Blog

Deciding What Matters

Do you have a shared set of core beliefs and values that helps you to steer the ship? Or are you a motley crew of people with their own agendas or are you rowing together with the same destination in mind? More importantly do you share the same ...

How To Raise Emotionally Literate Children?

Although I think that children having access to counselling services is important and essential, this is only one part of the picture. I think that it equally important for us to look at how we supporting children to develop the tools that they need ...

They Are Us

No child is born racist. No child is born with hate in their heart, but it doesn't stay this way. Children are extraordinarily intelligent beings, in the first three years their brains are on a data gathering, fact finding mission. Our children ...

Be Careful What You Teach…

As adults and teachers we often don't realise the tremendous influence we have in the young lives of the children in our settings. When reflecting on this subject this brings to mind the oath that doctors make to "First do no harm." I reckon that ...

The Importance of Being a Playful Adult

When I think about being a playful adult I think about what Dr Emmi Pikler said about allowing children uninterrupted time for play as well as the exploration goal in Te Whariki : Children experience an environment where their play is valued as ...

Pause for the Applause – Taking Time to Celebrate the Wins

Often we find it so easy to praise others around us for all the fabulous things that they do. However, how many times have you stopped this year to give yourself a well deserved pat on the back for your achievements and your wins big or small?

When “Smarter Not Harder” Is Not Always Best

Multi-tasking is all good and well for tasks.  However the danger creeps in we are trying to "multi-task" our interactions with the people in our lives.

But We Tried That And It Didn’t Work!

You might know this scenario well: You are part of a teaching team, or perhaps the leader of a team of teachers.  You have been observing the care routines in the setting and you know in your heart that there is a different way of doing things that ...

Food Should Always be a Pleasure – Respectful Mealtimes for Infants and Toddlers

  I was recently contacted by a concerned teacher for some readings to support her and her team’s practice around mealtimes for the toddlers in her setting.  Her concern was that infants and toddlers were being forced to eat at mealtimes ...

One Random Act of Kindness – The Chain Reaction of One Kind Act.

I have been reading a lot about kindness, gratitude and its connection joy. I have discovered that helping others or doing kind things for others can have a positive effect on not just the person that you are being kind to, but your happiness and ...

The Emotionally Literate Teacher’s Guide to Mindful Decision Making

  I was recently reflecting on my leadership journey and a piece of advice that I was given by my manager when I was a brand-new leader in early childhood education twelve years ago. It is advice that I am sure that many of you might have ...

Risky Business – Risky play in early childhood education

    Since my move to rural Northland I have had the opportunity to see children’s play from a different perspective.  Most of my early childhood experience has been at various settings in the city of Auckland, and I have definitely ...

What to do when you are feeling blue?

I was saddened last week to hear about the unexpected death of news reader, Greg Boyed and his battle with depression.  His death has renewed conversations about depression and mental health and has made me reflect on my own battle with depression ...

Who’s Fault Is It?

Early childhood education in New Zealand has been in the media a lot this week, first there was the infamous New Zealand Herald opinion piece by Deborah Hill Cone comparing ECE centres to “factory farming children” and then there was the article ...

The Emotionally Literate Teacher’s Guide to Conversations for Change

  Love them or hate them, fear them or get excited by them, conversations for change are an essential part of being not just an early childhood leader or teacher, but also fundamental to being human. Even though our brains do not like change we ...

Being Courageous – Becoming Comfortable With Discomfort and Fear

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about courage and what it means to be courageous.  I have come to the realisation that courage can look different to different people depending on where they are in their lives. For me being courageous is ...

Unpacking the learning – Carpentry in Early Childhood Education

I recently had the privilege of observing two children playing at the carpentry table.  The two boys (around the age of three and four) had been working side by side, when one of the boys wandered over to where a piece of wood had been fixed onto a ...

Rediscovering Your Creative Genius

  Before my move to Northland, I fell in love…. With the idea of being an artist.  I discovered mixed media art and I knew instantly that I wanted to do it.  I watched endless Youtube clips online for inspiration, purchased canvases, ...

Seeing the Greatness in You.

  There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about pay fairness for all teachers and whether an ECE teacher has the same worth as a secondary calculus teacher.  There has also been some talk about who should be legally allowed to call ...

Home is Where the Art is

    As some of you may know my family and I have just made a move from Auckland to Whangarei to align our lifestyle with our family values. One of the things that really stood out for me when we packed up our house in Auckland was how much ...

Why You Should Be Your Priority

The phone rings at 6 am, it is one of your opening teachers calling in sick followed by another and another.  You get yourself ready to go in and cover the opening teacher and organise your children to have before and after school care, it is ...

Leading From the Heart – The Principles, Strands and Goals of Te Whariki for ECE Teachers

Who are our priority learners? I recently attended professional development hosted by the Education Council on the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession.  There was much discussion about the inquiry model for ...

Don’t Look Back, You Are Not Going That Way

Daily Mindfulness Rituals Going to the beach before work to have my morning coffee to complete my daily mindfulness ritual has become my way of setting myself up for a focused, positive and productive day.  My job as a centre director of a busy ECE ...

How to Raise Kind Caring Children

Teaching Soft Skills I was recently watching very interesting speech Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, delivered to the world economic council.  In the interview he was talking about how in a society that was becoming increasingly saturated with ...

Observe More, Do Less: Lessons I Learnt During Water Play.

Toddlers and a Water Hose a Recipe for Magic I love watering the many plants around the centre with the water hose.  I find the task of tending to plants and watering them to be incredibly peaceful and grounding.  It is during this peaceful state ...

ECE Rituals That Show You Care.

I am often asked as a Centre Director how do you ensure that your team feel valued? I have been on a bit of a reflective journey on what heart led leadership truly means to me as a leader for the last few years. My latest discovery along the the way ...

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