Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog
folder

Documenting the Connections

By: CATHERINE MC HUGH

Tuesday 29 August 2017

On Saturday, 9th of September, Early Childhood Ireland has the pleasure of welcoming one of the most influential people in the field of early years’ practice and I for one cannot wait to meet the inspirational Wendy Lee.

My relationship with documentation has changed dramatically in recent years and I know that the words of Wendy Lee have impacted substantially on the view I now have today. I have always had a passion for working in the early years, building relationships with children, hearing what they say, how they say it and watching as their play becomes extremely complex within just a few minutes. I often gazed with complete astonishment as the day to day tasks unfolded before my eyes. I saw the value of everything that happened but felt that time was too precious to be taken away from the here and now to give up to documentation. Then it dawned on me. Why am I keeping all of this to myself? Why do I not capture as much as I can to share with the child’s family, with the community and of course with the child him/herself. Documentation goes beyond the paper it’s written on – it has the ability to be a powerful communication tool that brings the family together, builds the child’s confidence in their identity and also makes the child visible in the community where they live and belong. Wendy Lee’s powerful words come to mind;

Hear how communities of practice are being nourished with ideas and reflections that build a commitment to each other and bring into view the power of listening deeply; being present; and creating opportunities to connect, communicate, and contribute.”

 

The best means for connecting, communicating, and contributing while working with children is by using documentation. Not purely with assessment forms or set out templates to fill in of observations but in finding the most natural and effective way of gathering ‘with the children’, as the day unfolds, what works for you. Each photograph you take has immense value and is a compelling piece of documentation. As is every anecdote, conversation or play story that you are fortunate enough to have captured. Having many types of observations can help lead to that ‘rich profile’ of a child that demonstrates that you care about knowing that child and you want to know that child. The system that worked for me was focused around gathering a ‘bank of words’ that I then used as much as I could for learnings stories, planning and documentation in general. I speak some more about this in the blog capturing the wonder of childhood which you can read here:  https://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/blog/capturing-wonder-childhood/

 

Learning stories are one of the most precious things that can be done that contributes to the rich profile that you are trying to piece together. The child may show an interest in something and when an educator not only recognises the interest but builds on it while all the time tuned in to how the child acts, what they say and where the story goes the educator is truly demonstrating that they believe in the childhoods unfolding before their eyes.

I am very fortunate to be part of the team in Early Childhood Ireland who receives and reviews the precious stories of our sector. We are time and time again blown away by the time, space and respect that is shown to the children in each of the learning stories we receive. On the 9th of September, we will be listening to Wendy Lee in admiration, but more importantly, we will be listening to her knowing that we have come across some of the most amazing and inspiring practice in the world through our learning stories in Early Childhood Ireland. Bookings can be made online.

“I think people enter early childhood to make a difference, and we can everyday make that difference, by being there in that moment for children” Wendy Lee, The Gathering, 2013.

Take a look at some of Early Childhood Ireland’s winning Learning Stories: https://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/work/quality-practice/awards/learning-stories/

