One thing that differentiates the Early Childhood Education (ECE) class from the rest of the programs at Stenberg College is the fact that our class is held off-campus. There are many advantages and a few disadvantages to the way this is set up.
One of the great things is that because our class is in the same place each day, we have the ability to personalize our classroom and use our creative abilities as ECE’s to make the space our own. I believe that we benefit greatly from having our own space as we are all together for a year and it helps us bond when we create all of the artwork and inspiration that is around our classroom.
Another excellent resource we have is the childcare center and preschool located in the same building as our classroom. This allows us the opportunity to test out our skills and the activities we have created on children rather than just on our classmates who may react differently than a typical child would to that activity.
It also makes coming to class fun, as when we are given free time in class to complete group projects, we get the chance to hang out in the common areas and get to watch the children play and get used to interacting with them.
For creating all of the fun resources and projects that we do in the ECE field we have a huge cabinet full of art materials and supplies in our classroom that is designated just for our class. If we were located on campus, we wouldn’t be able to customize our classroom as much, as many different programs typically share those spaces.
Some of the disadvantages of being located off campus is that we don’t always get to feel the sense of community that comes along with campus life and events. However, the staff at Stenberg always makes sure to include us in as many events as possible and will usually bring the fun to us. For example, since the start of our program, we have had the privilege of both a pizza party and an ice cream sundae-making day, which gives us time to mingle with our classmates and bond even more as a group.
Overall, I feel there are several benefits of having our ECE class off campus and they definitely out weigh the disadvantages. We are lucky enough to have the large classroom area we have and to be able to use the common areas in our free time as well. It is definitely benefitting our learning and classroom environment.