Training & Development - Session 1 Synopsis
5 March, 2018
In 2018, professional development for Expect A Star casual staff members is a key priority. We understand employees join our casual pool at differing periods in their careers for a variety of reasons; from educators with years of experience returning to the work force after a maternity break, a newly qualified students looking for their first full-time position or a part-time staff members looking for extra hours – everyone benefits from ongoing professional development opportunities!
In our first session to provide training to our casual team we focused on theory and practice to develop interaction and relationship skills when working with young children. We felt this was a great place to start – the ability to interact sensitively and intuitively with all children at a centre is key skill to master!
Building positive relationships with children as an early childhood educator is central to enable children to develop their emotional and social skills, this is achieved by educators by generating many positive and warm interactions over time to teach trust. The role of a casual educator is to encourage positive interactions to feed into children’s schema of trusted relationship, whether the relationship be fleeting or long lasting.
This is especially important during challenging times within the routine of the day educators are required to help children manage their emotions. During the session we suggested many ways educators can respond calmly and sensitively, developing their own interaction skills to encourage children to begin to regulate and cope with their own emotions. Relaxed body language and empathetic responses to children’s behaviours model to children how they can cope with the challenges they face.
A solid understanding of each developmental milestone and the ability to adapt your communication methods to the age group you are working with is another key skill required of casual educators. Educators must use their perceptive observational skills and the ability to be ‘in tune’ with the children to demonstrate their understanding that no two children are the same. Working with children with additional needs are an excellent example of the need to be flexible and try multiple techniques when beginning to build a relationship and daily reflection encourages educators to use each interaction as a building block in their own practice.
Child- adult interactions should not only form relationships but create opportunities for educators to be active in learning experiences and extend the child’s knowledge. Educators should strive to develop rich and deep conversations pitched appropriately for the developmental stage for the child using well thought-out and appropriate questions. The ability to ask quality questions is an art! Practicing using open, rather than closed questions promotes conversation and prompts a child to participate fully.
Once reaching pre-school age children, educators can begin to question more deeply, asking questions requiring higher-order thinking skills. Blooms Taxonomy of Questioning assists educators to categorise their questions according to the thinking skills required to be used to answer them. An understanding of how to question children to extend their thinking from the ‘’concrete’’, to the more complex skills of applying knowledge and drawing evaluations empowers educators to plan and target quality questions during their interactions.
We thoroughly enjoyed our first training session of the year and would like to thank our candidates for attending!