Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Because You Matter

By: MAIRE CORBETT

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Anthony Semann from Australia was booked to be the keynote speaker at the Early Childhood Ireland conference last April. I had heard great things about Anthony’s insights and was looking forward to both his keynote and masterclass. Then of course Coronavirus hit and the Conference, along with so much else, fell victim to the Covid lockdown.

So, I was delighted to hear that DCYA asked Early Childhood Ireland to arrange a webinar with Anthony Semann on the theme Because You Matter: Caring for self in order to care for others. The webinar took place on July 23. It was quite a treat!

There are so many things to think about from the content of the webinar as more Early Learning and Care settings reopen.  In this Scéalta I’m going to share a few of the main ‘take-aways’ for me.  

 

Avoid too much exposure to the news: I found myself nodding in agreement as Anthony said this. We have so many sources of news these days and it can be difficult to sort out what is reality from what is fake. Social media is great but can be a quagmire of sensationalism. During the past few months in particular, one could get very scared reading reports on social media about the spread of Covid 19. For example, a few weeks ago, I read on Twitter about Donegal being packed full of tourists on buses. As it happened, I had been in Donegal for a few days…and didn’t see a single tour bus! Being well informed is, of course, important, so confine your sources of information to well trusted news websites or programmes and tune out the rest. I have heard of people who purposely watch only one news bulletin in the day on television and then avoid tuning in to any more. This helps us avoid becoming anxious or stressed about the veracity of what we read or see.

 

We are never in competition with the children: Sometimes people feel the concept of self- care, of fixing your oxygen mask before that of children, can sound selfish and putting our needs ahead of those of the children. Anthony was so reassuring on this point.  He said that putting the needs of staff on the agenda will not mean their needs override those of the children. Listen to the anxieties of staff, support them to sort out what is real from what is fake and ‘contain’ them emotionally. He spoke about the fact that our feelings are real, but it doesn’t mean it’s a reality. I found this very helpful. He gave an example of a person’s fear of flying being real. A fear of a plane falling out of the sky is not real. The feeling is real and needs to be understood, but the thought that a plane will fall out of the sky because I am on it, is not real. Our care of the children will be the better for us feeling heard. And remember you, as a manager or leader, need to find of source of reassurance for yourself too.

 

Negative baggage can make us miserable and destroy our performance: Anthony went on to quote Amanda Gore saying that ‘holding resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.’ I find myself coming back to this again and again. We can easily turn bitter at things other people have said or done to us. They may not even know sometimes that they have upset us so much. They may not have meant to upset us. They are off living their lives, while we hold on to the hurt, the slight, the bitterness. And we are only hurting ourselves more in the process. Anthony said, ‘We have to learn to let go…and learn how to let come’. This can be easier said than done, but maybe reflecting on the fact that it is hurting us more than the person who we are upset with might help us to let go.

 

Finally, in response to a question about supporting staff to develop these skills he said that we have never walked the path that someone else is walking. We cannot know what it is like for someone else. He spoke about the key being to demonstrate these skills and said that people will never change if they feel they are being taught a lesson. To help people to grow we need to be their ally and a gentle mentor.

For all of us, in whatever capacity we work we have the potential to be gentle mentors…be it with colleagues, parents, and children. What a lovely aspiration to aim for.

Many thanks Anthony, and we sincerely hope that Anthony will get to make the journey to Ireland in the future. I for one will be in the front row!

You can view the webinar recording here

 

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Certificate(1) Patterns(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Buddy Bench(1) Engagement(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) man up(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Diversity(1) conversations(1) Thank you(1) Childhood(1) keezy(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) outdoor space(3) Magda Gerber(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) toddlers(3) Whole Group(1) research(6) ERASMUS+(3) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Professionalisation(5) Shapes(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Horizon 2020(1) Grief(1) purpose(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Cork(1) Photographs(1) Communicating(1) social media(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) meals(3) Vietnam(1) Light table(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Traffic Lights(1) Through the looking glass(1) Iceland(1) European Project(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Building Resilience(1) development(8) racism(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Wrapping paper(1) lockdown(1) TRAP(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Research Seminar(1) Exercise(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) developing motor skills(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Celebrate(1) Glitter(2) Story(2) National Holiday(1) Children's Research Network(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Playschool(1) Relaxation(1) Performance Management(1) College(1) Graduation(1) Infection Control(1) Your place(1) Drawing(2) collaboration(1) Large Doll Play(1) Qualifications(1) learners(1) UN(1) Workplace Relations(3) outdoor play(6) Teamwork(1) Awards(2) Sport(1) Titles(1) Giraffe(2) Learning Journal(2) Change(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Research Conference 2019(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Magic(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Recycling(2) University(1) imotion(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Traditions(2) Frosty the Snowman(1) learning(19) behavioural science(1) Inter-generational(2) Leadership(1) Event Guide(1) Pretend Play(1) Thinking(1) educating(1) environments(1) Arithmetic(1) Aistear(123) Xbox(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Breathing(2) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Book Review(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Iraq(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Maths Week(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) dogs(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Exploring(1) Party(1) journey(1) Support(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Learning Story Awards(2) PIP(1) Running(1) Creative(1) Equality(1) Santa(2) primary education(1) Covid pandemic(1) Budget 2018(1) Sustainable(1) Creativity(5) Sequins(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Sessional service(1) Home Corner(1) Ceremony(1) Wesco(1) Training(2) dublin(2) Kilkenny(1) Touch(1) DCYA(6) Loss(1) GDPR(1) Socioemotional development(1) iOS(1) ICBN(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) CCTV(1) Siolta blog(8) bloom app(1) Autism(4) early life(1) E.coli(1) Limerick(1) Pobal(1) Loving Relationships(1) value(1) Map(1) Supernanny(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Participation(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Wilenski(1) Workplace well-being(1) Gardening(1) Nonverbal(1) risky play(2) Communications(1) Sculptures(1) EECERA 2016(1) Mount Everest(1) show and tell(1) School Age Childcare(1) listening(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Employee(1) curriculum(5) Quality(4) Smiles(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Visitors(1) Cognitive development(1) Síolta QAP(1) Flowers(1) Consent(1) Interaction(1) Obesity(1) Engineers Week(2) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Investment(2) Albert Einstein(1) Music(3) Laughter(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Builders(1) eating(1) Mindfulness(2) Capable(1) Policy(2) Competent(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Arts(1) play pod(1) Body Language(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) child-centred approach(1) science week(2) family time(1) SPICE Framework(1) Hand Hygiene(2) Health(2) conference(1) Buddies(1) keep in touch(1) Exit interview(1) science(3) Maternity Leave(1) books(4) Irish(1) social science(1) Laugh(1) refugees(1) Mixed age groups(3) Orla Kenny(1) play therapy(1) STEM(3) Snack Time(1) play pods(2) Games(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Confident(1) Fantasy play(1) creche(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Budget 2020(1) Covid response(1) Halloween(2) COVID-19(10) Primary School(2) Reflective Practice(1) staying connected(1) Recycle(1) preschool settings(1) Syria(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Small World Play(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Pedagogy(2) Reading Time(1) gender bias(1) Nutrition(1) Vertical grouping(1) grandchild(1) Our Little Seed(1) communication(4) Thanks(1) Dance(1) dining experiences(1) ECCE(7) Fee Play(1) risk(2) Educators(2) animals(2) Reggio(1) Study Trip(1) Book Club(2) Visual Impairment(1) Identity(5) First 5(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Mark Twain(1) Line-ups(1) outdoor environment(1) Appreciation(1) trust(4) Children(4) Inclusion(3) Biting(1) story time(2) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) apps for children(1) Síolta(126) AsIAm(2) CPD(1) Academic Skills(1) babies(7) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Early Years(1) reopening(1) Weather(1) Rich Documentation(1) Sweets(1) NCCA(3) EM Standing(1) Time Out(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) educarer(1) Spiders(1) june29(1) code of ethics(1) life long learning(1) Opportunities(1) Sociodramatic play(1) UD(1) Afghanistan(1) Anxiety(2) Social Skills(1) baby room(1) Valentine's Day(3) The Jelly King(1) National Awards 2019(1) ECEC Setting(2) Identity and Belonging(4) INTO(1) Names(1) Empathy(1) play(35) Emergent Curriculum(1) bonds(1) pablo(1) Routines(2) blog(42) Love(3) Norway(2) childcare services(1) emotions(2) planning(1) Snakes(1) Queues(1) Staff Motivation(1) Arlene Forster(1) Youtube Series(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Awards 2018(3) San Miniato(4) scéalta(46) Children and families(1) Frustrations(1) RTE Investigates(1) research submissions(1) outdoors(4) Oireachtas(1) parents(6) HR(1) maternity health(1) Upcycling(1) Learning through Storytelling(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Inspirational(2) Maynooth University(2) Self-regulation(1) Inspections(1) Exclusion(1) Brain(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Playdough(1) Plants(1) Workforce(1) Pre-School Services(1) MA(1) Adoption(1) Eritrea(1) child-centric(1) Japan(1) experience(1) early childhood educator(2) NAEYC(1) Budget 2019(2) Pen green(1) Self Help Skills(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Belonging(3) Ariana Pucci(1) Elders(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Trade union(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Kids Own(1) TOY Programme(1) Feeding(1) relationships(17) First 5 strategy(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) community(5) Fabric(1) Positivity(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Family(1) Prexit(1) stories(3) Masterclass(2) Lego(2) risk assessment(1) Community involvement(1) emotional well-being(1) SAC(1) reading(5) Wonder(1) Imagination(3) feisty(1) curiosity(3) education(2) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Funding(1) Storytelling(7) Italy(1) ReCreate(2) Painting(1) Window(1) Celebrations(4) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Child Care(1) preschool(4) Margy Whalley(1) Winter(1) Learning journals(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) peer group(1) Culture(2) Design(1) annual conference(1) Jenga(1) overhear(1) Magnavacchi(1) Yoga(1) Meet the Members(1) Scéalta Blog(99) Digital(1) Malaguzzi(1) Awards Night(1) Mathematicians(1) Decisions(1) AIM(2) Craft(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Sleep(1) Online(1) Irish guidelines(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) early years learning(1) World Health Organisation(1) friendships(1) Little Buddies(1) Maynooth(1) children’s learning(1) Learning Stories(9) Interests(1) Stress(2) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) dining(1) play stories(2) Exploring and Thinking(1) Twitter(1) Well-Being(10) transitions(10) respect(5) Performing(1) learning bias(1) United Nations(1) Early Childhood Ireland(4) Inspired Practice Award(5) Scents(1) Death(2) Trade Unions(1) Super Shed Stories(2) RIE philosphy(1) Digital Devices(1) Children's Rights(3) awards 2020(1) Challenges(1) Infectious diseases(1) worries(1) Maria Montessori(1) christmas(9) National Childcare Scheme(1) UNCRC(2) Maths(5) Mayo(1) Mantra(1) Intention(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Plastic(1) Trigonometry(1) documentation(4) Anthony Semann(1) memories(1) responsive relationships(1) routine(2) Snacks(1) Exploratory Play(1) Meal time(1) National Awards 2018(2) Learning Story(1) Family wall(1) Advocacy(1) Gratitude(1) Trick or treat(1) Degree(1) Independence(1) Time(1) Easter(1) Rituals(1) Self-Esteem(1) reopening ireland(1) Mo Scéal(1) education system(1) ECEC(3) Summer(1) children development(1) under 3's(3) Treasure Chest(1) ears(1) pets(1) Bereavement(2) listen(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Academics(1) budget(1) Mental Health(4) interacting(2) ELC(1) early childhood(1) Technology(3) Mealtimes(1) Document Learning(1) Child mental health(1) early years research(2) Leprechauns(1) Childcare(3) Awards 2019(1) Children's Voice(1) mental health problems(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Montessori(3) coronavirus(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Graduate(1) Mud kitchens(1) Impact(1) healthy eating policies(1) Decision Making(1) food(1) Kerry(1) Affordability(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Role play(1) Human Resources(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Engineering(3) Motor neuron disease(1) youdoodle(1) mushrooms(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Seas Suas(1) New Appointments(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Blocks(1) DES Inspection(1) Confidence(1) Shoes(1) Reggio Children Network(1) art of the relationship(1) Universal Design(2) phone apps(1) Facebook(1) Behaviour(3) Penguins(1) movement behaviours(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Seanchaí(1) role playing(1) structure(1) Leargas(1) emotional environment(2) IGL(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Wendy Lee(3) Treasure(1) Sustainability(3) Potential(1) Interactions(2) Care-giving routines(1) CIT(1) supportive environments(2) Art(6) MECPI(1) linc(1) aistear blog(3) continual professional development(1) Early Years Educators(3) gender stereotype(1) Settling in(4) Care routines(1) Favouritism(1) Administrative Burden(1) Environment(2)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine