Learning through play

Taking a walk in the shoes of a room leader

My name is Taylor and this year I became a Room Leader. Over the years I have been an Educator at Occasional Care, Outside of School Hours Care and assisted in the 3 year old room. After completing my Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care through Cire in 2017, I am now leader of the Toddler’s Room for 2018. Looking back on my time here at Cire, becoming a Room Leader has been a fantastic experience.
I came into my current position as Room Leader with enthusiasm as well as nerves, stepping up into a higher position and taking on more responsibilities. I am lucky enough to have a great and supportive team around me, who help me each day. Becoming a Room Leader was exciting; I was ready to use my creativity and knowledge that I learnt through studying with Cire Training and ready to apply it all into the curriculum, to foster the children’s learning.
This year, I have found confidence moving into a position that had more responsibilities and I am ready to show what I can do and share my ideas.  When the children build secure attachments and have a sense of belonging they develop a strong sense of identity. It is important to build these attachments and relationships with the children and with their families.
Supporting children to become socially responsible and respectful contributors to our world is very important to me. By way of showing this, I have implemented more sustainable practices into our everyday curriculum, giving children opportunities to become involved in their world such as recycling, gardening and much more.
Fostering natural curiosity and the desire to investigate through play is essential for children to be confident and involved learners. This year we have implemented bush block visits, at least once a week, into our curriculum. The children are enthusiastic about our adventures to the bush block and are always asking when our next adventure will be. While we spend our time in the bush block, the children are able to learn and gain respect for our natural environment, as well as expressing their own wonder, interest and curiosity. The children are able to take considered risks while engaging in play and are able to cope with unexpected changes. We are able to problem solve together and contribute to group outcomes as we explore and engage with each other through play.
Overall, I believe the children are able to use their imagination to create their own experiences, which emerge from their own ideas, in addition to feeling happy, safe and connected to their world. Children that are encouraged to project their ideas and contribute through play become more effective communicators.
In our toddler’s room, we based our curriculum on children’s interests and on their needs, giving the children a voice in their day to day routine while being in care at Cire. We give children choices throughout their day, such as progressive meal times and optional rest times.
I believe it is important to encourage children’s independence by allowing the children to take considered risks through their play. It is also important to openly share their ideas and communicate their needs with trusted educators and peers around them.
We learn through playI have created displays that are located on the walls leading up to our room. The first display is called “We learn through play”. This display is made up of the Early Learning Years Framework, giving families a visual on how we use the framework through our day to day curriculum through the use of photos of the children engaged in the activity.
The benefits of play
We have a display of “The benefits of play” which outlines the benefits of the experiences we set up, explaining what learning the children are doing while engaging in these experiences. This gives our families a chance to understand our curriculum and how each experience has meaning and what learning their child is gaining.
We also have “Our sustainable year”. Our sustainable year project shows our families the monthly calendar we use to highlight our sustainable practices carried out in our day to day curriculum. Through our sustainable practices we develop an understanding and respect for the natural environment and the Our Sustainable Yearinterdependence between people, plants, animals and the land. This gives a chance for families to see and understand more about sustainability and see what we are doing in our curriculum in contributing to sustainable practices.
Overall, becoming a Room Leader has not been as challenging as I first thought, as I came into this year filled with the excitement and nerves. I have a wonderful and supportive team around me who are always willing to give me their help and time to guide me through each day. I am very enthusiastic about continuing to implement different ways of doing and being with the toddlers under my care. They are very curious and have a great desire to investigate and I hope I can continue to foster this learning through a range of experiences.

If you would like to know more about Cire Children’s Services or would like more information on our Early Childhood Education and Care training courses call 1300 825 235.

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