Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Thank you for the stories Rachel

By: DR. CARMEL BRENNAN

Monday 19 June 2017

Rachel was Donal’s key educator when he first joined the baby room.  She was a big help when Donal was settling in.  He found it hard to separate and to find his sense of security with new people, new routines and new environments.  There’s a lot of change involved, particularly if you’re a baby who is very alert to new faces and voices.  In crèche, you not only have to deal with a changing group of babies in a room but also with the presence of several carers throughout the day and the coming and going of many parents.  It’s hard when you don’t know quite what’s going on or what to expect. That’s why a key person is so important – someone who is on the lookout for you all the time and anticipates your needs and concerns. 

Luckily for Donal, the crèche encouraged his parents to allow a month for the settling in process so that Donal could gradually extend his time in the crèche and slowly get used to the change.  Luckily for Donal and his parents too that Rachel was his key person.  She had the wonderful skill of communicating each day what he had managed and what he found difficult.  She was both reassuring and honest, very sympathetic to his difficulties but also celebratory of his achievements. I want her to know how important her stories were.  I remember them all because they were shared at home word for word– little stories like ‘today they were playing with the ball basket.  They scatter the balls and the babies crawl after them and bring them back and throw them in the basket.  Rachel says that Donal got the idea really quickly and loved it.  She thinks he’s really clever’ – Another one goes ‘Today Rachel was rocking one of the babies and saying shhhshh to soothe her and suddenly she heard Donal repeating the sound…She’s really noticed how he likes and imitates sounds’.  And again: ‘Rachel says that one of the phrases she uses whenever anything surprising happens e.g. the telephone rings or something falls, is ‘Whasdah?’   She’s convinced she can now hear Donal saying it and now that she has alerted us, we can hear it too. ‘Whasdah’ he says. These are stories Donal’s parents share with their family and friends, stories that build Donal’s identity as someone who is now managing the transition to crèche and building a relationship with Rachel.  Rachel calls him her ‘golden boy’. His Dad thinks she probably says that to all the parents, but still he does think she has a special bond with Donal… she really likes him, he says and Donal really likes her.  I personally hope she does say it to all the parents and I hope they all get that lovely sense from her that their child is special.

I’m reminded of the power of telling everyday anecdotes and stories – the small little incidents that happen throughout the day.  They give parents an insight into the everyday and at the same time into their children’s growing relationships and abilities. Vivien Gussin Paley says that she always had a few stories to tell when she met parents because when she told the stories the parents knew that she liked their child and they in return liked her and even loved their children more.  And now I personally know that it’s true.  This is how we create a circle of people who like and trust each other around children.  Thank you to all the baby room educators who share their stories and give so much care and attention to babies and families every day.  We want you to know how important you are in the lives of families and how we value your caring attention, not just to our children, but to us all.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) United Nations(1) Easter(1) routine(2) Oireachtas(1) early childhood educator(2) Elders(1) COVID-19(13) Loving Relationships(2) parents(6) Grief(1) Prexit(1) play pod(1) National Holiday(1) phone apps(1) Sculptures(1) Visual Impairment(1) Reggio(1) Cognitive development(1) listening(1) TRAP(1) Trigonometry(1) Early Years Educators(3) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Trade union(1) respect(5) Trade Unions(1) Degree(1) Magda Gerber(1) refugees(1) learners(1) awards 2020(1) Exploratory Play(1) Well-Being(10) Maynooth University(2) Window(1) conversations(1) Culture(2) Learning journals(1) Educators(2) International Narratives(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Building Resilience(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) European Project(1) SAC(1) Communicating(1) Online Research Symposium(1) Technology(3) Pen green(1) Visitors(1) Investment(2) MA(1) animals(2) GDPR(1) Confidence(1) Thank you(1) aistear blog(3) New Appointments(1) Seanchaí(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Graduation(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) play pods(2) Sequins(1) outdoor environment(1) GoToMeeting app(1) learning hub(1) early life(1) Map(1) Exit interview(1) Certificate(1) National Pyjama Day(1) grandchild(1) Aistear(128) children development(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) ELC(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) mental health problems(1) First 5(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Party(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Capable(1) Margy Whalley(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Infection Control(1) Little Buddies(1) Limerick(1) UD(1) Sustainability(3) developing motor skills(1) Leadership(1) peer group(1) collaboration(1) Human Resources(1) Playschool(1) Mo Scéal(1) play stories(2) Traffic Lights(1) books(4) Pre-School Services(1) Childhood(1) The Jelly King(1) Winter(1) Blocks(1) Jenga(1) Snakes(1) Belonging(3) Siolta blog(8) online training(1) under 3's(3) Early Learning and Care(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Covid response(2) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Primary School(2) Twitter(1) Sport(1) gender stereotype(1) Quality(4) Stress(2) overhear(1) early years learning(1) Academics(1) coronavirus(1) First 5 strategy(1) Vertical grouping(1) Appreciation(1) Japan(1) Youtube Series(1) Line-ups(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Fantasy play(1) Giraffe(2) Magnavacchi(1) Interaction(1) Irish(1) Titles(1) Yoga(1) EECERA(1) Irish guidelines(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) relationships(18) Pobal(1) Childcare(3) Treasure(1) Story(2) Time Out(1) Sociodramatic play(1) RTE Investigates(1) science week(2) Recycling(2) Scéalta Book Review(1) Imagination(3) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Consent(1) lockdown(1) outdoor play(6) risk assessment(1) Rituals(1) Rich Documentation(1) Teamwork(1) Vietnam(1) movement behaviours(1) Mud kitchens(1) education(2) primary education(1) bonds(1) Interests(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) National Research Conference 2019(1) Interactions(3) Change(1) preschool settings(1) Treasure Chest(1) CPD(1) iOS(1) Awards Night(1) Self-Esteem(1) Home Corner(1) AsIAm(2) Diversity(1) Albert Einstein(1) play(35) conference(1) trust(4) Infectious diseases(1) Confident(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Valentine's Day(3) Ariana Pucci(1) ECEC Setting(2) E.coli(1) ERASMUS+(3) Playdough(1) Gratitude(1) Mindfulness(3) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) keep in touch(1) Budget 2020(1) food(1) Maynooth(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) social science(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) reading(5) transitions(10) Thanks(1) blog(47) value(1) Leprechauns(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Traditions(2) Inter-generational learning(2) Smiles(1) Norway(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) Running(1) Facebook(1) CIT(1) Craft(1) Event Guide(1) Inspections(1) preschool(4) june29(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Maria Montessori(1) development(8) Children and families(1) Favouritism(1) Engineering(3) Scéalta Blog(103) Afghanistan(1) University(1) Santa(2) Study Trip(1) Self-regulation(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Touch(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Xbox(1) Document Learning(1) Maths(6) Plants(1) PIP(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Maternity Leave(1) reopening ireland(1) reopening(1) Role play(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Creativity(5) Dance(1) ECEC(3) interacting(2) community(5) Wendy Lee(3) Early Years(1) imotion(1) democratic citizens(1) Through the looking glass(1) outdoor space(3) Mantra(1) Kids Own(1) Competent(1) Loss(1) Motor neuron disease(1) child-centric(1) Scents(1) Fabric(1) Meet the Members(1) Buddy Bench(1) Exploring(1) Queues(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) democracy(1) Builders(1) Mayo(1) Death(2) RIE philosphy(1) Italy(1) Social Skills(1) Identity(5) risk(2) Eritrea(1) Brain(1) Decision Making(1) Family wall(1) mushrooms(1) Early Childhood Ireland(6) Christmas Creativity(2) emotional