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

European Project(1) social science(1) Vertical grouping(1) Sustainability(3) Engineers Week(2) Home Corner(1) Consent(1) Patterns(1) Death(2) Mo Scéal(1) Bereavement(2) ReCreate(2) Affordability(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) dogs(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Mantra(1) Running(1) Síolta(108) Celebrate(1) Treasure(1) Craft(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) meals(3) Trade Unions(1) outdoor play(6) eating(1) Trade union(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Pobal(1) Workforce(1) Employee(1) aistear blog(2) grandchild(1) Body Language(1) Glitter(2) code of professional responsibility(1) Ceremony(1) books(4) Mealtimes(1) Leargas(1) Stress(2) InspireMe.ie(1) listen(1) Storytelling(4) Sweets(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Mixed age groups(2) mushrooms(1) Policy(2) Infectious diseases(1) Touch(1) Leprechauns(1) Universal Design(2) supportive environments(2) code of ethics(1) Wilenski(1) Limerick(1) Exclusion(1) Arlene Forster(1) under 3's(3) Smiles(1) Love(2) life long learning(1) budget(1) Family wall(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Time(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Santa(2) Maths(5) Special Needs Assistants(1) transitions(10) linc(1) Brain(1) Favouritism(1) Childhood(1) Grief(1) Study Trip(1) Eritrea(1) Book Review(1) Sport(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Engineering(3) Communicating(1) Awards 2019(1) National Awards 2019(1) babies(7) Loss(1) Visitors(1) play stories(1) communication(4) Magic(1) play(32) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Mount Everest(1) Imagination(3) Treasure Chest(1) Snakes(1) Support(1) Design(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) blog(28) Frosty the Snowman(1) Arts(1) HR(1) Snack Time(1) emotional environment(1) Culture(2) Anxiety(2) St. Patrick's Day(1) Professionalisation(4) child-centred approach(1) Exploring(1) Event Guide(1) Montessori(3) gender bias(1) Little Buddies(1) Self Help Skills(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Aistear(115) journey(1) Maths Week(1) MA(1) Health(2) Early Years(1) Quality(4) Window(1) Appreciation(1) Participation(2) Children's Research Network(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Belonging(3) STEM(3) The Lullaby Book(1) research submissions(1) Socioemotional development(1) National Awards 2018(2) United Nations(1) Budget 2020(1) Supernanny(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Nonverbal(1) MECPI(1) ICBN(1) Magnavacchi(1) Reggio(1) Shoes(1) Weather(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Capable(1) Playschool(1) Exit interview(1) Trigonometry(1) Empathy(1) science(3) emotions(2) Wesco(1) Investment(2) outdoor space(3) Interests(1) Autism(3) pets(1) Feeding(1) dining experiences(1) Technology(3) trust(3) RIE philosphy(1) Diversity(1) Mindfulness(2) Syria(1) Flowers(1) reading(5) Early Learning and Care(1) risk assessment(1) Positivity(1) TRAP(1) educating(1) Mud kitchens(1) Graduate(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Jenga(1) Wrapping paper(1) Prexit(1) Snacks(1) Children(3) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) memories(1) Elders(1) preschool settings(1) Academic Skills(1) AIM(2) Blocks(1) Independence(1) Budget 2019(2) UN(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Siolta blog(5) Plants(1) science week(2) Our Little Seed(1) Wonder(1) First 5 strategy(1) Masterclass(2) Mayo(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Early Years Educators(3) Children's Rights(3) Tuscan Approach(2) Sequins(1) early childhood educator(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Photographs(1) Infection Control(1) Identity(5) Mark Twain(1) Names(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) learning(19) Afghanistan(1) Upcycling(1) Sculptures(1) E.coli(1) Sessional service(1) CIT(1) Reggio Emilia(1) TOY Programme(1) First 5(1) community(5) Budget 2018(1) EECERA 2016(1) Degree(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Orla Kenny(1) Awards Night(1) Workplace well-being(1) Playdough(1) Routines(1) dublin(2) Engagement(1) Academics(1) risk(2) Performing(1) Exercise(1) Childcare(2) Italy(1) social media(1) Laugh(1) Scéalta Blog(93) Decision Making(1) Summer(1) Frustrations(1) DCYA(4) Irish(1) Educators(2) learning bias(1) Builders(1) collaboration(1) Meal time(1) Traffic Lights(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Laughter(1) educarer(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Mental Health(3) Learning journals(1) Self-regulation(1) Iraq(1) experience(1) Celebrations(4) planning(1) Dance(1) Light table(1) Penguins(1) maternity health(1) The Jelly King(1) Oireachtas(1) behavioural science(1) SPICE Framework(1) Potential(1) Drawing(2) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Inspections(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Rituals(1) Human Resources(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) dining(1) ECCE(7) Inter-generational learning(2) Child mental health(1) Maternity Leave(1) Advocacy(1) Obesity(1) Síolta QAP(1) Maynooth University(1) Workplace Relations(3) baby room(1) feisty(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Buddies(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Document Learning(1) Decisions(1) CCTV(1) Fantasy play(1) Halloween(2) Games(1) Kids Own(1) Titles(1) Learning Journal(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Hand Hygiene(1) Valentine's Day(3) awards 2020(1) Care routines(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Performance Management(1) EM Standing(1) Creativity(4) environments(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) NAEYC(1) interacting(2) Yoga(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Community involvement(1) Biting(1) Book Club(2) Winter(1) Awards 2018(3) Fabric(1) Pen green(1) UD(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Time Out(1) Thanks(1) Easter(1) listening(1) development(8) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Digital(1) Online(1) Environment(2) scéalta(30) Children and families(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) early years research(2) Nuturing interactions(1) Cognitive development(1) IGL(1) story time(2) Horizon 2020(1) Facebook(1) Research Seminar(1) Awards(2) Learning Story(1) Children's Voice(1) Reflective Practice(1) Inclusion(3) Liz Kerrins(1) Impact(1) Digital Devices(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Iceland(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Funding(1) Traditions(2) Story(1) New Appointments(1) Intention(1) School Age Childcare(1) Identity and Belonging(4) early years learning(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) curriculum(5) Thank you(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Malaguzzi(1) Wendy Lee(3) Interaction(1) Mathematicians(1) Vietnam(1) animals(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Arithmetic(1) Communications(1) Magda Gerber(1) Inspirational(2) ears(1) bonds(1) CPD(1) Well-Being(9) Ariana Pucci(1) NCCA(3) stories(2) Painting(1) Xbox(1) Care-giving routines(1) food(1) Role play(1) Confident(1) Building Resilience(1) Behaviour(3) Party(1) Leadership(1) Recycling(2) San Miniato(4) routine(2) Qualifications(1) Competent(1) Albert Einstein(1) conversations(1) value(1) Meet the Members(1) Interactions(2) Map(1) Cork(1) DES Inspection(1) overhear(1) Whole Group(1) Through the looking glass(1) Adoption(1) risky play(2) RTE Investigates(1) Fee Play(1) Kilkenny(1) role playing(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) relationships(17) Challenges(1) Plastic(1) Gratitude(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Norway(2) friendships(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Graduation(1) respect(5) Change(1) education(2) curiosity(3) Thinking(1) Learning Stories(9) Primary School(2) Teamwork(1) Art(6) Spiders(1) Confidence(1) refugees(1) Rich Documentation(1) christmas(9) Sleep(1) Settling in(4) Dr. Emer Ring(1) worries(1) Creative(1) documentation(3) Research Conference 2019(1) preschool(3) Self-Esteem(1) purpose(1) Scents(1) Maria Montessori(1) research(6) Pobal sector profile(1) parents(6) Line-ups(1) UNCRC(1) Relaxation(1) Nutrition(1) Recycle(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Lego(2) outdoors(3) man up(1) Breathing(2) Trick or treat(1) ECEC(2) toddlers(3) Visual Impairment(1) Reggio Children Network(1) National Holiday(1) Gardening(1) AsIAm(1) Japan(1) Learning Story Awards(2) ERASMUS+(3) PIP(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Certificate(1) College(1) Sustainable(1) University(1) Twitter(1) GDPR(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Training(2) Social Skills(1) INTO(1) Queues(1) Maynooth(1) Shapes(1) Staff Motivation(1) Administrative Burden(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Inter-generational(2) Buddy Bench(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Seas Suas(1) gender stereotype(1) Music(3) Family(1) ECEC Setting(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Giraffe(2) Margy Whalley(1) Kerry(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine