#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


Download

Download

Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#15 Shine as an Educator – Keepsakes

Early Childhood Educators


I have had a very busy week this week, sharing our Mini ebook so I hope every one has
had a chance to download it. I made a fun little film clip to pop on the net just to
give every one a sneak peek. You can find it here…

What else happened this week?

I was given a beautiful hanging tee pee from a family that is in the process of moving.
My son and her little man use to play in and crawl through and I have some gorgeous
memories. So that was a bit special this week. It’s sad to see families moving on but I
am excited for their next step and they are off on an exciting journey so it makes it
a little easier.
I have had some amazing families over the years and I think I have said before that I
still stay in touch with quite a few of the children I have cared for. I think about them
specially around this time of year when there is Christmas cards and a little bit of extra
effort is made to make contact with people we may not of seen this year.

So where are we going to go with this episode – I think this
a great time to chat about keepsakes for our children
and the families.

What do I mean by Keepsakes, I mean handprints, footprint, height measurements,
tracing around the children bodies, beautiful pictures of the children, clever pictures
that they have taken and put back together.
The children and I create quite a few through the year and I love to pop poems
and sayings with them, to make them recognisable as important, and so parent
will actually look at them and hopefully keep them.
This year we have two foot print experiences in our portfolios and truly if your
children love painting their hands, feet, fingers, bodies then why not!!

Three of the children’s favourite keepsake experiences this
year…

#Exploring height…

At the start of the year we cut a piece of string the height of the children and tied it in a
bow on some card. Added a poem and then the children coloured the card and added
drawings of themselves, they are just gorgeous, the families I hope will love them
and a great example of a keepsake.

#Easter bunny foot prints…

Easter we created little white footprints on card. So they became bunnies with tales and
ears. Cute as – but don’t for a second think that this wasn’t play based!! The children had
their own paintbrushes, paint and sat on the floor and painted what they liked – but
when I also sit on the floor and paint my feet, they will copy – wonderful discussions
on tickling and even my toddlerscreate some pretty special pieces.

#Christmas mice foot prints…

So this one Lach and I have made but the children will think it is awesome, it is painting
their feet again and they are right into that!! This one is available in the mini ebook and
it is a beautiful poem to go with the children footprints created into little mice!!
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
Some other ideas we have created over the years are the childrens pictures printed and
put inside Christmas baubles. I love wonderful salt dough hand and foot prints especially
for children under 1. Dress up pictures can also be very special when the children have
the creative input and design them, to be what they like.
I hope this has got you thinking about how to create special keepsakes for your children
and families. There are so many, but what makes them special is when the children have
had input and the ability to create what they really want. A keepsake in my mind shows
the growth and change of our children. I would love to see what special keepsakes you
create with your children why not share them with us…
I always imagine my children in 10 or even 20 years time putting their hands or feet over
the top of what we have made together, trying to remember when they were small
bubba’s.
I love this… it’s leaves a feeling of doing something special with the children now that
could also give that gift of a special feeling in years to come!!

I would love to hear from you

Kath


Download

Download

Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#14 Shine as an Educator – Your Christmas gift mini ebook

Early Childhood Educators


Christmas is just around the corner – I can say less than 38 days away!!
I have a super surprise and gift especially for you.
I have documented my December early childhood program experiences and
created a mini ebook 13 pages to be exact!!
I am super proud of it and hope you love it and find it useful.
I love helping early childhood educators find the way to document that is
right for you!!
But I bet documenting is the last thing on your mind…
Am I right??
If you are like me you are frantically looking for new and innovative end
of year experiences to keep our little people creating and having fun for
the next few weeks!!
I totally understand and to help put a bit of sparkle into this time of year,
my gift to you is 10 experiences I love creating with my day care children.
Not only the experiences but pictures, instructions, links and all the resource
lists you will need.
These experiences are super for mixed ages, can take as little or as much time
as you like and most educators will be able to create them from the resources
already in your cupboard!!
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
Today there is
No Critical Reflection Question
No Challenge
No Top Tip
Just a deep breath as we head into quite a busy time of the year.
Although you and I may look forward to the parties and extra time we get to spend
with loved ones over the next few weeks, this time of year can be very difficult
emotionally and financially for some of our families.
Please take this as a timely reminder – be kind to those around you, we may be tired
and counting down the days to a well deserved break, but please try and spread a
little Christmas cheer as well as thoughtful understanding.
I actually had an awesome time making the mini ebook for you. My son and I got to
practice each of the experiences and my hubby made us all laugh, oh he was hilarious,
trying to get the antlers to stay on the reindeer. I challenge you to look through our
reindeer pictures and not giggle, even a little…I guarantee these experiences will be
a blast!!
These experiences are ones we have made for many years and they still make us laugh
and put us into the perfect mood for this time of year.
Be sure to download the mini ebook to help you with your programming over December
I would love you to let me know which experience was your favourite! I would be super
excited if you shared pictures as well. I look forward to sharing with you next week.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


Download

Download

Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#13 Shine as an Educator – Christmas break?

Early Childhood Educators


This week I have a couple of things I have finalised and thought I would share with you.
Oh yes Christmas is just around the corner, we are starting to think about holidays and
so are our families.
I have a fantastic program of Christmas experiences I am excited to share with you in
the few weeks.
This week I have finalised my vacancies for next year and have set up two interviews to
lock in my new special little people that will be joining our crew next year.
I have also locked in my Christmas holidays, giving my parents 6 weeks notice that I will
be taking some time off. The last couple of years I have had a week and a half. This year
is the same from Wednesday the 23rd of Dec up until Monday the 4th of Jan. Which
I feel pretty comfortable with and am quite looking forward to them.
If you have not had time off this year please seriously think about taking some time for
yourself and your family…

Critical Reflection Question…

How are you planning your time over Christmas?
Have you taken some time to think about what care you will be offering over the
Christmas period or are you offering care at all?
Are most of your families away? or do you have families that really are relying on you?
The last few years I have had parents that plan and are very happy to have time off.
It makes it super easy to have some down time at the end of the year.
Now I fully understand that it’s not always easy to take time off. A few years ago
I had several families that were small business owners and really relied on me, not
only for normal hours of care but quite a few extra hours as well. I would take
my holidays at other times of the year – it was great for our budget and really at
the time worked ok. It just took a little extra coordination and planning.

Challenge…

Speak to your families about what care they need over the Christmas break?
Sometimes if you’re not sure a survey or simple form can be a great way to open
the lines of communication.
Communicate your intensions for a break clearly.
Sometimes we can wait for parents to make up their minds, don’t wait too long,
try and have a date that is no closer then 6 weeks.
I share with parents my plan for holidays verbally and then back it up with a newsletter.
My newsletter will have in it…
#Christmas holiday dates mine and asking them to re-confirm theirs
#My service Christmas party – which is generally a couple of hours in an evening
– I plan to share a bit more about this in an upcoming episode.
#Any changes for next year/times/available times
#A reminder about sunscreen, hats, and suitable clothes, as always in the summer
#Excursions we will be attending coming up to Christmas – I also look forward to
sharing more about these soon
You might like to share your newsletters with me – I am always looking for fresh
and new ways to easily communicate with parents.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators

Top Tip…

You will inevitably have at least 1 family that will change their minds about when
they are taking holidays or need care.
As parents tell you their plans, write it down in a diary or on a calendar page,
that you have specifically for this purpose.
Have clear in your mind when you are taking time off and how much “ wriggling ” of
families you are willing to do over the holiday period.
This time of year is more important to some then others, take time to reflect on how
important a Christmas break is to you and your family. Be clear, firm and professional
in communicating your needs to families at this time.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


Download

Download

Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com