We are fortunate to have and maintain a highly qualified staff.
All of our instructional staff members meet and exceed the California requirements for early childhood educators and have completed at least the 12 core credit hours. Four of our staff members hold Directors Permits. One staff member is a Mentor Teacher and works with colleges and universities to prepare other teachers for advanced service. Many of our staff members hold Site Supervisor Permits, which means that any of them could go to another program and be its leader in charge of a center. They choose instead to be at C5. Here, they can work with their other talented team members. They can apply the philosophy and practices that we have developed and that we all continue to work on together to improve.
C5 may occasionally have in limited roles on a temporary basis: interns or assistants. They typically come from colleges or universities and are in their advanced work on early childhood education. We also have experienced professionals from other early childhood programs, colleges, universities, and government agencies who want to learn how C5 works and experience it firsthand.
Colleges and universities ask C5 staff members each semester to come to their schools and present to their students and staff how we work with children, parents, families, community members, and our colleagues in the field of education.
C5 holds comprehensive professional development and training on a regular basis. We also facilitate individual teachers in their Professional Growth Planning and fulfillment in line with the California Early Childhood Education Professional Permits and Certification for Teaching.
All staff members are engaged in ongoing professional development. It consists of both formal training and study and informal discussions and individual study. Professional development is a cornerstone of our commitment to and progress toward becoming a vital learning organization for staff, parents, and children. We continually collaborate to prepare ourselves to skillfully support children in learning and developing to their highest potential.
Formal Training and Study
Formal work is typically done through community colleges, colleges and universities, professional conferences, and staff professional development sessions.
Staff members who are in positions of supervision and administration at C5 hold Bachelors or Masters Degrees in their field from accredited colleges or universities. They also have many years of leadership experience, and continue their professional development. Individuals who aspire to these positions are encouraged to achieve the same level of preparation.
Each staff member is expected to continue their formal study beyond the 12 units of Early Childhood Education required by the State of California. C5 provides funds for each staff member to continue their education in schools, conferences, seminars, workshops, visitations, and through educational materials.
Other formal development is through C5’s professional development program. The program includes five full days during the year when the staff meets quarterly for in-depth training and discussions. The staff at both centers also meets together monthly for special training. The program is among the most comprehensive, diverse, and rich ongoing early childhood education training experiences in the U.S.
Our professional development also involves related activities. They include all staff members preparing for training, reading follow-up materials, reporting on what they learned, and integrating it into their work with children, families, and their colleagues.
There are also opportunities for staff members to be assisted in preparing and presenting their work to conferences and special seminars. Some are hosted by C5 and held in the state-of-the-art conference center in the C5 Preschool Center building.
The full staff also meets once each month to cover many issues. They include health and safety, procedures, scheduling, joint inquiry into projects that are ongoing in the classrooms, and to receive brief modules of professional development. These meetings typically include a full staff session, center-level meetings, and team-level sessions. Staff members also frequently present and facilitate discussion at these meetings of their recent experiences and learning at conferences, workshops, and seminars. Other team-level meetings are held during the month when time and circumstances allow, usually about once each week during the children’s nap time.
In addition, individual staff members are scheduled to meet once a week with their team leader, their Center Director, or the Director of Learning. They discuss their work, plan strategies for the application of new learning, problem-solve special issues, and discuss what resources are needed.
Throughout the school year, we participate in and conduct a variety of workshops and seminars that support our comprehensive and caring curriculum. They focus on how we work with each other, with parents, with family members, with our strategic partners, and with the community.
C5 also sends individual staff members to special workshops, seminars, and conferences in line with their interests. These include a wide range of issues and activities. They also provide a basis for staff members to bring diverse information and experiences back to work with children, families, and colleagues.
Informal Discussions and Individual Study
Informal work is often a course of study that is part of each staff person’s individual development plan. It can also include activities that are agreed upon during weekly one-on-one meetings with Center Directors and during performance appraisal conferences with supervisors.
Informal work usually includes a variety of activities, such as:
— Discussions with other staff members at team meetings
— Conferences with supervisors
— Suggested books and articles to read
— Special events to attend
— Examination of the situation and dynamics within their own classrooms
— Special experimental activities
— Research on the Internet and in libraries
— Visits to other educational programs
— Exchange of ideas with other professionals within and outside their field or specialty