University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Headstart Teacher: The Challenges and opportunities
“Headstart is usually a 40+-year-old program that has assisted children from lower income families to cope academically as well as socially with their counterparts.”(Blake) As someone who just got an appointment as a headstart teacher, I expect several challenges and open doors of opportunities which I will explore in this essay.
The challenge of Societal Discrimination
Once an individual takes up an appointment as a headstart teacher, the level of respect that society accord to them is usually low. The society believe that taking up work with low income families and single parents implies that the headstart teacher is also poor, being in the same category. Take for instance if I tell another fellow that I just took up head start job, the fellow is likely to ask me why?
The job involves at-home visits that will enable to explore siblings and homelife.The family may think that picking up their children at home is a special request and not a responsibility or compulsion. As these families are usually low income earners, as a headstart teacher, I cannot punish them for late fees. Some parents may also see the time spent with their children as a token of friendship or free hour child care rather than as a job. Difficulties may also arise from uncooperative families especially single parents or divorced families as teachers and parents are both very important for a headstart program to succeed (Sitemaker).Such siblings of uncooperative parents have been shown to lag behind in terms of cognitive development in most cases (Sitemaker).
There is also the possibility of having to face court charges from parents of siblings. For example, a teacher in Miami was reported in the past and was charged with hitting 3 kids in his care and was also accused of kicking one of them in the face. The parents testified in court that their kids were treated as such and the headstart teacher was charged with battery and child abuse (Mabin&Lebovick).
The challenge of Low compensation
Headstart teachers’ salaries are generally low especially when compared with that of the K-12 teachers. They earn half of what public school teachers earn.
The challenge of physical needs
Younger head start teachers (18-30) are better able to cope with physical requirement, that this, job demands. As an older head start teacher, I may not be able to move up and down or expend as much energy as younger ones will do.
The opportunities ahead
Possibility of better compensation with time
If the wages of headstart teachers is increased with time as proposed, this will afford me as headstart teacher, scholarship opportunities for furtherance in my study to obtain a college degree.
Possibility of gaining international recognition
As a headstart teacher, I have made up my mind to put in my best to my work as behind every challenge, there is a promotion. For instance, Kansas Headstart association gave an award to a headstart teacher, Teri Aldrich for the Helene Marks award in 2007 and this is the foundation top honor. The total amount of the award was $2000. He was given this following a project design titled: “MARVEL with moment,” a program designed to help children with special needs meet higher academic achievement. He received a standing ovation which according to him was the first time in his entire life.
In conclusion, indeed the gift of a man makes way for him and I see myself achieving these kinds of feat also one day in the course of my headstart career. I am not afraid of challenges for behind every cloud, there is a silver lining.