“There are many transition moments in a day. Some are the big ones like settling into a new centre. Others involve children moving from play to care moments like lunch or sleep. It is the way teachers invite children into these experiences that says so much about teacher intentions, values, abilities and skills. This seminar looks at wise practice around transitions, from those first steps through the doors, to transition to school and those moments between. Relationships are the key here and we consider how we ensure children are listened to, families are supported and respectful, responsive engagements are embedded in our moment by moment practice.”
This is what I attended this afternoon along with a few other teachers from around the Waikato region. A seminar about transitions from the Educational Leadership Project (ELP), and Zaedyn Tai was projected onto the screen freely playing with gloop and then paint on the next slide. My face lit up with a smile when I saw him up there. Carol Marks, an ELP facilitator, has been joining our centre meetings to support us through in-centre professional development as well. Currently supporting us through social competence, she looked through some of our profile books and gave me positive feedback around the affording environment provided through the fun and delight of paint experiences and thinking about the learning analysis around Zaedyn’s interest, experimenting, and creativity through paint. Of course I was thrilled and happy to send some photos through to her when she asked for permission to use them in her seminars, and I was even more excited to see them being used today.
From both a teacher and mother’s perspective, I can reflect positively on some of the experiences that I have provided for Zaedyn, recognising and noticing opportunities to extend his interests and encourage his sense of curiosity. Through this ongoing professional development with ELP and their Inspiration Day that was held in Hamilton back in June, I feel strongly supported within the professional community toward some of my goals and ideas within my teaching practice and the way I strive to enable tamariki to be curious explorers within their environment. ELP’s big focus has been around improvement and innovation, and I have been told by a few that I have been very strong in demonstrating this.
For those of you who don’t know, I previously worked with Toddlers from 18 months to around 3 1/2 years and returned to work from maternity leave to teach 3 month to 18 month old infants. What a huge transition this has been for me. Although there has been mixed thoughts and a lot of reflections through uncertainty, it is times like these where reassurance about my practice including experimenting new approaches motivates me to continue teaching. There are many different ways of doing things, but at this time I feel confident with the goals that I am working toward achieving. Thank you to all of those who continue to challenge and support me, especially you little ones who make me question, innovate, and allow me to make observations in order to support your ongoing learning. My teaching practice revolves around you :).
Besides making me think and reflect upon my own personal transition and teaching practice, this seminar was very thought provoking in the way we respond to children’s needs and support them daily. I love the idea about their mauri life force and being in a state of balance. As teachers and parents it is important that we develop relationships where we respond to children’s needs and are flexible as they learn who they are and make sense of their world. Let children play and explore.