I posted this onto my facebook page this morning as I saw it as a good starting point to talk about seeing the value in each child’s work and not just as wasted paper, especially when children are just starting out and going through the process of learning how to hold a pencil, how to draw, how to control their muscles, how to plan what they would like to put onto the paper, and how to replicate shapes and patterns.
It has started a few comments about cutting up children’s work, which is not at all the angle I was meaning to take with this post, however that it the beauty of reflective practice. It is about working together with others to share ideas, gain feedback, express opinions and learn from each other. To be open to the opportunities that come our way and be willing to gain something from each opportunity.
So what started as a post about valuing each child’s efforts has become an opportunity for reflective practice.
For some it might be that educators reflect on their own practices and thoughts around “scribbles” and how they value these in their service. For others it might be about understanding other’s views and being willing to allow these to be discussed openly. For me it has been about expressing myself more clearly.
The freedom of the EYLF means that there is no right or wrong way of implementing it, and everyone out there in their own service is on their own journey with how their practices embrace and reflect what research has shown us is best for the children. This is important for us to acknowledge when it comes to reflective practice, because we might be further along the journey than others, or have taken a side path to focus on a different area that requires more focus or is of particular interest.
To those who are further ahead in your journey, using my post as an example, then cutting up children’s work is not supportive or respectful of the child’s efforts. You could even say writing on a child’s work without their permission is disrespectful. However for those just starting to explore children’s voices and efforts, moving from throwing the work into the bin to making something out of it is a good starting point.
Every day we are faced with suggestions, comments, documents, or instructions that challenge us and our own ideas and thoughts on different subjects. Through open, unbiased, unemotional dialogue it allows us all to reflect and grow. That growth could be learning a new skill, understanding another person’s perspective, developing our negotiation skills, or learning more about ourselves as an educator. The true value then comes from implementing the lesson so you continue to grow and develop as a person, an educator, a team, and as a community of learners.
I would love to hear ways you incorporate reflective practice into your services, or even into your own personal journeys.
If you would like to know more about reflective practice please check out my webinar on May 24th. Click here for more information.