One of my all time favourite reads, "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers sheds light on how fears can take root during early childhood, laying the foundation for our emotional responses and behavior in later life. Jeffers emphasizes that these early experiences play a crucial role in shaping our attitudes towards uncertainty, risk, and challenges. She delves into the notion that children are naturally fearless explorers, but external influences and experiences can instill fears that linger into adulthood. By understanding this profound connection between early childhood experiences and our lifelong fears, we gain insight into the immense impact early interventions and supportive environments can have in empowering children to face their fears with resilience and courage. Through this book, we uncover the transformative potential of nurturing fearlessness from a young age and cultivating a mindset that encourages embracing challenges rather than succumbing to paralyzing fears.
While it's essential to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, it's equally important to allow children to explore, learn, and grow fearlessly.
Early childhood is a crucial time for development, and one of the best places to witness this balance between risk assessment and fearlessness is at a kinder, where children are encouraged to navigate the world with curiosity and courage. How is this achieved at kinder?
The Power of Play:
At the heart of a child's growth lies play, and it is through play that they explore the world around them. Within the safe confines of a kindergarten, children are offered ample opportunities to engage in unstructured play, which fosters creativity and imagination. Through play, children learn to identify and understand their boundaries, making them more adept at assessing potential risks independently.
Educators as Facilitators:
In a kindergarten environment that encourages risk assessment, educators play a crucial role as facilitators. Rather than acting as overbearing guardians, they are trained to observe, intervene only when necessary, and allow children to navigate their challenges. Educators create a balance between providing a secure environment and encouraging children to take calculated risks, thereby empowering them to make informed decisions.
Learning from Failures:
A kinder that embraces risk assessment acknowledges that failures are an integral part of the learning process. Children are encouraged to try new activities and engage in tasks that might be slightly beyond their comfort zone. When faced with challenges and setbacks, they are supported and guided to reflect on their experiences, learn from their mistakes, and try again. This approach instills resilience and the courage to face future challenges with determination.
One of the most effective ways to foster fearlessness and risk assessment is by providing ample opportunities for outdoor exploration. In the natural world, children encounter various elements and situations that require careful judgment. Climbing trees, balancing on uneven terrain, or crossing small streams teaches them to assess their abilities and take calculated risks.
Witnessing young children confidently exploring the world, making decisions, and learning from their experiences is a testament to the power of balanced education. By providing opportunities for play, empowering educators, learning from failures, embracing outdoor exploration, and gaining parental support, these kindergartens lay a strong foundation for a future generation of curious, resilient, and fearless explorers, ready to take on the world with confidence.
In the realm of education, there are few experiences as rewarding as witnessing the growth of our young teenagers as they embark on the transformative journey of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). As a parent, I had the privilege of connecting with a fellow parent and respected early childhood educator who shares the same commitment to guiding and supporting these bright minds.
Our exchange of thoughts led us to delve into a crucial aspect of the VCE path—the weighty burden of achieving the all-important ATAR score.
After I left, I couldn't help but think of one of my timeless classics, and how connected the lessons found there are connected with early childhood education
In the timeless classic "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Little Prince encounters a group of adults obsessed with numbers and calculations. Their preoccupation with the quantitative aspects of life leads them to overlook the true essence of what matters. Sadly, this mirrors our modern society, where adults often get lost in the labyrinth of numbers, forgetting the significance of nurturing young minds through early childhood education. In this blog post, we will explore how embracing the Little Prince's wisdom can shed light on the profound benefits of early childhood education.
1. Education Beyond Metrics:
Early childhood education goes beyond mere numbers on a report card. It is about fostering creativity, imagination, and a love for learning that will last a lifetime. Just like the Little Prince cherished his rose, we must cultivate a nurturing environment that allows each child to blossom uniquely.
2. Cultivating Emotional Intelligence:
In the Little Prince's encounters with various characters, he learns the importance of emotional connections. Similarly, early childhood education focuses on fostering emotional intelligence, empathy, and social skills. Children learn to express themselves, understand others' feelings, and build healthy relationships, setting the foundation for a compassionate and cohesive society.
3. Encouraging Curiosity and Exploration:
The Little Prince's curious nature led him on extraordinary adventures. Similarly, early childhood education encourages children to explore the world around them, ask questions, and seek answers. Through play-based learning and hands-on experiences, young minds develop critical thinking skills and a thirst for knowledge.
4. Building Confidence and Resilience:
In the face of challenges, the Little Prince never lost faith in himself. Early childhood education provides a supportive environment where children can take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. This builds their confidence and resilience, preparing them for the ups and downs of life ahead.
5. Nurturing a Lifelong Love for Learning:
The Little Prince's love for his tiny planet is a testament to the power of passion. Early childhood education sparks a love for learning in children, instilling in them the belief that education is an exciting and lifelong journey, rather than a mere stepping stone to adulthood.
