Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins with Dr. LaWanda Wesley
This thought-provoking podcast with Dr. LaWanda Wesley brings to light the inequities facing the diverse workforce in Early Childhood and also provides insight into how early childhood educators can take time to tune in, take small moments, and celebrate themselves and restore in ways that are reflective of and connected to their own cultural stance. Early Childhood is a workforce dominated by underpaid, diverse female workers that often times don’t feel like they can take time for themselves to restore because it can be seen as a luxury, but Dr. Wesley puts it out there that self-care is not at all a luxury, but an essential piece, and that it should feel authentic to who you are. She also eloquently calls out how society sometimes dismisses the challenges that can come with self-care. She discusses the trauma and stress that comes with the work of early childhood education and why it’s important that we hold space for self-care. Dr. Wesley serves as Oakland Unified School District’s Director of Quality Enhancement and Professional Development of Early Education. She is also the Co-Director and Co-designer of a national leadership fellowship piloted in Alameda County, California, titled Emerging Leaders for Racial Equity in Early Care and Education. She is also putting out a book titled, Culturally Responsive Self-Care Practices for Early Childhood Educators, which takes the reader through the self-care journeys of Early Childhood Educators in the field, described through their own narratives. Listening to this podcast helped me reflect on the importance of partnering with our Early Childhood Educators in the field to acknowledge themselves and the power of their work. This podcast episode is a wonderful listen for Early Childhood Educators, Educational Leaders, Researchers in the field of self-care and mindfulness, and policy makers.
Reviewed By: Dr. Lindsay Meeker