Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog
folder

Are Titles Important?

By: MARIAN QUINN

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Our name defines us. It is one of the first things that people learn about us and so this important piece of information forms the basis of the earliest judgements that people will make about us. The same is true of our professional title. How we name our profession will instantly lead to judgements relating to the value of our work.

For many years we have identified with a myriad of titles. We are Childcare Workers, Early Years Educators, Early Childhood Practitioners, Early Years Teachers and a mix match of each of these. We choose our title based on what our colleagues are called and also by how we self-identify. Many wish to hold on to the word ‘care’ in their title because they recognise that it is central to their work with children. Others emphasise the education element because they recognise the importance of their work and want others, outside of their profession, to recognise and respect it too.

As proud professionals we seek a title that reflects our knowledge and expertise and the importance of the contribution that we make in the lives of children during their foundation years. Professional titles are valued in our society so we need to balance our self-identity with one that resonates with those outside our profession.

The children we work with, very often copy their older siblings and, call us their teacher. Parents encourage the children to ‘say thank you to your teacher’. Yet many in our profession shy away from using the word teacher because they see it as being too academic and devoid of caring. The reality is that we create the meaning of the word in the context of our profession. When we call ourselves Early Years Teachers we identify as someone who supports young children in all areas of development through their natural medium of learning i.e. play.

Titles confer symbolic power. By adopting a professional title we are taking a step towards claiming the status and respect that is due to the work we do and to the children we work with. Choosing a title that resonates with those outside our profession makes sense because it allows them to see that our work is much more then ‘babysitting’. As Early Years Teachers we observe the children we work with, and through our knowledge(s), practices and values, we support them to engage with their emerging interests in a caring and nurturing manner. We develop strong relationships with children as we interact with them in a multitude of ways: changing nappies; engaging in creative arts; managing cuts and bruises; supporting conflict resolution; playing games; supporting recognition and naming of feelings; singing songs; going on nature walks; encouraging self-feeding; building dens; supporting integration into peer group; trying new things; drying tears; playing hide-and-seek; giving hugs; playing with loose parts; chatting; conducting experiments; telling stories; exploring; etc. The list is endless.

As Early Years Teachers we are supporting children emotionally and socially. We also nurture their cognitive, spiritual, communicative, physical, adaptive and cultural development. We tend to the whole child.

It is important to recognise that this professional title is distinct from the job titles that we hold in our individual centres. These are still needed so that we can differentiate between the various roles in early years settings e.g. manager, room leader, playgroup assistant, nursery nurse, team leader, childcare worker, playgroup leader, supervisor, stiúrthóir naíonra, practitioner, educator, Montessori teacher, etc. However, a professional title is unifying and provides us with a common identity separate to the position we hold within our early years setting. A united professional identity is one that parents, policy makers and society can understand and value. Hopefully this will allow us to move on from the usual response we get when we tell people what we do – you know the one – the tilt of the head followed by Ah!

So let us firmly claim our space at the foundation stage of the care and education continuum and declare that as Early Years Teachers we provide vital care and support for children from their first year of life until they transition to primary school.

 

Biography

Following almost 20 years working as an Early Years Teacher, Marian Quinn is now lecturing on both the BA in Early Childhood Education and Care and the BA in Montessori Education degree programmes at Cork Institute of Technology. In her spare time she is Chairperson of the Association of Childhood Professionals where she advocates for increased recognition, respect and remuneration for the early childhood education and care profession.

2 comments Comments

2 Responses

  1. Teresa Duffy says:

    I agree wholeheartedly Marian !, early years teachers hold degrees, usually a wealth of experience and always a commitment to nurture a love of learning in all children !

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

First 5(1) Teamwork(1) communication(4) Craft(1) The Lullaby Book(1) imotion(1) refugees(1) Decision Making(1) New Appointments(1) structure(1) children development(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Trade union(1) Interests(1) code of ethics(1) Certificate(1) Irish(1) Celebrate(1) Creative(1) Mo Scéal(1) Feeding(1) show and tell(1) Masterclass(2) ReCreate(2) baby room(1) Fantasy play(1) Maynooth University(2) awards 2020(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Síolta QAP(1) Sweets(1) Summer(1) Advocacy(1) Supernanny(1) COVID-19(4) InspireMe.ie(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Obesity(1) Pen green(1) Degree(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Scents(1) social media(1) child-centred approach(1) outdoor space(3) code of professional responsibility(1) Health(2) youdoodle(1) Family wall(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) ICBN(1) National Awards 2018(2) conversations(1) Children's Rights(3) NAEYC(1) Visitors(1) feisty(1) grandchild(1) Frustrations(1) interacting(2) Creativity(4) Appreciation(1) toddlers(3) Engineers Week(2) Horizon 2020(1) Performance Management(1) learners(1) Halloween(2) Opportunities(1) Favouritism(1) National Awards 2019(1) Children(4) Learning journals(1) Map(1) Visual Impairment(1) Independence(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Well-Being(9) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Smiles(1) Exploring(1) Little Buddies(1) Vietnam(1) Workplace Relations(3) parents(6) Giraffe(2) Buddy Bench(1) emotions(2) Santa(2) behavioural science(1) educating(1) MA(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Patterns(1) Care routines(1) Staff Motivation(1) Leprechauns(1) ERASMUS+(3) development(8) aistear blog(3) Wilenski(1) Mayo(1) Stress(2) Sport(1) Snack Time(1) Grief(1) Care-giving routines(1) Sleep(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Child mental health(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Budget 2018(1) Biting(1) Line-ups(1) Xbox(1) Whole Group(1) Educators(2) Weather(1) Spiders(1) Inclusion(3) Treasure Chest(1) Laugh(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Death(2) ECEC(2) christmas(9) Exploring and Thinking(1) respect(5) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Queues(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Competent(1) HR(1) Inspections(1) bonds(1) outdoor play(6) Document Learning(1) trust(4) Vertical grouping(1) Eritrea(1) play stories(2) Childhood(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Funding(1) Orla Kenny(1) Early Years(1) transitions(10) linc(1) primary education(1) risk(2) Margy Whalley(1) INTO(1) Awards(2) Wonder(1) worries(1) keezy(1) Our Little Seed(1) childcare services(1) Elders(1) Cork(1) Maria Montessori(1) CCTV(1) ECCE(7) Breathing(2) family time(1) MECPI(1) Norway(2) PIP(1) Exit interview(1) Afghanistan(1) listen(1) Employee(1) Body Language(1) memories(1) Mantra(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Builders(1) role playing(1) Upcycling(1) United Nations(1) conference(1) relationships(17) Celebrations(4) Reggio Children Network(1) stories(3) Graduation(1) Recycling(2) pets(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Montessori(3) apps for children(1) Love(2) Valerie Gaynor(1) Administrative Burden(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Titles(1) Playschool(1) Capable(1) Reading Time(1) Self-regulation(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Early Childhood Ireland(1) Building Resilience(1) Síolta(111) educarer(1) scéalta(32) Adoption(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) gender stereotype(1) Kids Own(1) Online(1) environments(1) Awards 2018(3) meals(3) Book Club(2) Children's Voice(1) AIM(2) NCCA(3) Ariana Pucci(1) Playdough(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) early years research(2) man up(1) Learning Story Awards(2) life long learning(1) science(3) Impact(1) Mealtimes(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Valentine's Day(3) Positivity(1) Arts(1) Workplace well-being(1) Lego(2) Family(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) play(34) friendships(1) emotional environment(2) Shoes(1) Digital Devices(1) Anxiety(2) First 5 strategy(1) Affordability(1) documentation(4) under 3's(3) Learning Stories(9) Ceremony(1) mushrooms(1) Malaguzzi(1) food(1) Dance(1) Shapes(1) Academic Skills(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Buddies(1) Prexit(1) Maternity Leave(1) Sustainability(3) The Jelly King(1) Laughter(1) Learning Story(1) science week(2) Children and families(1) Storytelling(6) Growing up in Ireland(3) outdoors(3) Time(1) Professionalisation(5) Light table(1) Maths(5) listening(1) Flowers(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Wesco(1) Seas Suas(1) Home Corner(1) EM Standing(1) Digital(1) Glitter(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) planning(1) Albert Einstein(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) UD(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Inspirational(2) Story(1) Exercise(1) SPICE Framework(1) budget(1) Routines(2) Bereavement(2) Inter-generational learning(2) Wrapping paper(1) College(1) Jenga(1) Names(1) Covid pandemic(1) iOS(1) Event Guide(1) Plastic(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Mount Everest(1) Maynooth(1) developing motor skills(1) Fee Play(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Intention(1) Cognitive development(1) collaboration(1) maternity health(1) San Miniato(4) National Holiday(1) TRAP(1) DCYA(4) Change(1) Meal time(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Drawing(2) Penguins(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Interaction(1) Youtube Series(1) story time(2) Pre-School Services(1) Community involvement(1) Autism(4) Growing up Outdoors(1) Engagement(1) Japan(1) eating(1) Belonging(3) Rituals(1) Party(1) keep in touch(1) purpose(1) Decisions(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Christmas Creativity(2) Budget 2020(1) Identity and Belonging(4) risk assessment(1) Traditions(2) E.coli(1) Yoga(1) Time Out(1) Oireachtas(1) Awards 2019(1) social science(1) Recycle(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Identity(5) learning(19) Awards Night(1) Environment(2) Magnavacchi(1) Budget 2019(2) Sculptures(1) Leadership(1) Settling in(4) books(4) Magda Gerber(1) School Age Childcare(1) overhear(1) Interactions(2) Deirdre Rogers(1) Easter(1) Music(3) Nuturing interactions(1) Design(1) blog(29) reading(5) Challenges(1) Performing(1) risky play(2) Technology(3) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Blocks(1) GDPR(1) play therapy(1) annual conference(1) Thinking(1) babies(7) Reggio Emilia(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) dublin(2) Syria(1) Through the looking glass(1) Limerick(1) Investment(2) Imagination(3) Running(1) Study Trip(1) early life(1) Magic(1) STEM(3) Arithmetic(1) RTE Investigates(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Loss(1) Workforce(1) Plants(1) Brain(1) Kerry(1) continual professional development(1) Aistear(118) University(1) Mixed age groups(2) Children's Research Network(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) preschool(4) Mindfulness(2) Learning Journal(2) dining(1) dining experiences(1) Iraq(1) Consent(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Culture(2) Italy(1) Role play(1) Iceland(1) community(5) Trade Unions(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Self Help Skills(1) TOY Programme(1) Diversity(1) Relaxation(1) Leargas(1) routine(2) Human Resources(1) Primary School(2) Snakes(1) early years learning(1) Games(1) Infection Control(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) education(2) Treasure(1) gender bias(1) CPD(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Behaviour(3) RIE philosphy(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Engineering(3) early childhood educator(2) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Art(6) Meet the Members(1) Social Skills(1) Empathy(1) Snacks(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Exclusion(1) preschool settings(1) Academics(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Communicating(1) Mental Health(3) Touch(1) Childcare(3) Mathematicians(1) Book Review(1) research(6) Wendy Lee(3) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Early Years Educators(3) AsIAm(2) EECERA 2016(1) bloom app(1) Mark Twain(1) Photographs(1) IGL(1) healthy eating policies(1) Maths Week(1) learning bias(1) Nutrition(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Facebook(1) curiosity(3) Scéalta Blog(98) Winter(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Potential(1) UN(1) CIT(1) Policy(2) Socioemotional development(1) research submissions(1) Training(2) Graduate(1) Nonverbal(1) Hand Hygiene(1) ECEC Setting(2) UNCRC(2) staying connected(1) journey(1) Trick or treat(1) animals(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Support(1) phone apps(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) curriculum(5) Self-Esteem(1) Sessional service(1) Research Seminar(1) Thank you(1) European Project(1) Gardening(1) Confidence(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Traffic Lights(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) value(1) Communications(1) Rich Documentation(1) dogs(1) Painting(1) Fabric(1) Gratitude(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Thanks(1) Arlene Forster(1) Infectious diseases(1) Window(1) Kilkenny(1) Child Care(1) Twitter(1) movement behaviours(1) Quality(4) Pobal sector profile(1) Siolta blog(8) art of the relationship(1) Sequins(1) Mud kitchens(1) Trigonometry(1) Reggio(1) DES Inspection(1) ears(1) Pobal(1) supportive environments(2) Universal Design(2) pablo(1) experience(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Reflective Practice(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Sustainable(1) Participation(2) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Inter-generational(2) Qualifications(1) Confident(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine