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:

Quality(3) Shapes(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) development(6) memories(1) ECCE(6) christmas(8) Bereavement(1) Well-Being(6) Masterclass(2) pets(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Iraq(1) PIP(1) Wrapping paper(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Mount Everest(1) Child mental health(1) Performing(1) Capable(1) Employee(1) Brain(1) DCYA(4) dublin(2) Annual Conference 2017(2) AIM(2) Síolta(94) St. Patrick's Day(1) Playschool(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Inclusion(2) Gardening(1) Santa(2) Syria(1) Breathing(2) University(1) Painting(1) Primary School(2) Workforce(1) Mo Scéal(1) Time Out(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) experience(1) Universal Design(1) feisty(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Margy Whalley(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Family(1) Exclusion(1) Upcycling(1) Wonder(1) learning(14) Grief(1) Academics(1) Blocks(1) Confident(1) Playdough(1) listen(1) Self-Esteem(1) Vertical grouping(1) Challenges(1) reading(4) parents(5) ICBN(1) Maths(4) Magnavacchi(1) Care-giving routines(1) Recycle(1) MECPI(1) NAEYC(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Awards 2018(3) animals(2) Malaguzzi(1) Winter(1) Consent(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) science week(2) Aistear(99) Feeding(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Montessori(2) United Nations(1) RIE philosphy(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Behaviour(3) Childcare(2) Professionalisation(4) Children's Rights(1) Design(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) overhear(1) Meal time(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Art(6) Exploring(1) story time(1) Stress(2) Treasure Chest(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Arlene Forster(1) Reggio Emilia(1) maternity health(1) Interests(1) Administrative Burden(1) role playing(1) Funding(1) Gratitude(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Self-regulation(1) Training(2) Socioemotional development(1) Degree(1) Sustainable(1) dogs(1) Line-ups(1) Advocacy(1) TOY Programme(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Patterns(1) Story(1) Workplace well-being(1) Nutrition(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) food(1) Mealtimes(1) Early Years(1) Laugh(1) dining(1) Graduate(1) Dance(1) Investment(1) Builders(1) Inspirational(2) College(1) relationships(11) Buddies(1) curriculum(5) Penguins(1) Exercise(1) First 5(1) Community involvement(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) grandchild(1) Care routines(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Seas Suas(1) Snacks(1) educarer(1) dining experiences(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) research(5) babies(5) Celebrations(4) Maternity Leave(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Spiders(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) First 5 strategy(1) Scents(1) books(4) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) outdoor space(3) Ariana Pucci(1) Relaxation(1) Music(2) UNCRC(1) ReCreate(2) bonds(1) science(3) Afghanistan(1) Nuturing interactions(1) IGL(1) refugees(1) Through the looking glass(1) Book Club(2) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) play stories(1) Graduation(1) Decisions(1) Titles(1) emotions(2) Qualifications(1) Orla Kenny(1) ears(1) Mixed age groups(2) respect(4) communication(4) Self Help Skills(1) Awards(2) NCCA(2) Learning journals(1) Plastic(1) Yoga(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Mud kitchens(1) Love(2) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) GDPR(1) Family wall(1) Mindfulness(2) EECERA 2016(1) Awards 2019(1) Mark Twain(1) Glitter(2) National Awards 2018(2) Engineering Ireland(1) risky play(2) Impact(1) Valentine's Day(3) Wesco(1) San Miniato(4) outdoors(3) Interactions(1) eating(1) Smiles(1) Anxiety(2) journey(1) Kerry(1) Christmas Creativity(2) curiosity(3) meals(3) Norway(2) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Workplace Relations(3) Certificate(1) San Minia(1) STEM(2) Recycling(2) early childhood educator(1) routine(2) Trigonometry(1) CIT(1) INTO(1) Health(1) educating(1) Running(1) Communications(1) risk assessment(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) scéalta(24) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Learning Story Awards(1) environments(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Síolta QAP(1) interacting(2) EM Standing(1) Leprechauns(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Visitors(1) Plants(1) Loss(1) transitions(9) Technology(2) Eritrea(1) Thanks(1) trust(2) Lego(2) Map(1) Identity(4) ECEC(1) Little Buddies(1) Names(1) Magda Gerber(1) ERASMUS+(3) Belonging(3) Kilkenny(1) Facebook(1) Potential(1) Culture(2) Independence(1) Obesity(1) social media(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Inter-generational learning(1) Weather(1) National Awards 2019(1) Appreciation(1) Change(1) stories(2) Biting(1) Settling in(1) UN(1) Traffic Lights(1) Japan(1) Maths Week(1) risk(2) Games(1) outdoor play(6) Trade Unions(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Event Guide(1) Treasure(1) Death(1) Teamwork(1) Scéalta Blog(74) Frustrations(1) Light table(1) Snack Time(1) Giraffe(2) Storytelling(2) mushrooms(1) Halloween(2) supportive environments(1) Easter(1) Learning Stories(7) Inspired Practice Award(5) Irish(1) SPICE Framework(1) Meet the Members(1) Budget 2018(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) The Jelly King(1) Trick or treat(1) Identity and Belonging(3) Magic(1) Childhood(1) blog(28) play(28) Pen green(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Favouritism(1) Oireachtas(1) Cork(1) Our Little Seed(1) Trade union(1) Engineering(2) linc(1) Vietnam(1) Fabric(1) education(2) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Drawing(2) Adoption(1) Sweets(1) Diversity(1) Research Seminar(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) worries(1) under 3's(3) Creative(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) listening(1) Celebrate(1) Autism(3) Policy(2) Educators(1) Supernanny(1) Sequins(1) Twitter(1) Maria Montessori(1) conversations(1) toddlers(3) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) MA(1) Prexit(1) AsIAm(1) Mental Health(3) Snakes(1) Maynooth(1) Limerick(1) Performance Management(1) Children's Research Network(1) planning(1) Buddy Bench(1) Arts(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Communicating(1) Mantra(1) Ceremony(1) Queues(1) Traditions(2) Cognitive development(1) Decision Making(1) Sustainability(3) Learning Story(1) emotional environment(1) Empathy(1) Imagination(3) Fantasy play(1) Wilenski(1) Online(1) Creativity(4) documentation(2) Arithmetic(1) Thinking(1) Pobal(1) Positivity(1) friendships(1) Mathematicians(1) Home Corner(1) budget(1) Thank you(1) Time(1) Maynooth University(1) Jenga(1) baby room(1) Sculptures(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) National Holiday(1) Routines(1) Window(1) Rituals(1) Italy(1) Early Years Educators(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Leargas(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Xbox(1) Laughter(1) Reggio(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Craft(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Children(1) preschool(2) Inter-generational(1) Competent(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Flowers(1) UD(1) Party(1) Shoes(1) Sport(1) Wendy Lee(2) Exit interview(1) Environment(1) early years research(1) Touch(1) Budget 2019(2) Role play(1) Photographs(1) CPD(1) Affordability(1) Siolta blog(2) Albert Einstein(1) community(4) Mayo(1) Kids Own(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Engineers Week(2)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine