Monday, 30 April 2018 05:54

Professional Development - April Report

Here at Margaret Ives we have an amazing and educated staff team that values growth in knowledge, development and reflection, to remain at the forefront of early childhood education. During April I created a professional development reflection form to help staff articulate the main points of each training, how their new knowledge can benefit interactions with children, relationships with families and support other staff at MICCC. Now families can share in our learning too...


April Reflections

‘Practice is informed by critical reflection’

Presenter:  Steven Cameron & Margie Colton

MICCC staff:  Jo, Sammy, Ollie

There are 3 different types of reflection; technical (what’s working), practical (why it’s working), critical (considers contextual influence and justifies practice on a deeper level HOW? WHY?) It is important to ensure child and parent perspectives are being heard and all should be encouraged to contribute. Think about who’s voice isn’t being heard? Why? How can we change this? Ensuring that all staff feel confident to share their perspective is vital too.


‘Sensory learning environments - more than just gloop’

Presenter:  Gowrie SA

MICCC staff:  Sammy

There are 7 senses to understand and explore: sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, vestibular (balance) and proprioception (body position). How each child will process sensory input will be unique, under-sensitive children avoid different senses and over-sensitive children seek out certain senses. It is important for us as educators to understand each individual child’s sensory needs to develop a holistic sensory diet in each room and support families with their understanding of sensory processing. 


‘Infant mental Health’

Presenter:  Gowrie SA

MICCC staff:  Sarah R, Sarah B, Shelly, Kerys

Risk and protective factors cannot predict if a child will or won’t have mental health concerns, what we do know is that all children need secure attachments to support their wellbeing. Consider language choices with children and families, all feelings are OK and our teaching needs acknowledge all feelings to help children understand themselves and the feelings of others. Continue to develop our relationships with families to be mindful of what each of our unique families is going through and offer support. We cannot look after others if our own mental health is compromised.


‘Professional learning communities at work’

Presenter:  Gavin Grift

MICCC staff:  Sarah R, Jo, Ollie

We are on the right track as a Centre having removed the isolation factor of programming alone to a focus of developing and embedding our culture of reflective collaboration. Collaboration and reflection means we are always child focused, talking about child learning, needs, strengths, interests and environments which makes our interactions more meaningful. Renaming and fine-tuning the focus of our Professional Learning Communities will support understanding for all.


‘Outdoor Education- Cleland Conservation Park’

Presenter:  Nature Resources Management

MICCC staff:  Matt

Outdoor education can take many forms from adaptation to grouping or reproduction. Their is a library of knowledge at Cleland and our centre now has an insight into new programs to use and utilise the Cleland environment, plants, animals and eco systems. We can also encourage our own MICCC families to share in these experience with us or make their own family visits to Cleland.


‘Reflective Practice - working with infants and toddlers’

Presenter: Gowrie SA - Rose

MICCC staff:  Bianca

Working with infants and toddlers is unique as they experience their first stages of learning and development. It is usually their first time in care so we need to learn how to read their faces and cues as well as build trusting relationships and partnerships with their families. Interestingly, babies know their parents fears by 11 months of age, so it is important that they develop secure attachments to their families and primary carers. Children are born with rights and as educators child rights should be embedded in our own personal pedagogy and part of our collaborative dialogues.


‘Maintaining our connections to Earth - Food security support’

Presenter: Early Education for Sustainability South Australia

MICCC staff:  Jay, Yo

Looking after our soil and growing our own food is really important, as is using natural and recycled materials (especially in lunchboxes). We have learnt many new skills to share with other staff and our MICCC children like; making beeswax wraps and kimchi, composting and improving our soil in the garden. We are hoping that this information will flow through to families through the children’s documentation portfolios and our floorbooks.


Please feel free to ask any of these staff members about their training if it is of interest to you.





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