Every educator has their own philosophy on teaching that guides them throughout their professional career. This philosophy is based upon their own belief system and their understanding of how best to ensure a quality education for the students in their care.
The preschools in which we work ought also to have in place a philosophy for early childhood learning, which can help inform our own. These philosophies should never be in conflict with your own; they need to be prepared and maintained in collaboration with all staff members, as well as interested parents who are invited to bring their own suggestions.
The philosophy is a living document; it isn’t set in stone and can change with developing trends. If a parent wants their child educated in a way that conflicts with your own philosophy or that of your school, then it’s your entitlement to recommend they find one that suits them; we should never compromise our fundamental philosophies through appeasement.
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Below, I share with you my philosophy on early childhood education – and I encourage you to take any parts you agree with and adapt them to your own. After all, we all want our children to achieve to the best of the potential; and to do that we need to help each other.
My Philosophy of Early Childhood Teaching
– Vicki Palmer
The learning environment will be one that is bright, secure, motivating and fun, so that the children are encouraged to achieve their full potential. This is achieved, both indoor and outdoor, through a combination of spontaneous play and intentional teaching. I have developed a holistic approach designed to satisfy the child in a social, emotional, physical, spiritual, lingual and intellectual sense.
It is essential that the children are valued, nurtured and respected as individuals. It is my role as an educator to assume responsibility for each child’s personal and educational development whilst they are in my care. Accordingly, my planning and daily care must cater for, stimulate and challenge the diverse range of needs, talents, cultures and interests of my children. As a team of educators, we will support the children’s progress throughout their learning journey by continual observation, planning, documentation, evaluation and reflection.
The wellbeing of the children is essential, irrespective of their personal circumstance, such as race, religion, gender, disability or cultural backgrounds. This extends to supporting families from diverse backgrounds in their roles as caregivers. Regular communication with families is an integral aspect of my role so that we can work alongside each other for the benefit of the child.
I am dedicated to building a safe, home-like yet stimulating and educational environment. Each child can then experience the sense of equality and trust within the safe haven of preschool. This environment ensures a warm, caring, supportive atmosphere where each child can succeed, grow, feel loved and secure and develop a sense of belonging. I believe this occurs when educators have a genuine interest in caring for the children. The educators should be respected by the children as positive role models, whose actions and choices they can appreciate and follow.
I encourage the children to be proud of whom they are, achieving their fullest potential in interpersonal relationships, work and play. This develops the child’s feeling of self-worth, independence, autonomy and self-discipline. This leads me to be able to maintain an atmosphere that is positive, peaceful and productive.
Guidelines of sensible and responsible behaviour make children aware of the consequences of the choices and actions they make. I believe children should be given the opportunity to learn from their decisions, and given the opportunity to make their own choices, but still within the confines of safety for themselves and others.
I believe that preschool education is crucial to a child’s development and assists them greatly in their early years of schooling and ensures their smooth transition into kindergarten. The first five years are when children have proved to be most intellectually absorbent. I believe that any concerns staff have about a child’s progress must be acted upon in a professional, prompt and compassionate manner.
As a pedagogical leader, I am committed to continually extend my professional learning and to communicate that knowledge with my children’s families, colleagues and community.
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One the the most fundamental aspects of being an early childhood educator is your ability to articulate why it is you teach, and how you will contribute to the development of children.
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