ECE learning from both sides of the sandpit
Seeing early childhood education from two perspectives, that is the teacher and the parent, gives a greater understanding of the importance of two-way communication.
Little and often seems to be the answer to keeping whānau engaged and kaiako feeling like their hard work is valued.
Communication with families from an ECE kaiako’s perspective
As a kaiako, when you capture that wow moment of a child who has challenged themselves with the same experience for weeks – you totally want to share it, instantly.
You want whānau to be as involved and excited about that moment as you are and with technology – they can.
Recognising the significance of this achievement and sharing it with Kinder m8, makes it even more special.
Linking it to a learning story from a previous week, when the child challenged themselves but invited you to assist them as they persisted with their chosen task, is easy with Kinder m8.
When you share these steppingstones and whānau add their observations from experiences at home, you know you are shaping the whole child’s learning journey.
Learning documented in partnership needs to be accessible and easy to add your two cents.
With ECE technology it is incredible that kaiako can write a story and add a photo, but now, a video, voice recording, and child’s drawing can be added.
Communication with ECE teachers from the whānau perspective
As a parent, being away from your little one and having a photo or a story sent through brightens a busy day.
Sometimes, I feel like I am missing out on all the adventures my little one has in care.
I know how responsive, kind and passionate the teaching team are at the centre, but I only see the drop-off and pick up adventures.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be more involved in your little one’s exploration in care?Seeing a photo busy in the sandpit, knowing the sand will still be in their shoes later.Seeing them busy at the art table and knowing to expect part of that creation on their clothes.
Receiving snapshots, videos or voice recording of your child allows you to be that much more connected to their daily learning in care.
Having that added to your child’s learning journey allows you to share your own observations of adventures at home.
Having this connection allows your child’s teachers to know them that much better, appreciating the world they are coming from outside of the centre.
The regular routines, events, and shenanigans, which impact on the way your child engages with others and shares their ideas.
Those snapshots of your child’s day help me connect the dots as my child moves from home to centre and back again.
Those snapshots help start conversations of wonder between parent and child.
Those snapshots allow my child to discover the world around her and I see the impact of her discoveries.
Those snapshots allow parents to remember that we are our child’s first teacher and we should get involved in their learning both at home and at the ECE centre.
Being invited to share your own observations and adding your family culture into the learning journey makes it so much more personal.
Giving back ideas, engaging in the journey and working in partnership with those teachers who care for our most precious creation.
About Emma Walker
For many years Emma shared her days with tamariki during her role as a kaiako at ECE centres in Waikato and Auckland.
Following the arrival of her first child, Emma now experiences life from the other side of the sandpit, with her daughter in care while she continues in her career.
She knows just how important communication is between ECE teachers and parents.
Now, that really is capturing the experience and the real time reaction.