Sunday, 14 October 2018

Collaboration is a Recipe for Success

Sometimes collaboration with colleagues looks like planning an adventure together or bouncing ideas off of one another about program plans, child development, etc.

Other times it simply looks like friends gathering together to laugh and make delicious food 😊

Though the central focus of the visit was following a recipe to create a product our time working together offered opportunities to discuss different topics, share knowledge and learn new skills. D, for example, mastered using the garlic press!

Thank you Lesley and Keith for sharing your secret recipe for vegetarian ground round with us. I know the children at Red River Early Learning Centre will love tasting this new ingredient in some of our familiar recipes.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Home Child Care High/Scope Conference

Today I had an amazing opportunity to attend the Home Child Care High/Scope Conference hosted by the Region of Waterloo Home Child Care. I was thrilled to meet some educators I had previously only interacted with online.

Beginning with the Perry Preschool Study, [High/Scope] revolutionized early childhood education with a new approach to teaching and learning. Research-based and child-focused, the HighScope Curriculum uses active participatory learning and the plan-do-review process to achieve powerful, positive outcomes. (High/Scope

Lesley and I attended the workshop Building Authentic Relationships with Children 💕 in the morning.

Lesley and I getting ready to learn at the Home Child Care Conference

There was a lot of really amazing content that discussed the importance of authentic relationships in early learning and care. It was really interesting to learn some new approaches to deepen conversations with children.

This video that the presenter shared moved me so much.

After lunch we attended two workshops. The first workshop of the afternoon focused on risky (challenging) play outdoors and its benefits for children across the spectrum of development.

Risky play has such a huge affect on executive function. Giving children the opportunity to explore risk in their play encourages problem solving, social skills and resilience.
When we encourage children to face small fears when they're small, they'll be able to overcome the big fears when they're big.
During the last workshop of the day we explored developing positive relationships with families. Relationships are the heart of early learning, building supportive and trusting relationships with children and families is such a huge part of our professional practice.

It was such an amazing day! I'm excited to read through my handouts and really take some time to digest the information so that I can implement it in my practice. I love being an Early Childhood Educator simply because it is a living profession in which there are always opportunities to learn and grow as a teacher.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Saturday, 25 August 2018

The Importance of Nature Play in Early Learning

Being a published writer has always been a goal of mine and recently my partner Ryan and I had the opportunity to write about something we are equally passionate about; the importance of nature play in early learning.

Working with Ryan to write this article was a great opportunity to collaborate with a professional outside of my own field as his background is in electronics. He has a brilliant mind and a unique perspective which has brought some wonderful and fresh ideas to not only this article but to our program when he joins us to play at Red River Early Learning Centre.

Please check out our article in the Holistic Parent Magazine at the link below:

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Community of Practice: Leadership

Yesterday I attended an excellent discussion about leadership. It was so amazing to have an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals across the various sectors of care to explore the concept of what leadership means and how we as RECEs can take on a leadership role within our community of practice.

I took some time to evaluate ways that I have demonstrated leadership as a Registered Early Childhood Educator.

  • I am a resource for others to bounce around ideas, ask questions, and seek support.
  • I am an excellent collaborator and have implemented lots of amazing things with the support of colleagues and other professionals.
  • I recognize the accomplishments of others and I am excited to learn from them.
  • I am committed and passionate about early learning and care.
The most impactful moment during the table discussion for me was when Debbie Jones addressed the word "Just". When we say we are "just" early childhood educators it diminishes the importance of the work we do every day in our profession.

We stand on the precipice of major changes within our profession and we must all stand up as leaders to guide early learning and care towards a future that embraces high quality care and supports early childhood education professionals.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Collaboration at Red River ELC

Collaboration takes learning beyond the walls of my program; it allows me to explore new and wonderful ideas with other educators as well as people in other professions. Developing partnerships with other professionals in our community has allowed me to implement a variety of new experiences and has really opened up some amazing new opportunities for the children at Red River as well as our friends in the community.

Grandpals, for example, is an ongoing project at Red River ELC. Intergenerational programming allows children to interact with elders and brings so much joy to our senior friends. We learn so much when we interact with our friends at the seniors home;
  • Patience
  • History and stories
  • Communication and social-emotional skills
  • Positive attitudes towards aging

To set up our grandpals program I reached out to Jessica, who is the Recreation Manager at the Westhill and our Music and  Movement instructor Ms. Sherri. I also invited our friend Lesley and her littles from Faery Childcare to join us and she brought wonderful ideas to enhance this experience. Together we have hosted two music and movement programs for the children in our programs and the seniors at the Westhill and it has been a tremendous success!

Lesley and I also had an opportunity to collaborate on Pride program planning in June when we invited Ms. Drew (Bradley, an amazing local drag queen) to share stories with our little ones. Inclusion and belonging are very important elements in both of our learning environments, so we were thrilled about implementing Drag Queen Story Time.

Home child care providers are not allowed to visit in each others homes during program hours as there are specific regulations that limit the number of children in a home child care program regardless of the number of educators on site, so we needed to connect with our local librarians and set up the use of the library's community room.

This gave us enough extra space to invite an additional child care program as well as past clients to join us! It was such an exciting visit! Ms. Drew read us two stories about inclusion and different family structures.

I'm glad that we were able to work together bring this amazing experience to life for the children in our programs. Empathy, acceptance and love for one another are such important things for little humans to see reinforced by their educators.

Collaboration with other professionals in Early Childhood Education as well as other professions has brought fresh ideas in to the program at Red River ELC. I really can't wait to continue to branch out and explore other opportunities to develop partnerships in our community!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Our Chicken Story - Documentation for Children

It has been a goal of mine to create documentation that the children in my class could revisit independently. The idea for this piece of documentation was sparked by their love of books and as you can see this is a very well loved story, it tells the tale of our project during the early spring hatching baby chicks.

The best part of our chicken story is that the children can see pictures of themselves in the pages and make a concrete connection to a time when they engaged with our baby chicks. The children love to read over the story, even the toddlers in the program will pick up the "Buck buck" book and point to the chicks making the chicken noises they remember.

I'm hoping that soon our shelves will be filled with stories just like this one!

Collaboration is a Recipe for Success

Sometimes collaboration with colleagues looks like planning an adventure together or bouncing ideas off of one another about program plans, ...