Reflective Practice at Work

Leadership Series

Evolving our Practice to Meet up with the Lively Minds of Young Children

This is an exciting series for all early learning professionals.  Whether you are a seasoned educator, a director or supervisor, or if you are just beginning your work in the field, this series is for you!

This six part series will take participants on a journey to deepen their understanding of our roles in supporting the Foundations for Learning.  Educators will work in small learning communities to engage in dialogue around our image of children, the powerful role we play in building relationships, designing environments and experiences for children, and considering classroom research as a place to grow documentation and forward our work.  This exciting series will inspire each of us to grow ourselves as leaders and to build the kind of community that we desire for our children, our families and ourselves.

For more information, please contact Lorrie Baird, Executive Director of Pedagogy.

Session One:

Working from a Place of Value – Considering our Image of Children

This session will reflect on the powerful factors that influence our image and how our beliefs about children affect every decision we make in the classroom from how we design our curriculum, organize our environments, and form relationships with children and families.  Participants will consider the lens and scripts we use and how these can foster a sense of belonging and wellbeing in young children. 

Session Two: 

Meeting Up with Children’s Lively Minds

This session will look at the complexities of working with young children.  We will study the joy and intellectual engagement that meeting up with children’s lively minds can bring us.  Understanding the details of children’s play and brain development can help us to design for children’s care.  Using a thinking lens, we will explore the powerful role we play in early learning and development.

Session Three: 

Authentic Language 

Do you ever feel like the classroom police?  In this session we will explore how we can use our scripts as a tool in communicating with children in times of difficulty by responding with effective positives.  Enterprise talk, developed by Tom Drummond can support educators in communicating values that reflect the kind of community they are trying to build with children and families. Enterprise talk has proven to be one of the most powerful communication tools for educators.

Session Four:

 The Art of Observation

Observation isn’t a new idea for us in our field.  We all know that observation is an important part of our practice.  Have you ever asked yourself… If children are interested in everything, how do I know what to observe? What are children really learning as they play? How do I know what to look for?  If you have, your not alone. This session will delve into observation as way of research, a way to see competencies of children, and a grow a  practice of listening.  We will also explore how our observations can be used as a way to grow our practice.

Session Five : 

Documentation and Interpretation

Observing, documenting and interpreting children’s learning is among the most critical skills an educator can develop. Documentation brings visibility to the teaching and learning process and deepens our understanding of each other. It can help educators build intentionality in their decisions, develop closer relationships with children and families, and support authentic assessment. Participants will  have the opportunity to learn about various forms of documentation and protocols to consider when developing documentation.

Session Six: 

Designing Engaging Learning Environments –
Understanding our Roles in Supporting Complex Play

The environment is a reflection of our values, our beliefs and our observations of children in our care.  Designing rich learning environments requires us to understand both the macro and micro elements of our spaces.  Participants will explore how the foundations of HDLH can influence and impact how we design space and consider principles that can be used to provide invitations, transform space and understand our role as educators in the environment. We will also delve into how our roles are evolving in the classroom.