Orfalea Family Children's Center at The University of CA, Santa Barbara
I have been working in the field of early childhood education for the past twenty five years. I have a diverse background working in various types of programs ranging from private, family, and state subsidized childcare. I have been working at Orfalea Family Children’s Center at the University of Santa Barbara for the past 14 years. Eleven of those years were in the classroom as a Lead Teacher, the last three years I have served administratively as the Preschool Program Coordinator.
I received my A.S. in Early Childhood Education from Santa Barbara City College in 1999. I received my BA in Child, Family, and Society from Antioch University on June 27th, 2008 and completed my Masters in Education with an emphasis in Social Justice at Antioch in September 2009. My Master’s thesis was on Education for Sustainable Development: Cultivating Environmental Consciousness within an Early Childhood Community.
I currently hold a Site Supervisor Permit through the California Department of Education and serve as a professional growth advisor. I became a CA Mentor Teacher in 2001 and served as an instructor for Santa Barbara City College teaching the Mentor Teacher Class in 2010 and 2011.
I was honored in March of 2007 by receiving the Terri Lynne Lockoff National Childcare Teaching Award for my proposal to create a Peace Garden at my center with the children in my class. I was also granted a $2500 grant through the Michael Marsh Foundation to attend a peace conference for early childhood educators in Albacete, Spain in April, 2007.
In November of 2008 I was invited to be a keynote speaker for group of early childhood educators in Indore, India on reflective teaching practices.
Being that it is the children that will someday inherit the earth I feel strongly that it is our responsibility as adults to make sure that we teach our children to love nature and learn to live with it respectfully. As a teacher a large curricular focus was geared towards fostering awareness and reverence for all living things.
I am also the mother of a beautiful 24 year old daughter who recently completed a Permaculture Course in Kenya and a 21 year old son attending school in Chicago at Roosevelt University in a musical theater conservatory.
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Hi Tamara! Warm welcome to C&NN Connect. I'm the forum host. I'm glad you found us and hope you make yourself at home in discussions and groups. Our ECE group and Natural Teachers Network will probably interest you, among others. I hope you'll share your activities, ideas and photos with us and find this a rich source of resources. For any questions about the network, see our FAQ page. Hope to see you here again soon.