Boundaries

Boundaries

When immersed in play, children enjoy taking risks and challenging themselves physically and mentally. Children are always searching for the limit of their current potential and are motivated to push that potential to achieve a goal. Adults can learn a fresh perspective from children about risk and reward.

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The Collision of Work Life and Real Life

The Collision of Work Life and Real Life

Being an educator is hard work. Our days are busy and filled with learning, laughter, and an enormous amount of tasks. The work is all encompassing and keeps us at school for more hours than we would like to admit. Being an educator is a labor of love, but how can educators keep a balance between our work life and our other life outside of work?

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Making Choices in an Early Childhood Community

Making Choices in an Early Childhood Community

There are many options in our field about how to engage effectively with children. Different philosophies focus on different areas of interest with their pedagogical framework. Working with children is a complex practice with decisions that need to be made every day. What is an effective process for making choices?

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I'm a Believer

I'm a Believer

A believer in education is someone who empowers children, gives gentle advice, is a good listener, and a person who lets the children know they have someone who sees only good in them and is there for them under any circumstance.

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Playing for Balance

Playing for Balance

Outside physical activity balances the school day. It provides children an opportunity to recharge, refocus, and rejuvenate their body and mind in preparation for the next learning adventure. It creates a connection to the outside world that helps all of us stay in balance.

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Learning Together

Learning Together

Learning together is the work that we do as educators, to hold space for children as they construct knowledge in their own way, at their own pace. Learning together is shaped by the image of the child you hold. 

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Understanding Early Childhood Vulnerability

Understanding Early Childhood Vulnerability

Engaging in the work of early childhood is to experience emotional vulnerability. We need to understand both the forces in our own classrooms and programs, as well as the larger forces of societal constructs to be able to formulate a response and start to build structures that strengthen us emotionally to work with children.

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Summer Camp in the City

Summer Camp in the City

Summer camps in the U.S. started gaining popularity in the early twentieth century.  The camp movement has evolved over the last century. Some traditional camps still exist, but the movement has been slowly changing to include activities like computer camp, academic camp, and many sports related camps.

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Our Daily Work is Professional Development

Our Daily Work is Professional Development

Recently I was in Reggio Emilia on a study tour of the Municipal schools. The experience of visiting Reggio Emilia was a sensory overload of information and insight, but the one idea that stuck with me the most during the trip was the Reggio educator’s view of professional development.

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Rules versus Agreements

Rules versus Agreements

Guiding children learning social skills in out of school care is a common occurrence. The children in afterschool care are still learning and experimenting with their social interactions. Many of the social skills children are working on are still being developed, as elementary children get older, bigger, louder, and wiser.

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Actions to Inspire Curiosity

Actions to Inspire Curiosity

All children are naturally curious - they are born that way. Children are always seeking to discover how the world works. As educators, we don't need to make children curious or push children to learn, they will seek out these activities on their own if we give them the time, materials, and opportunities to explore on their environments and make their own discoveries

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Musically Speaking

Musically Speaking

Children love music and it is an important part of their everyday experience in our program. Our children enjoy singing songs, dancing, and playing musical games but I the songs and games we play today are not that much different than the music in the past. So I am on a search for new fresh ideas of how we can incorporate more music into early childhood programs.

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How Are We Listening?

How Are We Listening?

Certain quotes or phrases can become a talisman for our work, such as “Listening is the premise of every learning relationship” – Carlina Rinaldi (2006). I was reminded of this phrase again a few days ago, when a colleague shared with me that she didn’t have much time for the important work that was happening in her classroom because of other pressing concerns on her time,

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The Learning Community

The Learning Community

An important aspect of building a learning community is offering all members an opportunity to contribute to the growth and advancement of the community. Contribution encourages ownership and pride in the work being done and creates feelings of connection to continued success. In an education learning community there are three main participants, children, educators, and parents.

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Interactions

Interactions

There are many types of adult/child relationships that occur over the course of a day in the classroom. In reflecting on interactions between adults and children, I see several types of interaction patterns emerge. These patterns are not inclusive of all interactions; they are just how I am starting to think about my practice.

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All Together Now

All Together Now

Many elementary children participate in special interest programs afterschool. Some are sports like Tae Kwon Do, swimming, or other seasonal sports. Some children participate in music, language, or enhanced academic programs. These programs are designed to enhance or extend the learning potential of the child, and in many cases these programs promote a life long love of the activity.

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Engaging in Self Compassion

Engaging in Self Compassion

Each year I promise myself that winter will be my quiet season – a time for rest and reflection and to revisit my thoughts. As we start March, I realize that another winter season has passed by and my plans for renewal were buried once again under a to-do list that is without end.

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A School Age Community

A School Age Community

In afterschool programs there exists a belief that the most beneficial activities for school age children resemble the activities they participate in at school. Scheduled and prescribed activities may be beneficial, but with so much structure there is less time for children in afterschool programs to create a learning community. A community that encourages children to practice social skills, nurture friendships, and give back to other children.

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All Weather Play

All Weather Play

As winter moves toward spring here in the Northern Hemisphere many people look forward to warming temperatures, more sunshine, longer days, and more opportunities to be outside.The opportunities for outside activities in the winter are numerous, but many folks hibernate this time of year and long for the change in seasons. The same is true for many child development programs.

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