When talking about education and our classrooms, we often mention the importance of relationships. George Couros makes mention of this in his book The Innovator’s Mindset when he says “The three most important words in education are: relationships, relationships, relationships. Without them, we have nothing.” (page 68). The concept of relationships in education is usually used in the context of our classroom and students, and extending to their parents. In the role of a Facilitator, I have found that my relationships have grown exponentially to include educators that I have never worked with previously.
Over the last few months I have developed an amazing relationship with our DDSB Early Years team through the development of of our new professional device program for DECE’s. Early Childhood Educators work through five courses and then are eligible to receive an iPad they can use in their classroom with students and for pedagogical documentation. We are so excited to be able to provide this group of educators with professional development around the implementation of iPads in an early years setting and encouraging professional growth through the use of productivity apps.
For myself, the connections I have made with both the Early Years Facilitators and DECE’s across the board has been invaluable for my own professional growth. I am more cognizant of the curriculum in our kindergarten classrooms and have looked more deeply into how the youngest students in our school system can use technology actively, rather than passively. By developing a professional device program for our ECE’s we have brought equity to the technology for our Early Years teams.
The educators I have met have been inspiring with their excitement over their students learning and with the programming they are working to develop. It has been a pleasure to learn both a deeper understanding about the role and importance of our Early Childhood Educators and the programming they deliver. I now know what “Loose Parts” means and how it can develop a student’s engagement with inquiry!
Relationships between all of our educators, whether that be with teachers, Early Childhood Educators, students, administrators, Educational Assistants, parents, or even our greater school community can have a tremendous impact on our own teaching practice. It encourages us to be reflective of our own practice and use the knowledge of others to improve it. Simply put, it’s the relationships I form that make me a better teacher.
I encourage everyone reading this post to connect and develop relationships with your Early Years teams to learn more about the amazing things they are doing every day and see how they are leveraging technology alongside creating wonder and curiosity in their classrooms!