#72 Shine as an Educator – Where’s the PASSION?

Early Childhood Educators


Part of our Mastermind focus this week was quite intense.
We discussed self care and as many of you know I focus on self care a lot.
Self Care is an area that needs your priority, if you are going to be an educator with
longevity, that sustains the test of time and able to stay focussed and connected to the
children you care for, you will need to understand and put a certain level of priority on
your own self care.
But what else…
Well this week I spoke about PASSION – about recognising where your passion comes
from to work with children.
I asked Why would you want to be an educator?
What makes you think, this is something YOU will achieve?
Why did you start your training, your journey?
The questioning deep inside
How did YOU know this path was for you??

So your Critical Reflection Question today is


Why did you start your journey as an early childhood educator?
AND
Is this the journey you expected to be on?
I would LOVE to tell you – I had this wild exciting dream of being an educator, of
guiding children’s learning and them becoming the valuable members of society that
we hope they will be…
But when I started my journey as an educator, my educator was moving on from a small
town and there was no options or alternative care for the family’s she cared for. I decided
to offer care for the family’s, earn an income and be at home with my boys.
My journey started as one of necessity and truthfully has grown from there.
I also speak a lot about journeys and this is why… over the past 20+ years my love
knowledge, understanding and passion towards what early childhood educators really
do, has grown. The difference we make as educators has changed so very much over the
years, but grown in a way that truly does emphasise and recognise the impact and
connection an educator can have in the lives of a child, family and our community.
Educators are entrusted with Supporting, guiding, connecting with children
Building confidence, resilience and social skills every day
EVERY DAY
Now I also asked, this week
Is this path REALLY for you?
How do you know?
Why do early childhood educators just keep going?
Where does the driving force come from
How DO you know – with certainty –
that ECE is meant for you…

My Challenge to YOU this week


Do you have a driving knowledge and passion for being an educator?
How do you show it?
AND Do you value your self care so you will be able to keep going?
Ask yourself some of these questions, recognise if your self care routine is enough?
We focus on connection and belonging
On what our families and children NEED
What do YOU know to be true?
As we travel the road of discovery
Discovering our own likes, dislikes, values and challenges
We change as beings BUT we also change as educators
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
We learn to question, to critically reflect on ourselves as educators, on our practices
and look at what steps we can take to improve in areas we may not of considered before.
A level of TRUST, trust in ourselves?? MAYBE
A deep KNOWING that YOU make a difference
A passion that drives YOUR ACTIONS
You do SUPPORT
You do GUIDE
You do CONNECT
EVERY DAY
BUT IF YOU DON’T – and this is key
It’s time to question
It’s time to dig deep and search your soul
It’s time to find the PASSION again or WALK AWAY
Now to me walk away could be for a minute to refocus
It could be for a day to take some time out
It could be for a week, take a holiday make the commitment
It could be for a month or three to discover the right next step for you
BUT I AM SUPER PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS!!
Children NEED early childhood educators that FEEL
Feel the passion, drive, confidence and certainty
EVERY DAY

TOP TIP TIME


Ask yourself these key questions, If you need time out – take it!!
Let me share this again
Children NEED early childhood educators that FEEL
Feel the passion, drive, confidence and certainty
EVERY DAY
IS THAT YOU??
What ACTIONS are you taking TODAY??
I would LOVE you to share your thoughts with me and I will leave the link to our
fb group in the notes Come over to the fb group HERE

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#71 Shine as an Educator – National FDC Week

Early Childhood Educators


This week is National Family Day Care Week
I love this week, it gives us the opportunity to be out in the community promoting our
services in a fun purpose driven way.
As well as having lot’s of fun with the children, we are able to use this week to share our
services in a direct way with out feeling icky or uncomfortable.
Each day this week I will be out on excursions with the children, which usually I only go
out once a week. Finding opportunities to be out in the community is definable what this
week is about for me.
FDC Australia has also sent out suggestions on what to do with the children. Their focus
or theme for the week is Every Child is a STAR – and this is a great place to start when
looking at experiences for the children.

Your Critical Reflection Question


How will you be promoting your service AND connecting with the children in NFDCW?
I have asked this question this way because I believe it is important to do both!!
There is many opportunities that you may be overlooking this week and my aim is to get
you thinking about how else you can benefit as an educator during this week.
So firstly why is it important to participate this week?
1. Remembering that we are an important part of our community. If our community
doesn’t know we exists then how are they going to think of us OR seek us out when child
care options are being sought.
2. Although educators often don’t like thinking about it, our FDC are businesses and to
build a waiting list ready for the end of year needs to be a priority through the year.
3. It takes time and being visual to raise your profile. If people see you out in the
community having fun, with children that love being with you – they will want that for
their children or their friends children. And sometimes it really as simple as this.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
This week on Monday we are off to playgroup, I will post in some community fb pages
about National Family Day Care week and share with parents on my fb page what the
children will be doing for the week.
On Tuesday we are off to my Lach’s school for his Cross country carnival. We will put on
our branded hats and chat with the other families there to watch the children.
On Wednesday we will be off to the Library story time again with our hats and shirts on.
AND Thursday will be a morning tea for the children to play with the other children and
to celebrate the week.
So they are the outings we have planned.
But what about experiences… well let’s look at our challenge first!