well-being(1) INTO(1) Supernanny(1) pablo(1) UN(1) stories(3) Learning Journal(2) Trick or treat(1) Children's Voice(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Policy(2) Meal time(1) journey(1) science(3) DCYA(6) Patterns(1) Arlene Forster(1) christmas(9) Health(2) Buddies(1) Wonder(1) Exercise(1) Relaxation(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Iceland(1) Shapes(2) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Book Club(2) research submissions(1) Workforce(1) linc(1) Workplace Relations(3) early childhood(1) Affordability(1) racism(1) Weather(1) Mixed age groups(3) Mental Health(4) Communications(1) family time(1) Celebrate(1) bloom app(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Children(4) Love(3) Proceedings Journal(1) Inspiring Practice(1) responsive relationships(1) Masterclass(2) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Penguins(1) behavioural science(1) Exclusion(1) Reflective Practice(1) Inclusion(3) Montessori(3) listen(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Awards 2018(3) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Photographs(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Pretend Play(1) Self Help Skills(1) National Awards 2019(1) Care-giving routines(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Reggio Children Network(1) toddlers(3) Potential(1) meals(3) DES Inspection(1) experience(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) risky play(2) education system(1) Performance Management(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Maths Week(1) Frustrations(1) College(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) feisty(1) Online(1) emotional environment(2) Empathy(1) outdoors(4) communication(4) Valerie Gaynor(1) social media(1) Sweets(1) Ceremony(1) NAEYC(1) Socioemotional development(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Administrative Burden(1) Mathematicians(1) inspiring interactions(1) Funding(1) Reading Time(1) Engineers Week(2) code of professional responsibility(1) babies(7) Storytelling(7) National Awards 2018(2) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Hand Hygiene(2) School Age Childcare(1) Inspirational(2) Large Doll Play(1) San Miniato(4) baby room(1) childcare services(1) Support(1) TOY Programme(1) Magic(1) art of the relationship(1) Research Seminar(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Nonverbal(1) ICBN(1) purpose(1) Gardening(1) Nutrition(1) Mealtimes(1) Academic Skills(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Shoes(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Cork(1) story time(2) child-centred approach(1) Leargas(1) maternity health(1) Wilenski(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Time(1) educarer(1) Glitter(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Book Review(1) Return to Work Training(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Department of Education and Skills(1) Staff Motivation(1) annual conference(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) structure(1) Mount Everest(1) Anxiety(2) Universal Design(2) creche(1) Counting(1) Halloween(2) Your place(1) Leaders in Practice(1) keezy(1) Care routines(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Qualifications(1) early years research(2) Learning Story Awards(2) Children's Rights(3) Research Conference 2019(1) Engagement(1) Síolta(131) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Drawing(2) HR(1) Laughter(1) Participation(2) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Awards(2) NCCA(3) Awards 2019(1) Intention(1) Arithmetic(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Flowers(1) learning bias(1) Whole Group(1) Mark Twain(1) research(6) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Laugh(1) Snacks(1) emotions(2) Routines(2) EM Standing(1) Impact(1) Opportunities(1) Anthony Semann(1) show and tell(1) Plastic(1) curiosity(3) IGL(1) MECPI(1) Workplace well-being(1) Independence(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Performing(1) Body Language(1) youdoodle(1) Síolta QAP(1) Recycle(1) Obesity(1) Digital Devices(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Reggio Emilia(2) Growing up in Ireland(3) budget(1) Seas Suas(1) Covid pandemic(2) Family(1) Creative(1) AIM(2) Kerry(1) Sustainable(1) Employee(1) CCTV(1) gender bias(1) Learning through Storytelling(1) Music(3) Learning Story(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Behaviour(3) Upcycling(1) Painting(1) Child Care(1) Training(2) supportive environments(2) ears(1) Challenges(1) Kilkenny(1) Bereavement(2) Orla Kenny(1) Iraq(1) Arts(1) ECCE(7) Early Years Education(1) Names(1) Budget 2018(1) Advocacy(1) Positivity(1) Art(6) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) learning(19) dining experiences(1) children’s learning(1) Wrapping paper(1) eating(1) Summer(1) worries(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Horizon 2020(1) Child mental health(1) Feeding(1) SPICE Framework(1) Celebrations(4) Wesco(1) ReCreate(2) staying connected(1) UNCRC(2) Learning Stories(9) Design(1) role playing(1) Games(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Pedagogy(2) Sessional service(1) Malaguzzi(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Our Little Seed(1) Autism(4) Professionalisation(5) World Health Organisation(1) documentation(4) Thinking(1) dublin(2) Syria(1) Light table(1) Fee Play(1) healthy eating policies(1) STEM(3) Budget 2019(2) Graduate(1) environments(1) scéalta(50) curriculum(5) Digital(1) educating(1) dogs(1) Engineering Ireland(1) EECERA 2016(1) Settling in(4) code of ethics(1) Sleep(1) play therapy(1) Breathing(2) man up(1) Equality(1) Environment(2) life long learning(1) planning(1) Spiders(1) Small World Play(1) friendships(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Community involvement(1) memories(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) UNICEF report(1) Lego(2) Children's Research Network(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) Snack Time(1) Adoption(1) Biting(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) continual professional development(1) pets(1) dining(1) Decisions(1) apps for children(1) Inter-generational(2)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine