Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Would You Rather…..

…..have a room full of children who are quiet, obedient and well behaved, or a class of children simply being children?

…..keep everything tidy so it’s easy to find something when you want it, or everything available for the children to access at their leisure?

…..have children listen to you because they are don’t want to get into trouble, or have them listen to you because they are truly interested in what you have to say?

.....keep the routine and experiences the same or preplanned so that everyone knows what is needed and what to expect, or follow the lead of the children and head in directions that will surprise you throughout the day?

.....ensure children are always safe from harm by removing all potential dangers, or promote active risk taking that helps develop problem-solving skills, gross and fine motor development, negotiation skills with peers and adults, confidence and self belief, perseverance and a host of other intrapersonal and interpersonal skills?

…..have your colleagues question your methods and practices because they don’t believe in them, or ask you to share your philosophy and pedagogical beliefs because they want to learn from you?

… someone who looks to others for guidance and inspiration, or be the person others look to?

…..families bring their children to you because you are the cheapest or offer the most suitable hours, or because your reputation and standing in the community is well known?

These are simple questions, at least to me, but they may also lead to individuals and services reflecting on how they go about working with young children and their families. The answers too may seem obvious, but I'm sure that most of us at some point would have to have answered in a way other than how they would wish to if being completely honest with themselves. That's ok. It's more than ok, it's great that you recognise that and also acknowledge that you have changed your practice or approach.

If not than that's fine too. As long as you look upon these questions as an opportunity to think about what you regard as important in terms of helping young children develop and grow to the best of their potential.

There are so many other questions you could ask yourself. If we don't question what we do, how we do it or why we do it we will likely never change. Now that would be bad as change is a necessity for growth as an early childhood educator. 

So what questions will you ask yourself? What questions do you have for your colleagues? What questions do you have for your families and their children? What questions do you have for me?


  1. The routine and experience question interests me cos I don't think it should be an either or thing - I try and balance both in the day. I think (and have found) that having core periods of routine/ritual are needed to provide that stability that allows the children to explore in their free-play. Children need things to be 'the same' before they can launch into the unknown.

    good to read about your outside rebuild too. Looks wicked :)


    1. Oh yes @ko, children definitely need routines throughout the day. The point of that question however, is whether having the whole day set out is worthwhile. Sure the adults find it much easier to organise, but the children often become bored when experiences are preplanned for them time after time. I have also found that the resulting behaviour issues will generally lead to a more hectic day afterall, meaning that the very reason for organising everything has come unstuck.

      Thanks for the kind words about the playground.

  2. Love your blog - so cheerful looking and I'm sure helpful to many with your great questions. I'm following you from PreK & Sharing. I hope you'll visit my blog sometime: Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers. It is wonderful to have males in the teaching profession. I taught kinder next to a male teacher and he was great helping us women teachers and with the kids. Such a wonderful role model for children.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Susan and I'm glad you've had some wonderful experiences working with guys. I will definitely pop over and check out your blog.