#19 Shine as an Educator – 5 Priorities for the new year…

Early Childhood Educators


I hope you have had an awesome few days enjoying Christmas!!
My family and I have definitely enjoyed both the hustle and bustle of having loved ones
to entertain but also the quietness of enjoying a meal with a select few. I hope you have
enjoyed the special time that both Christmas and the public holidays allow us.
Now I found myself thinking about work, only today, but that voice that rises up to the
surface when I have had a break and am starting to think about all the things I need to
do and that never ending question – am I using my time wisely…
I have also had questions on what we as educators need to prioritise at the start of the
year, this could lead to a list of infinite things but I will start with 5 and if you need more
or still aren’t sure about prioritising your attention within your business then drop me
a line… so this is where I will start and we will build from here!!
Newsletter
1.. One of the first things I do each year is a newsletter.
About 4 pages feels right to me and I make sure to include
# any vacancies that are available,
# the vacations times we have decided on for the coming year,
# any changes that parents need to know about – like I am unable to drive at the
moment due to my broken leg so wont be going out to playgroup during 1st term
# nows also a great time to start afresh with reminders about illness policy, spare
clothes, sun-screen, picking up on time and anything that bugged you in 2015 lets
get on top of them right from the start of this coming year!!
Enrolments
2.. A thorough going over of all enrolment documents to confirm they are up to date
and I have all the information I need. It is important to double check with parents you
have their up to date current phone numbers, addresses, work places, ccb etc. With the
new legislation coming into effect regarding immunisations it is important to also check
each of your children’s statuses so there is no nasty surprises.
Pre-planning
3.. A little pre planning into intentional teaching for the coming year – I like to take some
time think-ing about the interests of each of the children I have in care in the coming
year. Make notes on ways to expand those interests that are a little different from last
year. I will be writing a training on this in the next month and am including this because
I feel it is an important step to the new years planning and one educators often miss or
don’t quite know why or how to do…
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
Resources
4.. Now this is the one that makes me cringe – Resources – without a doubt the most time
consum-ing thing I do each year. I think we all have something that really sings to us and
something that does not and I can tell you I most definitely procrastinate the heck out of
sorting my resource store room. I clean as I go through the year so everything is clean
but it is the sorting of what needs re-placing – moving into new storage containers
– purchasing – donating to others – wow have fun, it is a definite non negotiable thing to
start the year off on the right foot!!
Self care
5.. Last but by no means least – in fact I think this is the most important for your own
health, the health of your family and the good of your business. Take stock of the hours
you have committed to this coming year, starting times, finishing times, which days will
the busiest, which day will be hump day? Plan your weeks and when you will be able to
recharge and have some down time.
So there we go 5 priorities for you to start your year.
I hope they help you start the year with a bit more direction, a little more organised
then you did last year…

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#18 Shine as an Educator – Christmas cheer x

Early Childhood Educators


Hello Hello it is fabulous to be able to have a quick bright cheerful chat, its 3 nights until
Christmas and Lach and I have been having lots of fun counting down the sleeps.
So last week I shared braking my leg and I’m not back with the children yet and I have
had a lot of extra time on my hands then normal this week…
I’ve been reading, chatting, answering questions in the forums which has been super
nice, its great to be in the communities and networking with educators with really real
issues that can make a difference to educators, families and of course our precious
children.
Happy Christmas
– It has been great to read about educators and your Christmas ideas, portfolio debates,
holiday plans and the ins and outs of saying goodbye to much loved families as well as
advertising new vacancies. I have several past podcasts about interviewing parents that
mayhelp a lot of early child educators as we start the new year. So feel free to pass them
on.
So somedays things don’t quite happen as we plan and I have definitely read a lot of
sharing this week in the forums from educators who things have gone a little astray
from what they had planned.
As I have said I have some unexpected time on my hands and will be creating some
fantastic new ecourses to share in the new year. It’s exciting that some good can come
of a difficult time and I am determined to make use of this extra time to share and try
and help you where I can. This would be an easy time for me to say drop me a line if
there is truly a topic that you need more help with or have a course idea because
that would be an awesome help.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
Have a fantastic Christmas
Now I am also going to share a little something that made us laugh this week. I am so
hoping that you nod your head and go oh yes I do this too Or this will just be a bit weird.
My hubby has taken to making note of all the children oriented things that I have been
doing especially when I am surrounded by adults
Like…
# Cutting the toast in the morning into 4 triangles because thats how everyone eats
them right
# Mooing out the window at the cows in the paddock um yep this one is embarrassing
but super fun, you should so try it!!
#Talking to the fish at the fish market – well Lach and I do this, they have beautiful
eyes and still have their teeth why wouldn’t we chat to them…
So that just 3 yep I think thats all we need…
I hope our quirky little things from this week give you a laugh – I would love to hear what
child oriented things you love to do because I am absolutely certain that I am not the
only educator that has been working this long in childcare with a few quirky habits.
I am now going to say –
I hope you have an amazing Christmas, I truly hope you have a safe, wonderful day
creating loving memories… Thank you for your support and I will chat to you this time
next week as we prepare to welcome in the new year…

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#17 Shine as an Educator – So I broke my leg!!

