Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who Inspires Me!

In light of my recent 2011 Edublog Award nominations I would like to share some of the many other bloggers out there who have inspired me and who have an impressive impact on the early childhood education field in Australia and around the world.

I would like to present the following distinguished early childhood bloggers with their own special award from Males in early Childhood. I call them the Global Early Childhood and Kinder Osmosis (Gecko) Awards.
Teacher Tom is one that is not afraid to speak his mind. But more importantly Tom is the go to guy for authentic experiences in which children get to use real-life tools such as saws, hammers, hot glue guns, etc, etc. Tom advocates risk taking and making mistakes. This enables the children in his care to develop vital coping, problem-solving and abstract thinking skills. However, more than all this Tom is a beacon other bloggers look toward for guidance and inspiration. There is hardly a EC blogger out there who isn't aware of Teacher Tom and would list him among their favourite blogs.
Deborah J Stewart over at Teach Preschool Not only has a blog that shares information for all; teachers, parents, associated professionals, but she is the brains behind so many wonderful ideas including the Postcard Exchange I blogged about earlier this year. Beyond her blog Deborah helps & inspires thousands of professionals through her social media profiles. I only have the additional experience of this via facebook, yet even through this single medium Deborah administers groups specifically for EC educators and EC bloggers in which she shares useful information on a daily basis. It is my understanding that Deborah was directly or indirectly responsible for more people getting into blogging than anyone else I know.

Donna and Sherry at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning were the first bloggers I stumbled across in my early days. before I began blogging myself I visited the Irresistible site on an almost daily basis for ideas and inspiration. Wonderful  useful ideas that can be used in everyday life in an early childhood setting or home. But even more importantly I have found the support of Donna in particular, both professionally and personally, I wouldn't be in the position I am now without these remarkable ladies.
Scott Wiley considers himself a bricklayer, building up children's lives Brick by Brick which just so happens to be the name of his blog. Scot was one of the first male EC bloggers I found when I began blogging and have found him very supportive and inspirational. It is my hope that guys like Scott and Tom will motivate other men to consider a career in early childhood education.
Learning for Life is a wonderful blog by an equally wonderful individual, Kierna Corr. This site is full of examples of children exploring and experiencing what us adults refer to as inclement weather. What the children & Kierna realise though is that such weather should be embraced as an opportunity to use all the senses to engage with the world around us. Kierna has motivated me to invest in wet weather gear for my children so that they can experience the wonders of playing & investigating in even heavy rain.
Debbie Clement is passionate about music and if her attire is anything to go by then she is just as passionate about having fun. Her blog, Rainbows Within Reach, is full of examples of how to engage children and adults in learning in an enjoyable and meaningful way. What makes Debbie truly special is how active she is in passing on her wealth of skills and knowledge to colleagues from with the early childhood field as well as other professions. It was Debbie's superb idea to unite many blogging minds to create the Pre-K and K Sharing blog site of which I am a proud contributor.

Juliet Robertson from Creative Star Learning has a blog entitled I'm a Teacher, Get Me OUTSIDE Here! As you can probably gather from that blog title Juliet is a strong advocate of children experiencing the joys and wonders of outdoor play. Juliet introduced me to the Forest Schools in Scotland and the extraordinary learning that takes place in these environments. A Forest School has now opened in Australia, in Melbourne. My hope is that they continue to spread across the country, or at least lead to like minded services to spring up. Afterall, if Scandinavian and Scottish children can play all day in freezing temperatures, snow, wind and ice then surely a bit of rain or high temperatures should be no barrier for Australian children.
I could go on forever, but then this post would simply be too long for anyone to bother reading. So instead I would simply like to add a list of some other fellow early childhood bloggers who have helped me become a better person & professional.

Amy Ahola at Child Central Station.
Karen Green at Flights of Whimsy.
Vanessa Levin at Pre-K Pages.
Leeanne A at Kreative Resources.
Laura Eldridge at The SEEDS Network.
Jamie Reimer at Hands on: As We Grow.
Margarita Woodley at Red Ted Art.
Ayn Colsh at Little Illuminations.
Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now.


  1. Awwww thanks Bear! Sherry and I are honoured to be included amongst such great recipients of your wonderful Gecko award!
    Donna :) :)

  2. Ah Bear, Kierna is right, you are a sweetie! I feel overwhelmed to be a recipient of this very prestigeous Gecko Award. Thank you and I accept the award with great pride! :)

  3. The GECKO awards are awesome ... as are you!! Love it! I mean really, how often can you come up with a good acronymn for GECKO! ;-)

  4. Thanks Greg! I like the Gecko Awards.

    Interestingly, in Sweden, the outdoor schools there have found that children do not get as sunburnt or suffer from heat in the summer as much as children in ordinary schools. They know naturally to seek shade. Also forests provide natural shade from the sun. In hot countries being in a wood can be a little cooler.

  5. I love your Gecko award!! You made me smile this morning Greg!

  6. Thanks so much Greg! I am honored to be included in your prestigious GECKO award!

  7. I will proudly bow during introductions of myself before my professional workshop presentations of the future -- when the president of the organization is rattling off my travels and awards -- at the very moment that they look up from the paper and incline their head and say, "GECKO Award?"

    It will be a little glimmer of a momment when I will know that I am literally supported by others, AROUND THE WORLD, for my contribution to the lives of young children + those who love them.

    All the best. Thanks for shining the light on an amazing array of individuals working from their point of passion!

    Debbie Clement

  8. Greg, thank you for including me in your Gecko awards! I appreciate the kind words. You inspire me too. Besides we guys must stick together in this ECE world. :)

  9. What a great post, Greg, and thanks for including me! I'm particularly excited to see several blogs on this list that I didn't know about. I'm eager to explore!

  10. Thanks so much for the mention, Greg! Those are some awesome bloggers - and a very adorable award! Deb @

  11. Thanks Greg :). What a wonderful group of folks to included with!

  12. What a wonderful way to end my day! I was just signing off and caught this---The GECKO is awesome and I'm honored to be mentioned with all of these talented ece bloggers! G'day, Mate!

  13. You are all very welcome. I wouldn't be doing this without all the help, support & inspiration you all provide.

    I forgot to state in my post, but the reason Jennifer Kable at Let The Children Play isn't among the bloggers listed is because she was the one I nominated in my Edublog Awards post.

    That was the reason for this post, to recognise the high regard in which I hold you all. Jenny is also one of those people, but as I had nominated her felt she had already been recognised.

    I hope Jenny understands & is not too disappointed in not receiving a Gecko.