Your Challenge for this week…


Well I think this one is super obvious – Plan your experiences for this week and include
how you can be out and about and visual in your community.
Your second challenge is what experiences can you do to share this week with the
children and emphasise to your families that this week is national FDC week.
This week we will be making stars for the children to take home.
Cooking star cookies and creating a booklet on being part of Kathy’s FDC.
Three quite simple experiences but I know the children will love them, benefit from them
and learn from them so really isn’t that exactly what we are aiming at.
Now to share with you a bit about the discussions that I think will be important for this
week. Discussions I will be having with the children will be around emphasising they are
unique individuals that they are each our very own stars.
I love that Family Day Care Australia have given some direction on how to focus on both
our businesses and connecting with families and the children through the
‘Every Child is a Star’ initiative.

Top Tip Time


Let me emphasise here – as I have been asked by several educators –
NO you do not have to do something for NFDCW, if your children need another focus,
if there is something that you have been or need to focus on that will be more valuable
to the children and families in your care – then that is your choice as an early childhood
educator.
But as you can see there is some real benefits from celebrating and using this week to
spotlight the children in your care, you as an educator and your service as a FDC.
I would love you to share your week with us
Come over to the fb group Shine as an Educator, and I will leave the link HERE,
there is a great discussion happening and share with us your week.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#70 Shine as an Educator – Creating Meaningful Observations

Early Childhood Educators


Creating Meaningful Observations
Oh my goodness where to start
This podcast came about by an educator stating to me that I was waisting my time, her
reputable scheme had recently told her, she doesn’t need to worry about Observations
But how do you document a child’s journey, or as the NQS assessment guide states
cre-ate records that are meaningful for children and can be shared with their families.’
if you are not documenting a child’s journey.
It is also very clear in the Education and Care Services National Regulations that
Docu-menting of children’s assessments occur
It’s not rocket science
It really isn’t
But it – Creating Meaningful Observations – can be so much more important than we
are currently letting them be!!
If you have been an educator for some years, you may have fallen into the habit of
‘my service expects 1 observation a month on this child so that’s what I will do’.
As quick and easily as you can manage, file and move on… An interesting numbing
confidence that may have you rolling along with your documenting while adding very
little value or mean-ing to your programming at all.
Early Childhood Educators are in an unique position, one that effects the lives of our
precious children.
Our enthusiasm, the experiences we offer the children, the program we create can
nur-ture children’s thirst for learning or it can stifle and create board unengaged,
uninterested children for years to come…
Today I am going to ask you to assess your thinking on the focus and attention you are
giving to, what you offer the children but specifically, your observations.

Your Critical Reflection Question


Are you sticking to the number of Observations per child per month your service is asking
for? AND if so why??
Quite a valid question, but you may have a valid answer
AND I HOPE YOU DO?
If you answer yes or even more – we make them meaningful and valuable – then hi 5’s all
round
BUT if not then let’s discuss this a little…
There are so many ways of creating Observations, they are not a one size fit’s all, for
nei-ther children nor educator’s. AND in here is the food for thought.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
I realised some time ago that one of my motivations for creating Observations is that I
love being inspired and excited to share children’s achievements.
One of my key points to creating meaningful Observations is that if you are excited by
each child’s achievement then you are definitely aware of them and can share them with
families.

Your Challenge


Up-level your current approach of creating valuable and meaningful observations!
So you are struggling to know what to even look for – how do you up-level your
observa-tions?
One key point at a time…
– Connect with each child, know where they are at developmentally
– Get excited and motivated to look for individual child’s achievements
– What open ended conversations are being encouraged?
– Is there family engagement you are sharing?
– What interests are the children currently showing?
– What experiences is the child participating in?
– What are they playing with, who are they playing with?
– Are they progressing in a skill or interest this week?
– Is the child sufficiently challenged in this experience?
– What learning can I see and share?
10 Key points to creating my observations that I have used this week…
There are limitless questions you can ask when assessing the learning of a child.
Some valuable, some not so.
So how do we make sure what we are asking is valuable and meaningful and NOT
just waisting our time.
We spend time reading and re reading the Early Years Learning Framework – I say this
time and time again. If you are not reading this document on a regular basis then you
are not giving yourself the knowledge you need as an early childhood educator.
Understand the language of the EYLF, the principles and practices as well as the
out-comes.
Then spend time writing yourself a list of questions you can ask yourself, maybe ques-
tions that you have been missing OR questions that strike you as a good starting point.
You are the educator…
Take a stand and start somewhere, start by writing at least three questions that you are
going to ask yourself this week, when engaging with the children.
When the children are playing with an experience you have set up.
When deciding whether to create an observation.

Top Tip Time


I know I say this often, but there really isn’t a one size fits all.
Find a way that works for you.
Observations do not always need to look neat and pretty, jottings, mind mappings,
specific photos, samples or copy’s of children’s work, can all be included when creating
records of children’s learning journeys.
BUT if you are going to be sending information home to parents, also think about the
big-ger picture. An observation that has been created to send to a family, I believe needs
to look and sound professional there is a big difference between keeping notes, jottings,
etc for your own records and sending them to parents.
I am sharing a Masterclass to Create Meaningful Observations this Wednesday as the
next course in our EYPMastermind and I will leave the link HERE in the notes.
There is so much more to Observations and I hope you got something to motivate and
in-spire you to take action today. Up – level your observations, know the difference they
can make to your service.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#69 Shine as an Educator – What about being HAPPY?

Early Childhood Educators


Right before Easter Weekend,
I shared a meme and live streamed encouraging you to take some time out
I said – Look at your plans for the 4 days and make sure you include some time
dedicated to refilling your cup
Recognising the real danger of burning out as an early childhood educator
Recognising the need to take a step back
Recognising that sometimes we do need some time out
AND this weekend was absolutely perfect for some R&R…
So let me share with you a snippet of my weekend and some ah ha moment that shared
themselves with me.
All 4 days were set aside for connecting with family, a little computer work and some
downtime hanging with my horses.
Every day I also took time for meditating, journaling and sitting in the morning warm
sun on my front veranda
By Saturday afternoon we were well and truly in down time and after our hike – which
included a fantastic drone selfie you can see on the Simple Reflect face book page – we
had taken time to let Lach play in the park at the lake…
The tree behind us was making a quite distinct popping sound and if you saw my live
stream I got quite excited over the acorns that were falling, although I wasn’t 100% sure
that’s what they were at the time!!
And this is where I get to my point, if you were wondering were I was going and not just
randomly sharing
I was excited by the acorns, to me they were an awesome resource to offer the children
– YES – my head had gone right back to finding, using, offering awesome resources to
the children I care for.
My happy place, part of being me, part of being an early childhood educator is that
I am creative.
I really do love to find acorns that I can offer to the children for craft or materials or
wood cuttings, bottle tops or rolls for decorating.
Part of what makes me happy as an educator is being creative with the children.

Your Critical Reflect Question is…


What makes you HAPPY when being an educator?
I know I have asked – What do you love about being an educator? And we hear
statements like,
the connection to the children,
the difference we make with the families,
knowing that we make such a difference to peoples lives.
But I want this one to be about you… what makes YOU happy as an educator?
I know this will be different for everyone
I know it may take you some time to work out
I know it took me some downtime and then something totally random to happen this
weekend to take a step back and recognise that, one of the things that makes me happy
as an educator, is the ability to be creative with the children.
Maybe for you it is being able to garden with the children through the day.
Or see a child’s face light up the very first time they snip a snow flake
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
With everything we do every day as an early childhood educator, how can you keep
going if you don’t recognise
1. What you love as an educator?
AND
2. What makes you happy working with the children every day?
It’s individual
What makes me happy won’t necessarily make you happy.

Here is your challenge


As you step back into working with the children after the Easter break,
take time to recognise what makes you happy
Happy as you welcome the children
Happy as you offer the children their experiences for the day and week
Happy as you think over your day…
Are you offering the children experiences that you really like too?
I have found with several of my 1:1 clients lately that they are so busy offering these
elaborate experiences that the children aren’t necessarily connected to and that they
don’t really like because they think they should be
If you are offering experiences that you don’t really like – the children will know – they will
sense it – and they won’t be that interested either.
BUT
If you offer experiences that make you excited to offer – that lift your vibe – and that you
know will make you happy, then I guaranty the children will connect on a new level that
you haven’t seen before
I am 1000% certain!

Top Tip Time


I’m sure we all know this
The children are happy – when we are happy
We know it, it make’s sense, it really does
BUT how often do you actually think about what is making YOU happy
Would it be terribly bad for me to suggest to you…
If you have a difficult week, are really struggling, can’t seem to find the joy and happy
flow in being an educator
EVEN AFTER A 4 DAY BREAK
Why not plan some experiences that really sing to you?
That make YOU happy to offer and that you know will lift yours AND the children’s
spirit?
All too often we look at what we should be doing
We should be doing this
We should be doing that
REALLY?? Just really!!
Take this on board, think over it for this week…
Recognise what you love and what makes you happy and go from there…
The children will thank you and you will thank yourself.
Truly why NOT?

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com