Wednesday, 13 March 2019 02:14

MICCC GREETINGS

Coral Room Greetings Coral Room Greetings

After leaving a provocation on the staffroom whiteboard about the self-esteem of 9 year old girls. I left a message for educators to reflect on their own greetings and how that could be a compounding factor to how children perceive themselves... did they ever comment on a child’s hair, shoes or clothing? Did they ever tell a child how they should be feeling if they were emotional during separation (don’t be sad)? 

For three weeks myself and two other educators were listening to and recording  greetings on arrival in all three of our rooms, with a focus on ‘hidden messages’ through a gender / self-love lens. After collating and charting the data I was so happy to report to the staff team that gender or appearance were only mentioned once when greeting children and in a way that would not have a negative impact on the child, “good morning [child name] I love your style!” Although it embraced the child’s individuality, we pondered what other children may think if they heard you say that you liked someone else’s style but didn’t say it to them. 

In all three rooms it was clear that we are sending messages of children being important and valued as there was a much higher percentage of children being greeted first, before their families.

The data did however reveal other hidden gems of information for us to reflect on. When looking at percentages in each room of families not being greeted there were clear patterns evolving. Our Jacaranda Room has a lot less children in it than the other two rooms, meaning less child, parent/guardian and sibling names for educators to remember. Over the course of the three weeks as Bottlebrush and Coral Room educators became more familiar with their room families the number of families being greeted by name went up. The sheer number of children and families in our Bottlebrush and Coral Rooms mean some educators are greeting multiple children and families at the same time as they all came through the door together. Some super quick families drop their children off before we even see their child and the Coral Room is a walk way through to Bottlebrush Room so many of those families received two greetings. 

With our educator roster changing each week, I was able to identify particular families that were looking lost or needed extra support with separations and share that information with teams so they could be more prepared when those families arrived.

Greeting moments that made children and families faces light up were also noted and shared at our whole centre reflection, these included:

  • When all members of the family were greeted by name
  • When educators said good morning in the home language of the child
  • When educators started their greeting with “Niina Marni” (using the Kaurna language children associate with our Acknowledgement of Country)
  • Greetings from our chef Crisy

Overall it was a fantastic process, where the reflective nature of our service shone through. The room teams and individual educators took on positive and constructive feedback straight away and adapted their practice for the benefit of our children and families.

OLLIE LAUDER - MICCC EDUCATIONAL LEADER 

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