In "The Little Prince," the adults' obsession with numbers symbolizes the pitfalls of overlooking the profound aspects of life. Similarly, focusing solely on quantitative metrics in education can be detrimental to the growth and development of young minds. By embracing the wisdom of the Little Prince, we can shift our perspective on early childhood education and recognize the transformative impact it has on the holistic growth of children. Let us cherish the unique journey of each child, nurturing their curiosity, emotional intelligence, and love for learning, allowing them to bloom into extraordinary individuals who will contribute positively to our world.
I’m sorry if this offends professional Play-Doh makers ie parents, but today I want to shed light on a hidden talent that often goes unrecognized: kindergarten teachers and their incredible Play-Doh skills. Move over, sculptors and artisans, because these educators are the true masters of molding magic. Prepare to be amazed as I unveil the secret recipe for Play-Doh, straight from the classroom of a kinder teacher extraordinaire!
Step 1: The “Ingredients Dance”
First, gather your supplies: two cups of patience, a dash of creativity, and an overflowing bucket of laughter. Now, turn on some funky music, and do a little jig. This step is crucial, as the dance helps infuse the Play-Doh with that special touch of kinder teacher magic. Plus, it adds a bit of cardio to your day. Win-win!
Step 2: Flour Power
In a large mixing bowl, combine two cups of flour. Go ahead and make it rain flour like you’re in a culinary version of a music video. Embrace the cloud of powdery goodness that surrounds you. Let your inner kinder teacher shine!
Step 3: Salt Bae Vibes
Sprinkle in half a cup of salt, just like the renowned internet sensation, Salt Bae, adds his signature touch to a juicy steak. Let the salt cascade gracefully from your fingertips, as if you’re seasoning the Play-Doh with a sprinkle of fairy dust. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
Step 4: Vivid Rainbows
Now it’s time to bring color into the mix. Squeeze in a generous amount of food coloring. Let your imagination run wild and choose vibrant hues that reflect the kaleidoscope of joy found in a kindergarten classroom. Remember, the more colors, the merrier. Let your inner Picasso guide you!
Step 5: Oil Magic
Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the mixture. This secret ingredient gives the Play-Doh its smooth and malleable texture. It’s like adding a touch of moisturizer to your skin—it keeps everything soft and pliable. Plus, it gives the Play-Doh a lovely scent of fresh garden greens. Aromatherapy at its finest!
Step 6: Stir with Love
Now, it’s time to get your hands dirty, or rather, doughy. Roll up your sleeves, dive into the mixture, and knead it with all your might. Imagine you’re shaping not just Play-Doh, but dreams, potential, and the future. This step requires love, patience, and a little bit of elbow grease.
Step 7: Voilà!
There you have it—the perfect Play-Doh, crafted with the utmost care and skill of a kinder teacher. Feel free to unleash your imagination and let the sculpting adventure begin. Whether it’s a Play-Doh pizza, a miniature unicorn, or a wonky self-portrait, the possibilities are endless.
So, the next time you find yourself marveling at a Play-Doh masterpiece, remember to give credit where credit is due. Kinder teachers, with their unwavering dedication and knack for transforming little hands into molding maestros, are the unsung heroes of Play-Doh. They deserve our applause and admiration. Now, go forth and create your own Play-Doh wonders!
Welcome to my blog, where I’ll be sharing all things related to early childhood education! But before we dive into that, let me take you back to where my journey began—a passion for photography that ignited at a very young age.
Growing up, our family camera was a Kodak Instematic. Back then, photography was quite an expensive hobby. As the youngest of four siblings, with a significant age gap between us, I often found myself enjoying the benefits of being somewhat of an only child. My parents, hardworking individuals—my mom a cleaner and my dad a factory worker—made sure we ventured out every weekend. Whether it was a trip to the park, the beach, or simply an open field, my mom would hand me the camera, and off I went capturing moments. However, developing those photos came with its costs and occasional blurry surprises. Thank goodness for the digital era!
I am truly grateful that my parents recognised my passion for photography and never held me back. They nurtured my interest, which led me on an incredible journey.
In 2013, I took on the role of president at Erinwood Preschool. It was an incredible year spent at Erinwood, allowing me to spend precious time with my youngest child during their kindergarten experience. That year, Erinwood launched Bush Kinder, and it was during this time that my second passion ignited—early childhood education. Observing teachers’ interactions with the children, I learned a simple yet profound lesson: it all starts in early childhood. This crucial stage shapes our lives, and I deeply value the remarkable role early childhood educators play.
Majority of the centers we photograph follow a “learn through play philosophy.” Through play, children explore, experiment, and discover the world around them. It sparks their curiosity, ignites their creativity, and nurtures problem-solving skills. Each playful moment becomes a stepping stone in their development. Play enhances cognitive abilities, improves social skills, and fosters emotional well-being. It encourages collaboration, empathy, and resilience.
Join me on this blog as I share this passion relating to early childhood education. From that famous Kinder Teacher’s Cool Play-Doh recipe you’ve always wanted to replicate to tips on dealing with separation anxiety when dropping off your preschooler at school—I’ll cover it all. Let’s embark on this journey together, celebrating the foundation upon which life is built: early childhood education.