My professional background includes public school teacher (K, 5 and 6); private infant/toddler/preschool; school district preschool and school-aged; Head Start and State Preschool; restorative justice; boys residential settings; parenting education; child care resource and referral; and even a little bit of university extension teaching experience. I’ve held positions on various Boards, including AEYC; committees including men in child care, public policy and conference committees; and an ECE Task Force.
I’m married with two dogs. I ride motorcycles, sport tattoos, play basketball in a league for old guys, and enjoy San Francisco Bay Area Hip Hop and Old School politically conscious Rap. I enjoy the Latin-American magical realism genre of literature. I read and write poetry. I belong to the most wonderful AEYC Affiliate – Beach Cities AEYC. We were one of the first in the country to explore social media. I am active in the Men In Child Care and the Beach Cities Association for the Education of Young Children Facebook groups.
My name is Gregory Uba – and I have issues.
Quote: A child came into my office one day while I was the assistant director. He was very upset. I asked him what the problem was. He said that he was not allowed to play in a certain learning area. I learned that the learning area was limited to 4 children at a time. I asked the child what we could do to solve the problem. He replied, “Make the number 5!” (this quote from one of the Sparks Brothers, Ricardo or Alberto)
Another Quote: The web site http://montessori.org.au has one of the most beautiful counterpoints to assessments that I have ever read:
Eyes searching, mind thinking, body moving. The infant learns and connects.
Parent and teacher soothe, adults sing, laugh and caress.
Moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day.
How could this be captured, how could this be recorded?
Even memory fades.
Yet the child develops themselves in silent, secret miracle.
Pages and pages of angst-ridden scrawl fail to scratch even the surface of the learning that is blooming within.
But proof is required. A tokenistic, intrusive investigation assesses apparent performance.
And you will go through it. But you know the truth.
The child is all the evidence you really need.
Children’s Book: The Black Book of Colors. I haven’t raved about a children’s book in a while. But this is a remarkable book. The book describes colors through the other senses. The pages are black. The illustrations are a glossy embossed black. There is Braille in the pages. The type is in simple white font. Everything about this book makes you slow down and think about color in a new way. It is definitely a book for your anti-bias curriculum classes.
Children’s Book: Voices In the Park. Magical Realism for preschoolers. Four points of view of the same event.
Children’s Book: Not A Box and Not A Stick. Simple creativity appreciated.
Children’s Book: Roxaboxen; …Libby Died… (by Jack Smith, age 5); and Armando and the Blue Tarp School. Adaptations of true and amazing stories or events.
TMI – Greg’s favorite books: Gonzales and Daughter Trucking Company by Maria Amparo Escandon; Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle; Crossing Over by Ruben Martinez
A story: I was attempting to demonstrate categorizing skills in the sandbox one day. Sifters in one crate, shovels in another. Buckets all in a crate. Wheel-toys in another. I turned around and a child was busy changing all the sand-toys from one crate to another. A wee bit annoyed, I asked him, “What are you doing?” He pointed at the crates and said, “Red, blue, yellow!”
What fuels my passion for the ECE field: It’s simple… a child’s magnificently honest, authentic, energetic, emotive, purposeful, loving spirit… It puts all the world into perspective when you see a child’s sense of joy, wonder and accomplishment… It makes me think we would all be better off if we kept a little more of that in us as adults.