Why I am passionate about working in the early learning sector
Warning: This blog post has been unedited and has been typed straight from my heart.
I have been learning a lot about myself and business since creating Play Move Improve. I have had to learn that unfortunately I can't fix everything. As much as I want to, I can't change the curriculum that frustrates educators and teachers. I can't change the way that some parents parent. I can't change the way that NAPLAN encourages more priority with academics over connection and play.
What I can change is:
- how I connect with the children that need additional support in the classroom
- how I empower and communicate with overwhelmed educators and teachers
- how I organise my business - paperwork, processes, marketing
When I was younger I used to get frustrated by the things that were happening around me that I couldn't control. I left so many jobs because I couldn't handle the staff room toxicity, or the leadership hierarchy.
But what I have had to learn is that if I am to give up, or become negative because of education politics, then who misses out the most? The children.
So while listening to a business podcast today, I was asked to reflect on why I do what I do. I was asked to list the things about my role that make me frustrated. I was also asked to list the things about my role that light me up and make me happy. So here we go.
What I find frustrating about the early learning and education sector:
- We argue about play versus academics, when we should be promoting connection over play and academics.
- We have some educators and teachers working in the field who are not a good fit for the role. In this field we need to work for the love of inspiring children. Not because this role gives us great school hours, or a school holiday break.
- Children are misunderstood by their behaviour. Please take the time to get to know what motivates and inspires the child. Rather than shining a spotlight just on their behaviours.
Please note that I have been guilty of getting involved in the negativity of these factors below too.
What inspires me and lights me up:
- The smallest achievements in a child's day can make the biggest difference to their learning. I nearly cried one day when a child gave me a visual card that said hello. This was a skill that we worked over a month on. This is why I do what I do.
- Seeing a child's motor skills improve to the point that they can now play ball with their friends in the playground.
- Inspiring a parent in a meeting to see their child for who they are, not their learning difficulty or diagnosis.
- Empowering a teacher or educator to trust their instincts and value their strengths.
In summary, we are all in this early learning space for a reason. That reason is usually because we love to inspire and educate children.
So let's all empower each other to connect with the children that we care for every day through a smile, high five, favourite story, or drawing.
Even if the curriculum is pressuring us for academics, we can still squeeze in time to play literacy and math games, and connect as much as possible.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please share your comments below.