ChildCare Conversations with Kate and Carrie

Episode 177: Expanding Horizons: Supporting Spanish-Speaking Directors Beyond Texas

November 21, 2023 Carrie Casey and Kate Woodward Young
ChildCare Conversations with Kate and Carrie
Episode 177: Expanding Horizons: Supporting Spanish-Speaking Directors Beyond Texas
Show Notes Transcript

In this podcast episode, Kate and Carrie discuss the introduction of Spanish courses by Texas Director, a long-awaited initiative since 2001. The decision was driven by feedback from non-English speaking students and the demand for director courses in Spanish. Despite the challenges in finding a Spanish-speaking trainer, they partnered with Jimena. They emphasize that the courses are fully in Spanish with English subtitles. The hosts also discuss their goal to expand beyond Texas and support early childhood program directors worldwide. They encourage listeners to spread the word about the Spanish courses and invite feedback and suggestions.

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Marie (00:00:01) - Welcome to childcare. Conversations with Kate and Kerry.

Kate (00:00:06) - Espanol.

Carrie (00:00:07) - No, Paquito. Maybe then we may be in.

Kate - Okay, so today we actually are going to talk. Not in Spanish, but we are going to talk about one of the very long awaited should have been done 20 years ago courses that Texas director now offers. And I really have to. This is a huge shout out for Carrie and Jimena Parton and a whole host of other folks that made it happen, but without Carrie and Adele and Jimena and the name of our editor, Mercedes had to go look it up. This would never have happened. And it's something that literally, Carrie and I have talked about since 2001. So part of the reason we're going to talk about it today is I want you to know two things. One, we have an online Spanish class, and two, we have a live Spanish speaking, native Spanish speaking trainer who teaches the director credentialing course that we've been offering for 22 years now in Spanish. So I'm very excited by all of us.

Carrie (00:01:17) - Yeah, we have wanted it for a long time, but the person who we thought was going to be the most natural to step into that role, we could never convince to do it. And then we talked to a couple other people at various times. One of my best friends, I think, speaks Spanish very well because she grew up speaking Spanish, but she doesn't think of herself as being fluent. So we we tried to bug her for years to do it.  We're definitely talking about AD or Adriana, if you prefer. Um, and so when this opportunity came up to partner with Jimena, um, we had translated the book in 20 the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022. And then we reached out to the directors that we work with and said, hey, can anybody do the edits to make sure that this version of Spanish will work for people here in Texas who speak Mexican-based Spanish? Because it was translated by a guy from Chile.

Carrie (00:02:32) - Um, and that was Mercedes that Kate was talking about. And so we had the book translated and we had it right. And then we're like, great, now we need an instructor. So we went through the Texas Trainer Registry, going, surely there are Spanish speaking trainers on the Texas Trainer Registry. There are over a thousand trainers. Surely there is at least one trainer that we could reach out to.

*Kate * - Don't call me Shirley. Sorry,

Carrie - There were only three trainers in the entire registry who listed that they were Spanish speaking and all said that they did. Beginning level training and director credentialing is not beginning level training. No, it was hard to find somebody. And now we've got Jimena. And Jimena is awesome.

Kate - So let's talk a little bit about this process. So I'm sure that we have got folks listening to going, okay, so big deal. Whoop de do. You wrote a book, you had it translated, yada yada. Okay, so I just want to make sure that folks understand that we did this because one of the things that Texas director does every couple of years, as we survey the students who've taken our course, and we had students who took the course, who didn't speak English, who would bring a daughter or a niece or some friend of theirs to translate for them during the class, which is not the best for anybody.

Kate (00:03:59) - So we kept trying to figure out how to make that work. And so we had conversations with folks. We were fortunate enough that we actually the only reason it also ended up happening is that, you know, and teachers wanted some director courses in Spanish. And so it got us to move from the book to completing the workbook, to making sure that the online portion and even the trainer notes are all now in Spanish. And so we are really excited about not having a bilingual class. So our classes are not bilingual format where we have English and Spanish for those who need it. It's we have Spanish classes.

Carrie - Yeah. I mean, it is true that the videos are still Kate and I talking in English with subtitles in Spanish, because you do not want to hear us try to do these trainings in Spanish. And him. You know, just I have to

Kate - I have to tattle on myself. So Carrie speaks really good Russian and other languages that are not in the popular. You know, this is the language most people speak and are used to.

Kate (00:05:16) - Okay. And I had, you know, parents, you know, my mother specifically who was like, you know, you need to learn Spanish. This is what you need to learn. Now, mind you, my mother couldn't speak Spanish. And so I signed up for high school Spanish. And after my junior year, I was going to sign up for Spanish for. I wasn't allowed to sign up for Spanish for because my pronunciation was so bad. So I am not. I have children who are blessed with the ability to be able to read and speak and communicate in Spanish, and they do a lovely job. I can read and understand, and if you talk to me in Spanish, I can probably answer you in English. And if that works, it does confuse some people if they're trying to listen to the conversation. But you know, for some of us it works. But yeah. So when Carrie says you don't want to hear us mean Carrie, probably make it sound like, you know, some Russian doing Spanish.

Kate (00:06:17) - Um, I just sound every bit like I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line, and it is not happening. I'm just saying.

Carrie - Yeah. And, you know, I did grow up in Texas around a lot of people who speak Spanish. And when I'm around it, I can understand it pretty well. But the words I learned to say in elementary school, we're not we're not elementary school words. I mean, they were being said by elementary school kids, but it was mostly what to call somebody when they were annoying you. So I know curse words and I know rude things to say to people, and I know how to say that. And but that that's about the extent of my functional Spanish. So but it's not just that we wanted it because we wanted it. It's that Spanish is the second most-spoken language in Texas, and it's something like the fifth most-spoken language on the planet. So there's an actual like from an equity perspective, we felt it was important for people who wanted to run a program whose first language was Spanish, for them to be able to have access.

Carrie (00:07:32) - And I can't find anywhere in the world classes for heads of school in Spanish, which is bananas to me. So they're they're probably out there. I just haven't been able to find them. And part of that is probably because of my limited ability to read Spanish fluently. But it's not just here in the United States that people need to have the knowledge of how to run an early childhood program and how to do the business part and the child development part. It's everywhere, and we start in Texas, but we are slowly growing outside of Texas and stepping out of our comfort zone a little bit. We've got people listening to this podcast in Germany and in Poland and in Mexico. So we're trying to reach out and support more people who run early childhood programs in places other than Texas, because quite frankly, none of the other podcasts are doing that or, well, I shouldn't say none because haven't listened to every podcast. But there are other early childhood podcasts, and I listen to like five of them, and they're great, but they're not teaching you how to run a school with nuts and bolts.

Carrie (00:08:52) - There's one that claims to be about helping you to become a rock star, and there's one that is absolutely excellent at helping you with keeping up to date on the research in child development. And there's another one that is, you know, people who are teachers chit-chatting about the challenges of working with the kids and the working with the parents while meeting state standards and keeping up with the research. So there are lots of them out there. But what we want to do is different from what they want to do. We want to help the person who's running a school and actually give you tips and techniques as to how to run the school. We're not going to do the podcast in Spanish, but we can at least have a class in Spanish that teaches the basics of how to run a school effectively in Spanish, not just in English. Yeah, so we're really excited. And if you don't know, Texas Director is often the first to do things. So in 2005, we were the first director credentialing program in the state of Texas.

Kate (00:10:00) - That was online and had an online format. And here we are again. Are we are. We were also the first one to do a weekend only format. So, you know, if you've been with us long enough, you would know that we were the the first weekend format, because all the other credentialing programs were offered Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 and a hotel room using xeroxed copied content. So we also created original content for the course and wrote books and workbooks. And so we've continued to lead the field of director credentialing and director training in the state of Texas by providing this course in Spanish. So if you are listening to this and you know that you've got friends who work at programs, maybe they're awesomely teachers and they'd probably be awesome directors. They just haven't been able to make that leap. And part of the reason they can't make that leap is they can't find the training and education that they need. We go to state conferences. We do state conferences regularly with statewide organizations.

Kate (00:11:07) - One organization never has classes in Spanish. The other one might have 1 or 2, but they're almost always for teachers. So if you are listening to this and you know people or you yourself wish that more of these administrative courses were taught from TWC or tTRS or in any location other than a community college in Spanish, then let us know you know. Let us help you get the word out that you want more of these classes. Um, not in a bilingual format, but in an actually pure Spanish format.

Carrie - Yeah, mean we were happy to take it to other parts of the state. We want to get this training into people's brains in the way that works well for them. So if you're a local workforce board is like, well, nobody comes to our trainings. Well, yeah, that's because they're all taught in English and 40% of our staff are Spanish speakers. First, it's hard for them to want to come to a training where it's going to be work to understand it. So Jimena is willing also to just do regular training at different around the state to she can't do it every weekend, but she's interested in continuing to support the early childhood educators to get good quality training in Espanol.

Kate (00:12:37) - I'm trying. This is very limited. Um, even not conversational Spanish. So hopefully this, you know, is some food for thought for you. And, you know, if there are things that you would love to see us do that we haven't done related to director, credentialing or director, offer trainings, maybe there is a subject matter out there that you're still struggling with. We have been helping childcare centers with social media for probably ten years now. Um, way back, you know, for, for a really, really long time. Not quite my space-time, but still for a long time. Uh, we are constantly helping folks with budgeting and with their finance pieces. But if there are still aspects of your childcare business that you just are stuck on, think of this as an open-ended invitation to let us know. So if you are one of the folks listening from another country, or you're listening to us from another state, we'd love to hear from you. We want to know what you might still be stuck on.

Carrie (00:13:48) - So reach out to us at Carrie@TexasDirector.Org or Kate@Texas director.Org with questions quandaries. Hey, come to my my area. Any of that kind of stuff reach out to us. We'd love to help you and we're open to new ideas. We don't have all the best answers. We're just trying to do a little bit better each week, just like you are. Okay, so I think that wraps it up. Do you have anything? Any final words? Kate

Kate - I don't if you are listening to this on one of the podcasting streaming services, we'd love for you to write a review. We do know that some of those programs you have to listen to like five of our episodes to be able to write a review, but we'd love it if you did. Uh, if you're not really sure, and you kind of sometimes grab it from the website and sometimes you grab it from Spotify and sometimes from Apple Podcasts are kind of all over the place. You know what? That's awesome.

Kate (00:14:47) - Email us or review and we'll share it. And if you do, we'll even send you a free t shirt. We'd love to have you join our Super Friends team. And with that, have a. Wonderful week and we will talk to you all next week.

Marie (00:15:02) - Thank you for listening to Child Care Conversations with Kate and Carrie. Want to learn more? Check out our website at and if you've learned anything today, leave us a comment below and share the show.