Thursday, December 17, 2015

Celeste Tinkoff's reflection on her first semester in the EC-SEBRIS program

This fall semester during the EC-SEBRIS program at SDSU I have gained a lot of new knowledge, reinforced prior knowledge I had obtained during my undergrad, and have been exposed to new horizons and new experiences in which I gained field experience. Coming from a background in psychology, the EC-SEBRIS program has exposed me to more in depth child and family focused ways of approaching mental health and the importance of early development, relationships with both young children and their families, and the role I have as an early childhood caregiver and advocate. The EC-SEBRIS program has introduced me to new information, such as various types of assessments and how they are to be used, administered, scored, explained, and interpreted. I have learned how to formulate a comprehensive assessment on a child, and which assessments are best to use for specific situations and children given their circumstances. I have also learned more about the importance of early relationships and how they affect the internal working model of children. The EC-SEBRIS program has refined my idea of presence when working with young children and I have learned through the program how much young children look to me as a caregiver and teacher. I am not only a role model, but a source of secure attachment, trust, security, guidance, and love for the infants and preschool children I work with. Lastly, I have been able to take part in, what I feel the majority of graduate school programs do not offer, this being our reflective supervision course. Although my time so far has been filled with excellent professors who have truly cared about their students’ success and rich new information, it has been a demanding journey in our otherwise hectic lives as students/employees/interns/parents/etc. The reflective supervision program has been a way for us to connect as peers and also seek guidance from a professional who is ready to listen and give constructive advice to help us navigate through our studies and site responsibilities. Having friends in law school and other graduate programs, I feel lucky that we have our weekly group meetings and biweekly individual meetings to reflect on our experiences, emotions, and struggles during the semester. We grow and learn about ourselves as individuals and how that affects us as early childhood mental health advocates. We also interact closely with our peers and share our journeys together. Overall I have enjoyed my first semester as an EC-SEBRIS candidate, and I look forward to the spring semester as well as the continued master’s program in 2016-7. For more information on the EC-SEBRIS graduate certificate program, visit website.