Meet Tatiana Fisher
Tatiana Fisher is a University of Guelph Student studying Child, Youth, and Family Studies, with a planned graduation in 2022. Tatiana is currently enrolled in a practicum course within her degree, FRHD*3200 in which she has been working for the campus Child Care and Learning Centre. This course, and Tatiana’s work for it, is a model example of the great work being done virtually for the University of Guelph. Despite the pandemic, Tatiana has been heavily involved in engaging with parents online and supporting child development and learning from home through an initiative called FRHD*3200 Students Supporting Families. Tatiana shares with us more about the project, which was spearheaded by Professor Kim Squires, what her role was, and the impact of Experiential Learning FRHD courses.
Tell us more about FRHD*3200 Students Supporting Families. What is this initiative and why did it start?
“The Students Supporting Families initiative was created by our professor Kim Squires in our 4th week of classes. We were instructed to create a post to help families understand how they can support their child’s development and learning from home. We then shared our posts on a discussion board on course link to share and give feedback to our peers, as well as upvote our top 5 favourite posts to then be shared on the University of Guelph’s Child Care and Learning Centre (CCLC)’s social media.”
What is your role in this initiative?
“In this initiative, I created a post about encouraging musical creativity in children with learning disabilities. I chose to explore this topic as I am really passionate about it and had done a bit of research on these benefits in my FRHD*2110 course in my second year. I was fortunate enough to receive a high amount of votes, and for my post to be shared with the parents of the CCLC.”
“This was my post: As soon as children are born, they're exposed to a world filled with so many possibilities. Supporting a child's exploration of creativity is crucial during their early years of development. However, children with learning disabilities may struggle more than their peers when doing so. Allowing the opportunity of exploration of music into your child's life can enhance creativity in children with learning disabilities, as well as allowing time for bonding between the caregiver and the child. Furthermore, studies have shown how incorporating music into the lives of children with learning disabilities will not only allow for creativity, but can also improve language skills, communication skills, and the ability to express themselves (Batubara & Maniam 2019).
Batubara, J., & Maniam, S. (2019). Enhancing Creativity through Musical Drama for Children with Special Needs (Down Syndrome) in Education of Disabled Children. Problemy muzykal'noj nauki/Music Scholarship. No. 2, pp. 166–177. DOI: 10.17674/1997-0854.2018.4.166-177.”
What have you learned throughout the process?
“Throughout the process of this initiative, I have not only learned about my own passions of understanding and sharing my knowledge of children’s development, but I also saw the many passions of my peers as well. It was really interesting to engage with their posts and to see what they chose to share with parents. It was also great to see that even with the obstacles of online learning, we were able to still give back and stay connected to our local community.”
What has the response been like to this project? Has it changed how you think about your chosen field?
“The feedback I have heard so far from the project has been very positive, and people have been really enjoying the resources that are being shared. This project, and my practicum in general, has been so rewarding in terms of my knowledge acquired and the practical skills I’ve learned. Working with children and being a part of a community like the CCLC is such a beautiful experience, and I’m super proud to be a part of this supportive community here in Guelph.”
How will this course impact your career path?
“This course has been extremely beneficial and has taught me so many practical and resourceful skills for my future work as a professional in the early childhood education setting. I am so much more confident in my own abilities and have learned a handful of new methods and resources for working with people of all ages. I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I have had to learn so much about myself and my capabilities.”
Is there anything else you'd like to tell other students?
“I am just really passionate about my program and I could talk for hours about how beneficial my practicum, along with all of my other courses, have been. So many professors I have had the privilege of learning from and becoming friends with have instilled such a passion in me, and their other students as well, about human relationships and development. No matter what program students are in, taking FRHD courses are so beneficial and can open up a doorway to understanding so much about yourself and others around you.”