Below we offer two examples of thoughtful reflective essays that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at California State University Channel Islands (CI). We suggest that you write your own essay before reading either of these models-then, having completed your first draft, read these over to consider areas in your own background that you have not yet addressed and which may be relevant to your growth as a reader, writer, or thinker.
Any reference to either of these essays must be correctly cited and attributed; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade on the portfolio and possible other serious consequences as stated in the CSUCI Code of Conduct.
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View Sample Reflective Essay #1
View Sample Reflective Essay #2
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Being a big sister I have always been introduced into the basics of how to take care a children. For my senior project I chose the self-development option where I took a class at WITC on “Intro to Child Care.” The class had a Pass/Fail grading system. I decided to take the class as my senior project to expand my prior knowledge on childcare. Also I took the class to determine if I want to pursue a career in childcare so I would know what colleges to go to and what programs I would need to pursue. The initial goals I had before starting the class were to complete the class, to expand my knowledge and to decide whether or not to pursue childcare as a career.
Before entering the class I needed to find out information about how to sign up for the class. The first step I took was to stop by Mrs. McGrath’s classroom to get the sign up sheets for the class and enrollment papers from WITC. After the papers were filled out I had to give them back to Mrs. McGrath so that she could turn them in. Over the next two months, every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00pm-5:30pm starting October 1st, 2013, I attended the class at WITC. During the class there were various lessons on children and childcare provider expectations.
Every day there I was required to bring the handbook and whatever homework that was assigned the previous class day. I had to research three colleges that offered Early Childhood Education to compare which school I would most likely want to attend if I decided to pursue a career in childcare. The colleges I had researched were University Wisconsin-Superior, Winona State University, and Concordia University. The college I would most likely attend would be University Wisconsin-Superior because it is right here at home and tuition was cheaper than the other two. The last step I did to complete my senior project was to complete the class with the passing grade, which I did. The last day of class was December 12, 2013.
I learned many new things after taking the class. As expected my knowledge did grow. The first thing we really looked into in the class was the qualifications of being a childcare provider. The next thing we learned in the class was child brain and physical development. We covered how brain and physical development is one of the most important factors in child development because it affects the child for the rest of life. Damage to certain parts of the brain can dramatically affect a child for the rest of life. Attention is one of the most important factors in a child’s brain development because attention changes how the brain responds to actions around the child.
If a child is born with or develops eye problems, it is recommended to have those corrected because they can affect learning and attention abilities in young children (Benson). Parents can help encourage a child’s physical development by allowing them room to explore by providing push-pull toys and reading or singing to them, allowing them to join along (Longo). As the class went on we started learning about safety in childcare centers. Most of the rules and guidelines seemed like common sense. For example, teachers and volunteers must be free from illness, smoking is not allowed on the premises, and open windows must have a screen (Department of Children and Families). After the class I learned how to overcome anxiety by practicing what I needed to practice and by believing in myself with the knowledge that I had obtained in the class.
After taking the class I am now able to work in any childcare center as an assistant teacher when I turn eighteen. I am also certified in Shaken Baby Syndrome Training. By taking this class I am now eligible to do things that I never would’ve been able to do before. I am able to pursue something I love doing and I am now ready for the challenges to come with this career. All of my initial goals were met by the time the class was over. I passed the class with 36 hours to go toward my senior project. I am extremely happy that I was pushed into doing a senior project because I was able to experience things that I never otherwise would have been able to experience. I will be able to carry the things I learned further in life to pursue a career in childcare and hopefully be qualified to get a job and own a childcare center.
Benson, Amy, Lecture notes, WITC, “Intro into Child Development” October 8th, 2013. Longo, Mary F., Kathy L. Reschka, and Cheryl Barber. “Ages & Stages for Caregivers.”
The Ohio State University Extension, 2002, Print, page 55.
Department of Children and Families Division of Early Care and Education, WISCONSIN ADMINISTRATIVE CODE: D251 LICENSING RULES FOR GROUP CHILD CARE CENTERS, Madison: State of Wisconsin, January 1st, 2009. Print, page 31.