Just Singing . . . in the Rain
From the time she spent working with homeless children at an uptown shelter to her current position, Sheila Maloney always throws her heart – and a few songs – into early childhood education.
Come to Oakton and you might be lucky enough to hear Early Childhood Education (ECE) Chair Sheila Maloney sing a capella in the Vagina Monologues. You might also catch her teaching a song like “Poor Little Bug on the Wall” to her academic students.
Music, and sometimes dance, frequently makes its way into Maloney’s teaching, even when not on the agenda for the day – a result of her passion for classic musicals – like 42nd Street, Cats, and My Fair Lady. Incorporating song and dance into her daily lessons fits her philosophy of whole child education, which puts the social and emotional development of children first, an ethos rooted in Maloney’s experiences working with young children.
A former resident of Miami, Maloney embodies the vibrancy and warmth of this city, along with a child-centered orientation to see the wonder in small things most grown-ups miss. “Years of working with children will do that,” she explains. “Preschool teachers often get to share their experience seeing or doing something for the first time. Their ability to seek and discover fills one with wonder, just like the commitment of Oakton’s ECE students to educate and care for them. I am humbled both by the respect and reverence my students show for children and their ability to manage the work and reflection it takes to earn a teaching degree.”
Professor and Chair of Early Childhood Education