesson plan that aligned with a particular teaching approach and your peers provided you with feedback on your lesson plan.  Using the feedback from your peers, revise the lesson plan that you created.
Differentiated Common Core or Early Learning Standards Lesson Plan Week 2 Written Assignment Using the feedback you received on your assignment from your instructor, revise your lesson plan.  Along with revising your lesson plan you need to include a paragraph that explains the revisions you made.
Parent Communication Week 3 Discussion 1 Forum Using the ideas about communicating with families in the Week 3 Discussion 1 Forum, develop and share your plan for communicating with parents. 


Classroom Organization Initial Response in the Week 3 Discussion 2 Forum In the Week 3 Discussion 2 Forum you created a poster that focused on classroom management.  You can either use this poster or develop a new plan to describe your classroom management plan.


Assessment Plan Week 4 Assignment Using the feedback your instructor provides you on your Week 4 assignment, choose two of the three assessments from your presentation to revise. You will include your revised information regarding these two assessments in your ePortfolio.


Disposition Statement Week 5 Discussion 1 In the Week 5 Discussion Forum 1, you evaluated Mrs. Ashland based on the dispositions of effective teachers that are shared in our text.   Now, you want to use those dispositions to create a philosophy statement about the necessary qualities of early childhood educators. 


Plan Professional Development No connection to a previous assignment. In this section, you will want to share three ways that you will commit to professional development. For each of the types of professional development you commit to make sure to explain why this type of professional development will be important to your growth as an early childhood educator.
Rationale No connection to a previous assignment. You will want to create a brief summary that explains how the components in your ePortfolio demonstrate mastery of the topics and subjects on the Program Comprehensive Exam.
Reference Page No connection to a previous assignment. This is where you will list all of the resources that you have used throughout your entire ePortfolio site.  Remember in order for something to be considered a reference, it needs to be cited somewhere in your ePortfolio.


Please make sure you view the complete assignment description in the course.  The information in this chart is just a brief overview.

 Program Comprehensive Examination

Just a friendly reminder that if you have not already taken your Program Comprehensive Exam, you will need to do so by the last day of class. The exam is worth 10 points, or 10% of your grade. You will not be able to take this exam after the course has ended, so please plan accordingly. 

Critical Reflections/Application Opportunities

  • Who do you want to be as an early childhood education professional? 
  • How will children and families remember you as an early childhood professional? 
  • How will you use the information you learned and throughout your degree program in your career as an early childhood professional? 

“Kids don’t remember what you tried to teach them. They remember what you are. “



~Jim Henson


Weekly Readings

Chapter 9: You as a Professional 

  • This chapter focuses on you becoming a professional in the field of early childhood education. 

Chapter 10: Early Childhood Education: Leadership and Management 

  • This chapter focuses on leadership and management roles within the field of early childhood education.

ECE 430: Week 5 case study: Dispositions/Closure. 

  • We learn that the parents of Mrs. Ashland’s student nominate her for Golden Apple Award. In their nominations they express what she has done for their child and each child’s storyline is wrapped up through these explanations. 

NAEYC’s Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. 

Week Five Learning Activities


Points Learning Activity Due Date
4 Discussion: Week 4 Case Study Analysis  

This discussion will focus on dispositions of teachers and the Week 5 Case Study. You will be assuming the role of a judge for the Golden Apple Award. Using the dispositions of early childhood educators shared in the text and NAEYC’s Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment, you will need to evaluate the submission letters to see if Mrs. Ashland should win the award.

Peer Response:  You will need to respond to at least two of your peers. Make sure to discuss whether you agree or disagree with your peers recommendations for Mrs. Ashland winning the award by citing evidence. When responding to your peers, make sure that you follow the guidelines listed in the Guided Response.  If you do not address the Guided Response, you will not be able to earn full participation points.


Day 3, Thursday

Day 7, Monday

4 Discussion: Cover Letters  

This discussion focuses creating a  cover letter for a job. Please make sure you create a cover letter for a job that you find from Make sure to include all of the required information on your job description as stated in the discussion directions.

Peer Response: You will need to respond to at least two of your peers. When responding to your peers, you will need to provide them feedback on their cover letter and career goals.  When responding to your peers, make sure that you follow the guidelines listed in the Guided Response. If you do not address the Guided Response, you will not be able to earn full participation points. 


Day 3, Thursday

Day 7, Monday

20 Final Project: Education Professional ePortfolio  

For your final project, you will be creating an ePortfolio using Google Sites. You can use this JOB AID to help you set up your ePortfolio.
Many of the requirements for your ePortfolio will come from prior weekly discussions or previous assignments. Please make sure that you view the complete assignment directions to make sure that you understand the requirements for your using your previous work in your ePortfolio.

To submit your ePortfolio, simply copy and paste the URL for your ePortfolio onto a word document and attach your document to the assignment submission box.

Day 7, Monday

Additional Materials 

Building Relationships with Colleagues

The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (n.d.). Strategies for Building Relationships with Children, Families, and Colleagues. Retrieved from 

New2Teaching (n.d.). Working relationships. Retrieved from 

UC Berkley (n.d.). Career Management: Relationship-Building. Retrieved from

Dispositions of Teachers

Colker, L. (2008, March). Twelve Characteristics of Effective Early Childhood Educators. Retrieved from 

Wadlington, E., & Wadlington, P. (2011). Teacher Dispositions:Implications for Teacher Education. Retrieved from

Job Interview Tips

Adventures in Education (n.d.). Prepare for a Job Interview: Helpful Tips. Retrieved from 

CBS News (2012, June 11). 9 tips to prepare for a job interview. Retrieved from 


Feeney, S., Moravcik, E., Nolte, S., & Christensen, D. (2010). Who Am I in the Lives of Children? (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc. 

Heald, S. & Zaur, J. (2013). Early Childhood Education 430: Week 5, Case Study: Dispositions/Closure. Ashford University. Retrieved from the Course Materials section of your online course.  

Krogh, S. (2013). A bridge to the classroom and early care: ECE capstone. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Marzano, R. (2012). Becoming a Reflective Practitioner. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory. 

McFarland, L., Saunders, R., & Allen, S. (2009). Reflective Practice and Self-Evaluation in Learning Positive Guidance: Experiences of Early Childhood Practicum Students. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(6), 505-511. doi:10.1007/s10643-009-0315-2

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2011). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved from

SoulPancake (2013, January 24). A Pep Talk from Kid President to You [Video file]. Retrieved from 

U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Professional Development: Continuing Education. Retrieved from 



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