...inspire their best! e-news #49: Being Intentional

by Mary Stuart, E.C.E.D.H., RECE

INTENTIONAL: Deliberate, planned, on purpose, reflective…

“When educators engage in continuous learning and questioning, exploring new ideas and adjusting practices, they achieve the best outcomes for children, families, and themselves.” —From: How Does Learning Happen?

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn…and change.” —Carl Rogers

Whether you are a parent or teacher:
Teaching is … Thoughtful, Informed, and Deliberate
It is not about saying at a particular part of the day I will intentionally ‘teach’ children something. It is about being intentional about what we provide across the whole day.

5 Simple Ways to Be Intentional

Slow down and be present while you interact with the children.

Listen! There’s so much that you can learn when you just listen!

Observe! Sometimes in our enthusiasm to “teach” a child about something, we miss the great opportunity to watch them discover for themselves. There is nothing like watching a child explore and see what they discover; whether it is learning how to roll over; put a puzzle together or how fast they can run…

Create an environment at school or home that fosters open-ended exploration and play. Remember all the fun you had when you were young having extended time for just playing dress up; barbies; Lego’s; trains; transformers…?

Be a co-learner and discover together. Try moving away from being the “expert” or the giver of information. Instead, try being a commentator and co-learner. Watch to see what is happening and where you might be able to learn together. “I like watching how you are putting together those Lego’s. That’s interesting.” “Hmm, I never thought of rolling play-dough that way. I think I’m gonna try it too.”

“Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.” —Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Childlife is excited to announce we have developed a training series for ECEs that incorporates the Foundations for Learning from the How Does Learning Happen? document. The focus is to help put the theory into practice and assist ECE’s with implementing the four foundations with simple strategies to engage learning in the classroom.

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” —Heraclitus of Ephesus

Here’s to Happy Days being intentional and making a child smile from the inside!


Mary Stuart, Director
FACEBOOK: Childlife: Solutions 4Life with Kids!