The Work With Ourselves As Teachers

How can we as teachers live up to what Reggio Emilia’s philosophy stands for? How does it show in our work with our children?
How do you meet the child with respect?
How does it show, that your believes are, that every child is born intelligent, with a strong thrust of wanting to explore the world?
How do we as teachers confirm differences, solidarity, and collaboration? And believing that, if you confirm the child’s individuality and its rights – you can in the long terms, change the world into a more democratic line.

How can we as teachers relate to this?
What does all this require from me as a teacher?
We don’t think that there is no other way than working with yourself as teachers, with questions of your basics values.
What is childhood for me? What is learning and knowledge? Why do I think like I do? What does it stand for?

Last year we worked with these questions with our self at the pre-school.
Our view of the Child and of knowledge reflects in our act and in our approach to the Child.
We started looking at our self as teachers, critical, of how we meet the child.
We saw that we so often were on our way to something. Giving the child the answer;
– Soon, I just got to… That is not meeting the child with respect.
There were e-mail to send, paper to write, answering the phone or phone someone, picking up toys from the floor, taking care of the laundry…
Here at Solägget, we held on to being “the present teacher”, here and now, to manage that, we had to change in the organization, because all these “things” had to be done anyhow.
After solving that we all felt relieved. We got back the harmony in our day, both for the teachers and for the children.

We also got a little writing book to have in our back pocket. In this book we wrote down; “What have I done well today and what have I had done that wasn’t so good”, than we talked about it together in our teachers meeting.
The book helped us make “things/behaviors” visible, so we could challenge our self and make a change.

Now this year we are working with pedagogical documentations.
Here are questions that we are working with right now.

  • What is the difference between documentation and a pedagogical documentation?
  • For whom are we doing the documentations?
  • What shall it include?
  • How do we do it, methods?
  • What is learning?
  • How do children learn?
  • What is my roll as a teacher?
  • What are the aims with the documentation?

How to work with a project and documentation.

  1. Observe and document the children’s questions, speculations and ideas in the conversations.
  2. Reflection – what did the children say in their communication between each other. What questions and ideas came up? These questions can give you a hint of how to continue the project.
  3. The teacher asks questions, which are related to the previous questions that came from the children.
  4. When the teacher is reading aloud, the children’s own words, the children get to “see” there own ideas and theories. Then they can relate to them, and continue their thoughts/work.

We are now training our self in doing pedagogical documentations. We are learning more and more by each day. There are many questions and difficulties that we experience in our work. It is hard to get enough time for the work with documentations. We have find out that we have to change some in our organizations, to get the time.

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