This weekend was the SkillsUSA MN State Competition.Two of our ECYD students, Kaily B. and Joy D., competed in the Early Childhood event. SkillsUSA conferences/contests allow participants to demonstrate career skills, enhance presentation skills, increase networking opportunities, and allow for feedback from industry professionals.
Students need to show academic achievement and be nominated by an instructor to be in SkillsUSA for ECYD. Once the student has accepted the nomination and filled out the paperwork, they are ready to prepare themselves.
Our students have been working diligently over the past few months to prepare for their moment to shine. They both had that opportunity this weekend. Although they mentioned that they were a bit nervous in the beginning on Saturday, they both came out smiling…perhaps relieved it was over!
The students were evaluated on a series of events during the competition: a knowledge test, a resume, a job interview, reading a storybook aloud with activity, and preparing a lesson plan and presenting the activity. They were critiqued on both knowledge and presentation. The entire process took about 4 hours. The competition was small in size.
Although the morning was filled with seriousness and professionalism, we were able to squeeze in a few fun moments prior to the competition (to calm the nerves).
Kaily read the book I Know A Wee Piggy, followed by a color sorting class activity promoting teamwork. Later, she presented a science activity that focused on gravity and wind.
Joy chose to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, followed by a story recall activity using magnetic letters. Later, she presented an activity focusing on math (graphing) and color recognition.
Sunday morning started out with a SkillsUSA breakfast at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel. There were eggs, hash-browns, bacon, assorted muffins, milk, and juice. It was delicious!
Next, everyone (participants, advisors, administration, honorees, family, and guests) gathered in the ballroom for the awards ceremony. We had about 35 minutes to spare until the ceremony began. I recently heard that it’s important to take your job seriously, but to not take yourself too seriously. I think we’ve got that covered…
Ms. Jen, SkillsUSA MN Executive Director, welcomed everyone and presented awards. After about an hour and a half, it was time to begin announcing the competition results!
Kaily’s and Joy’s nerves were rising the longer that they waited for their results. Then the moment came when we heard, “The Early Childhood Post-Secondary Silver medal winner is Kaily B. The Early Childhood Post-Secondary Gold medal winner is Joy D.” They both jumped out of their seats and hurried to the stage to take their place on the medal podium.
Those medals look good on you ladies! They were all smiles when they returned to their seats.
“It’s not about the award. It’s about seeing how far you can use your knowledge of early childhood education and apply it in a professional setting. Through the competition, I gained a new perspective of how I can push myself to limits I thought I would not be able to reach. And today, I was able to reach them!” (Joy)
“SkillsUSA was a rewarding opportunity where I was able to gain new ideas and techniques from others. Aside from learning from others, I also learned a lot about my own abilities. It was so exciting to be able to apply what we have been learning at DCTC into this competition! I’m proud to be part of an organization that truly believes in and supports their members/participants.” (Kaily)
Afterwards, we captured a few more pictures and savored the moment, talking about some of the weekend highlights. What a great weekend! I am so proud of both of these ladies!! That wraps up this Skills post…until Nationals!