Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Stories from the Heart

By: MAXINE RYAN

Tuesday 17 October 2017

When I set out on my journey writing learning stories I felt very anxious. Would I know what to write? Would I know what to look for? Did I have the right words to explain the story? I soon discovered the more I did it, the more comfortable I became with the process. I realised you can’t get it wrong if you are writing from the heart and writing about what happens. Later, when I had the confidence to share the stories with parents and my colleagues, the stories took on a whole new meaning for me, as I suddenly realised I was making memories for children and parents, memories they would have for years to come.

 

Our story “Follow Your Dreams”, which won the Early Childhood Ireland Learning Story award in June of this year, will forever be a cherished memory for everyone in the Clare Family Resource Centre. What started out as two boys playing with blocks and a simple conversation about mountains, soon took our entire centre and our community on a journey together that would lead us all to the top of Mount Everest. John Burke from County Clare, summited Mount Everest to raise money for the youth of Clare. He felt they needed to be encouraged to reach their full potential and to know that dreams do come true. Having him come to visit our centre with his story of Everest gave us all the amazing opportunity to reach children in the early years with that same message, because let’s face it, the early years are the most vulnerable and impressionable years of a child’s learning journey.

 

Wendy Lee, speaking at the Early Childhood Ireland Conference in September, asked us to imagine a child, opening their book/ learning journal in 20 or 30 years’ time wondering:

Who was I when I was 4 years old?
What were my interests?
What was in my soul?

 

Imagine that child then reading a letter or a story written to them from you, and getting the answers to those very questions…. now that is powerful! Since meeting Wendy, I have taken on some of her wise advice and I recently got this reply from a parent of a non-verbal child after they had a taken home their child’s book “Thank you Maxine, it’s just brilliant to be able to picture my son’s day. It gives me a great link until he can actually tell me himself”.

Remember a learning story can come from something as simple as a gust of wind, you just need to be open to see it and explore through a child’s eyes.

 

Bio:
Maxine Ryan has worked with Clare Family Resource Centre for about 15 years. She has worked with children of all ages and qualified as a Montessori teacher a few years back and has been doing that ever since. She is also an accredited Incredible Years mentor and delivers the Programme and mentoring trained staff in a few different settings within Clare. She also recently passed the LINC Programme and has just started a new role as inclusion officer in CFRC and is really enjoying it. Maxine recently spoke about her Learning Story journey at the Early Childhood Ireland Celebrating Children’s Stories conference in September.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

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

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine