Well HELLO there! So you know about our latest exciting project – support resources for educators like NEVER before! Perhaps someone who is as excited as we are sent you the link? You best sit down before you read on. You are going to LOVE this…
I have recently taken years of informal research around documentation, after seeing hundreds (if not thousands) of ways that educators document, and put it to very good use – to produce a series of resources for educators. We have teamed up with Sticks and Stones Education to create documentation books for educators in the form of a Journal, diary and calendar. They come in a bundle or separately. You can see all of them here https://esreproductions.com/ at our joint project – The Educator’s Symposium and Resource Emporium.
I know you have an appreciation for the diverse level of experience and skill across education and care professionals and the need to support some more than others. We have designed three different resources with the same flavour in an effort (a damn good effort if I may say so myself) to give all educators what they need. What do they need? A way to document that compliments and reflects the quality documentation that some educators are already doing, while giving enough structure, support and guidance to produce quality documentation with those educators and teams that need more support. A lofty goal! But we did it!
We’re confident that the Calendar and personal reflections books are going to be fabulous add-ons but we’ve been hell-bent on getting the Planning Diary absolutely perfect by collaborating with professionals like yourself. We have seen many diaries and planners for educators that are boxy and template driven that force educators to document a great deal of time-wasting meaningless STUFF … so we wanted to create a solution. Here it is…
The diary below is designed to be one per program, learning environment or room whereas the reflections journal (also available at https://esreproductions.com/) is designed to be one per person. These resources can be used by early childhood educators, family day care educators, school-age care educators, and even educators and professionals from other professions (such as classrooms and other programs). Although these were designed around what Australian professionals are looking for, we’ve also ensured our international colleagues will love them too.
Shown above is the 'Monthly Planning Wheel' for teams to note down birthdays, holidays, and any important events or dates they want to remember. We've added lots of room in the diary for notes and jottings.
These are the daily planning pages. The idea is to keep this open-ended so each individual educator or team can plan, take notes/jottings, mind map across the pages, paste photos, or write lengthy (or not) reflections, etc, in a way that complements their current way of documenting.
We've added planning panels for 'Curriculum decisions', 'To-Dos', and 'Communication'. Again, we have worked hard to balance an open-ended product to complement skilled educators, but give enough guidance and structure to steer newer educators to document the planning of the program in a way that reflects quality practices.
"Our Thinking" is a page to note down ideas and thoughts about the program and practice with some thought-provoking prompts running down the side and across the bottom. We hope to motivate pen to paper to delve into critical reflection here.
On the right-hand side is a "Team Meeting" page for taking notes and action items during monthly meetings. Both of these pages are monthly in the diary.
Above are two pages that will appear at the end of each week.
"Significant Moments" is a handy page to capture post-it notes, photos or bits of paper that educators in the team may have used to jot down ideas or moments in time during the past week. Or they can write directly onto the page. It’s a prompt to remember to grab those significant moments and shine a light on them each week.
Then the weekly "Opportunities and Possibilities" page is used to plan and reflect. The quote section might be an inspiring quote from a theorist, or research, or perhaps quote something amazing a child said during the week. Alternately, the educational leader or program manager might want to put a relevant quote in there every now and then.
We know that “parent input” boxes never get filled in so the “Conversations with the learning community” is a prompt to document any conversations that have been had with parents, families, community, teachers, colleagues, or children throughout the week (there will be electronic support notes with these suggestions).
Finally, instead of setting weekly goals, we decided to encourage educators and teams to sharpen their focus for the week (a little less confronting or restricting than goal setting). This focus might be relating to a learning outcome, quality standard, intentionality, relationships, curriculum, etc. Again, electronic supports and examples will be offered via email throughout the year.
We are aware of a lot of educators using electronic means of doing child profiles / educational records, but many are lost with planning and displaying the program and need something on paper. We’re hoping that educators can use these resources alongside their chosen software. We’re also hoping to give them something of very high quality (printed locally and on high-quality paper), that is aesthetic and fun (we’ve had a graphic designer develop this with us) and completely relevant to their needs. What do you reckon?
We are looking forward to your feedback! Thanks in advance.
Please send your feedback and enquiries to [email protected]
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