There are so many things to do during the day from observations to daily check lists to meals, routine times and writing the daily diary for families. Often it can feel like we are always struggling for time and herding the children around so we can get our jobs done. Here are 5 tips to help you manage your time…
Reflect on why you are doing each task – Look into why we do the many tasks we do in a day, who we are doing them for, whether they serve a purpose, or whether we feel we should be doing them. If families don’t read the daily diary and just look at pictures, why write an essay in it? Are all of the WHS checklists necessary or could they be combined or cut back?
Explore the times of day things are done – When are these tasks being done? Do they interfere with relationships with the children? Do they cause added stress? Do they require all the children to be in a teacher directed activity for an unreasonable amount of time while these tasks are done? Instead of writing the daily diary at rest time when children are not resting, why not write it at lunch time when they are all sitting and busily eating and 1 educator can be documenting while supervising and keeping an eye out.
Consider when children are most engaged – If we want children to be busily engaged when we write documentation, so we don’t need to be worrying about what they are up to, then perhaps we need to reflect on what this means. Are children most engaged when having an educator run a large group for long time periods of time when children have the opportunity to get bored or cannot developmentally sit for long periods of time? Or are children most engaged when they have challenging, open ended activities based around their interests to play freely with? Which one is likely to allow for more freedom complete tasks?
Multi-task – When doing documentation or other tasks around children do not be so absorbed in what you are doing you are ignoring the children. Sit near a group of children, get up and move when they move. Think about if the parents were watching, would you like them to see an educator sitting and writing documentation in a quiet corner of the room and ignoring the children? Or worse, saying to children “not now, I have to write this, go play.”
Get the children to help – Have a paper daily diary and get the children to help write in it, draw in it, talk about what to write, become involved and even plan for what to do the next day. This will help children to be engaged, be included, and also provide them with a voice and sense of agency over the program as they develop literacy and language skills in a meaningful way.
If you would like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter for tips, ideas and upcoming events subscribe here http://eepurl.com/b7KQHT