Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Monday, January 31, 2011

But Why? Settling new children into the centre

I had a new starter today in my classroom. This is a bit of a rarity as our 2-3 room is much bigger than our preschool room so typically the children move up from the younger room.

This particular new starter is very bright....
  • Child: I want to go to the pool (it was over 30 degrees)
  • Me: Why don't you have a drink of water?
  • Child: But why?
  • Me: Well we don't have a pool
  • Child: But why?

  • I am hungry I want to have lunch now
  • Me: we will soon can you wait?
  • But why?

  • Me: I am going on my break I will be back soon
  • But Why?
  • Me: I need to have some lunch
  • But you have already eaten (true, i had the kids lunch)
  • Me: Well I need a coffee...
  • OK, I am starting to feel sad....
With this particular child talking her issues through seemed to work, after resolving each concern she would proceed to go on and play with the other children - but it doesn't always....

sometimes its alone time, or a special toy, or a particularly strong interest, or talking to parents/carers on the phone, or spending all day with a particular carer

I know (the brilliant) Sherry and Donna over at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning (www.playbasedlearning.com.au) have been talking about the playscapes they create to settle the children in such as water.

What do you use to settle your new arrivals into your classroom?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sources of Inspirations...

How do you ensure you are teaching a 'quality' experiences to the children?

Personally, I aim to doing the following (in no particular order):

  • art (and other discipline) courses - community colleges etc - about to start a introduction to art mediums course
  • blogs
  • professional memberships - ECA, ARACY, NAEYC, CCCC, Social Justice In Early Childhood.
  • conferences - Highly recommend Social Justice in EC's conference in June/July - great minds and great value
  • networking
  • daily reflection
  • team meetings
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and challenged?

Getting promoted from "kinda sorta family" to "gaining a son"

My recent engagement to my partner of seven years has got me thinking about families and what makes a family again. Especially when both our parents started congratulating each other about gaining a son/daughter.
  • What were we to them before?
  • What did this mean my stepdaughter was to them before?
  • Surely the last seven years (almost six living together) had some significance?

It reminded me of my brother's wedding (this year) when he made his speech and referred to my partner and stepdaughter as "kinda sorta family"!

One of the most thought provoking and challenge subjects that I completed as part of my masters degree was Families in Context by the lovely and brilliant Emma Pearson ( http://www.iec.mq.edu.au/staff_bio.aspx?sid=303) - the aim of her subject was to get us to challenge traditional notions of the family and reflect on its impact on early childhood practices. When I return home I will post a complete of discussions related to this issue that I completed for the subject.

How do you ensure that you recognise ALL families in your practice?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A well earned rest

Despite only just setting my blog up - I am about to go on a holiday for a week so the blogging will be very limited or non-existent.

Some areas that I will be thinking about on the beach for postings soon:
- Approaches to early intervention
- The importance of the environment
- Integrating a strong meaningful arts curriculum
- How the Early Years Learning Framework is impacting my practice

See you soon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Building society: Picking up Rubbish

My friend works collecting rubbish on Bondi Beach. He was telling about how the other day on the beach a small child (in front of him) dropped his lolly in the sand. The child proceeded to come up to my friend and point out the lolly to be picked up - no asking just pointing. His mother was there and watched the exchange.

This story troubles me.... what do you think?
  • Should the child have asked?
  • Should the child have picked it up himself?
  • Was the mother reinforcing that some people in life will be there to pick up her child's rubbish all time time?
  • What would the child do if the garbage collector wasn't working there?

Would love to hear your thoughts....