Early Childhood Educators


Come on Mum you need to get it back together I need the Day Care Kids Back!!
Yep this week I don’t just feel like I crashed and burned… I definitely have the hardware
to prove that I did…
I made a conscious discussion to keep the commitments I had until the end of the year
but I decided to practice saying no when anything else came up. Do you sometimes get
that nagging feeling of being so so busy and just needing to say no?? Well that’s where I
was at!!
So fast forward to today and it’s a week since I broke my leg- my Fibula, needed two
operations to get me back on track. Now I know accidents happen and I know they can,
I am also very aware that I think I just pushed a little too hard.
As I sit here I know I have let my families down, right in the middle of the silly season.
Right when they needed me the most, to keep everything in their precious childrens lives,
predictable, calm and supportive.
But as disappointed as I am and feeling a little low and truthful quite sorry for myself –
I decided to have a chat to you guys – my fellow educators and try very hard to share
with you some value from my experience. To dig deep and share with you about this
exhausting -challenging – heart wrenching experience, there has to be some positives
that we can pull out of this…
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
Now when I speak to educators I really share one of my core values and that is to
emphasise the importance of balance, Balance between family and work, balance
between filling our own cup before we can support and give to others. Sometimes that
balance really is achievable But sometimes that balance is so much easier to chat about
then do!! In the same token accidents do happen and I have been pretty healthy and
reliable this year, Only taking two sick days I think and that was when my Lach and
I had the flu.
So what can I give you to take away from my latest experience.
1. Focus on being well, take steps to nurture and fill your own cup before others…
we never know when something will come up to really give us a kick.
2. Build a strong network of both work, family and friends around us… Yes we are
educators, running independent businesses, but when my husband can ring the office,
my scheme and say Kath’s broken her leg it’s not looking good can you take care of her
clients for the next few weeks please… I know I have the right group of support around
me!! Do you??
3. Plan a well rounded year for your children, I am so disappointed I did not get to
share my planned end of year experiences and excursions with my day care children –
and a lot of time and energy went into planning our time in December – however we
have had regular outings to special shows, playgroup and library time this year and
I know my families know I go above and beyond when I can.
So over the next few weeks I will have further time to reflect and I will probably let you in
on those too but for now I hope you are enjoying what we loving call the silly season
as we get ready to close off this year and open another.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#16 Shine as an Educator – Process V Product!!

Early Childhood Educators


With only a few weeks to go until Christmas I thought we would follow the same
direction as the last two weeks.
The first week we launched our Christmas gift mini ebook… It would be super to hear
how you have found the experiences, have they engaged your children like we hoped
they would.
The children have been creating beautiful little mouse footprints with the Christmas
poems ready to go in the childrens’ portfolios. Now portfolios are not a legal
requirement of your services. But I find my families love them and they are a great
way to connect and give my families something just that little bit special.
Putting my business what we chat about…
#how portfolios can add value to your service
#portfolios, keepsakes, printed photos
Some parents absolutely do not need these at all but some do!!
In your business How are you adding value?? A question for you to Critically Reflect
on a little later!!
And then last week we visited keepsakes. Generating some lively debates on product
verses process!!
Now there is something else that has been heavily debated this week that I would like to
wade in on…
The debate on whether we should actually be doing Christmas craft, with our littlys.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
We chat about…
#The two lines of thinking on Christmas Craft
#Finding a middle ground
#Skills children are developing, and the positive experiences we facilitate every week.
#Strong examples to provide food for thought for process v products
I strongly encourage you to think deeply about each childs learning journey!!
How can we support, encourage and maintain connection to that learning journey?
As educators we need to recognise that our children need to be encouraged as different
unique individuals.
This is important all year – not just at Christmas – we are educators all year…
Reading some of these debates have made me quite frustrated as it often undermines
what would normally be confident, strong, amazing educators. Yes critically reflect
on your core values, on what you believe is important to the child. Be strong in
your beliefs, be proud and move forward, offering your service to your families with
confidence and purpose.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com