Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog
folder

Documenting the Connections

By: CATHERINE QUINN

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:

Playdough(1) San Minia(1) Laughter(1) Time(1) Graduation(1) research(4) ears(1) Montessori(2) community(4) Book Club(2) Motor neuron disease(1) journey(1) Decision Making(1) Mathematicians(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Engineers Week(1) First 5 strategy(1) Impact(1) outdoors(3) Treasure Chest(1) Photographs(1) Grief(1) Recycling(1) listening(1) Flowers(1) Budget 2018(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) AIM(1) Identity(4) Mark Twain(1) Pen green(1) Thinking(1) Giraffe(1) EECERA 2016(1) Margy Whalley(1) Maria Montessori(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Kids Own(1) communication(4) Learning Stories(7) Self-regulation(1) Glitter(2) Scents(1) Games(1) education(2) Empathy(1) parents(5) documentation(2) Home Corner(1) Wesco(1) Care-giving routines(1) Lego(2) Meet the Members(1) respect(4) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Story(1) Cognitive development(1) transitions(8) relationships(11) Children's Research Network(1) Magic(1) Care routines(1) Biting(1) Childhood(1) Craft(1) Imagination(2) Kerry(1) Trade union(1) early childhood educator(1) Advocacy(1) Italy(1) Iraq(1) ERASMUS+(3) Upcycling(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Aistear(82) Magnavacchi(1) ECEC(1) feisty(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) SPICE Framework(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Plants(1) Loss(1) Kilkenny(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Awards(2) Early Years Educators(1) Degree(1) animals(2) Vietnam(1) Meal time(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Autism(2) Wonder(1) Leargas(1) Wilenski(1) Training(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) mushrooms(1) Snack Time(1) National Awards 2018(2) Snakes(1) educarer(1) Research Seminar(1) baby room(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Trick or treat(1) STEM(2) Nuturing interactions(1) Professionalisation(4) Fabric(1) Feeding(1) Ceremony(1) Family(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) books(4) Malaguzzi(1) College(1) Mount Everest(1) Fantasy play(1) babies(5) Inclusion(1) Sustainable(1) ICBN(1) outdoor play(5) Window(1) Twitter(1) risk assessment(1) PIP(1) Storytelling(1) outdoor space(3) Weather(1) Gardening(1) linc(1) Death(1) Consent(1) Creativity(4) Communicating(1) Party(1) Eritrea(1) Technology(2) grandchild(1) Awards 2018(3) risk(2) risky play(2) Map(1) Traditions(2) Sweets(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) trust(2) reading(4) Administrative Burden(1) Culture(2) CIT(1) UNCRC(1) eating(1) Titles(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Independence(1) EM Standing(1) social media(1) Policy(2) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Santa(2) Leprechauns(1) Norway(2) memories(1) AsIAm(1) refugees(1) Valentine's Day(2) Learning Story Awards(1) Playschool(1) Time Out(1) NCCA(1) Behaviour(3) Limerick(1) Jenga(1) Educators(1) experience(1) curiosity(3) Ariana Pucci(1) environments(1) science(3) Budget 2019(2) Competent(1) Orla Kenny(1) Role play(1) preschool(1) Bereavement(1) Quality(3) Environment(1) MECPI(1) Oireachtas(1) Children's Rights(1) Brain(1) Primary School(1) educating(1) Learning Stories Award(2) Aldo Fortunati(4) Self-Esteem(1) Running(1) Belonging(3) CPD(1) Names(1) GDPR(1) listen(1) meals(2) Love(1) San Miniato(3) St. Patrick's Day(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Visitors(1) Positivity(1) Academics(1) blog(25) Sculptures(1) Gratitude(1) Spiders(1) science week(2) First 5(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) University(1) Wrapping paper(1) scéalta(15) Investment(1) Blocks(1) Learning Story(1) Interests(1) early years research(1) Engineering(2) Qualifications(1) Well-Being(3) DCYA(3) Winter(1) Easter(1) National Holiday(1) ReCreate(2) Reggio(1) Facebook(1) INTO(1) christmas(8) Irish(1) Pobal(1) Online(1) Penguins(1) Maynooth(1) Queues(1) routine(2) Frustrations(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) MA(1) Growing up in Ireland(1) Mixed age groups(2) Sequins(1) Routines(1) Childcare(1) Affordability(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Exclusion(1) Drawing(2) Masterclass(2) Settling in(1) Seas Suas(1) Interactions(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Capable(1) Decisions(1) Through the looking glass(1) Potential(1) Painting(1) RIE philosphy(1) Health(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Arts(1) Our Little Seed(1) Trade Unions(1) pets(1) Confident(1) Síolta QAP(1) learning(14) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) dublin(2) Exit interview(1) Sustainability(2) play(26) NAEYC(1) Inspirational(2) Family wall(1) budget(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) planning(1) toddlers(3) Sport(1) Funding(1) Children(1) Performing(1) dogs(1) worries(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Mayo(1) Learning journals(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Maths(3) Identity and Belonging(2) Tuscan Approach(2) Certificate(1) friendships(1) Graduate(1) Prexit(1) curriculum(5) Educator of the Year Award(3) Supernanny(1) Touch(1) Xbox(1) Self Help Skills(1) The Jelly King(1) Exploring(1) Halloween(2) Treasure(1) dining experiences(1) overhear(1) Afghanistan(1) emotions(2) Event Guide(1) bonds(1) Music(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Line-ups(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) role playing(1) Inspired Practice Award(3) Maths Week(1) Scéalta Blog(60) Creative(1) ECCE(5) Deirdre Rogers(1) Vertical grouping(1) Síolta(77) dining(1) Traffic Lights(1) under 3's(3) Magda Gerber(1) Cork(1) Syria(1) Art(6) stories(2) Community involvement(1) Access and Inclusion Model(1) Socioemotional development(1) Adoption(1) Snacks(1) story time(1) Shoes(1) Celebrations(4) conversations(1) Recycle(1) Thank you(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Builders(1) Wendy Lee(2) play stories(1) development(5) interacting(2) Mud kitchens(1) Favouritism(1) Light table(1) Special Needs Assistants(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine