Thursday, August 31, 2006

ECP1002: Day 1

24th August: Today was my first day at the Toddler 2 class. The ages of the children range from 2 to 2.5 / 3 years. I found it a bit disorientating, as even though the classroom had routines like the other age groups, nonetheless, there were slightly different group practices due to the children’s developmental stages.

Today was so far all right. The mentor did not write much in my classroom reflective journal, as she felt that it would be “presumptuous” to expect much as it was my first day in her room.

I am trying to understand the context of where my group leader, Ann, is coming from. I would say that I do look forward to working with an older group leader this time around, as Ann has had much experience working with older staff, parents and is a very the “senior” staff in the entire childcare centre, as well as in the Australian context.

This context would differ from mine, where, I come from a Malaysian city life, and context, and the kinds of services provided are very much different. In Malaysia, childcare centres are still a rarity, and there is not much demand for it, as compared to kindergartens (which services children from ages 4 - 6 years of age). This is due to the reason that many of the parents still send their children to their grandparents, or to nannies that they personally know.

Glasser states that the individual child has 4 basic needs, represented by 4 glass jars, in the following areas which are

  • Love and Belonging;
  • Freedom,
  • Fun
  • Power.

Children strive to meet these needs in order to be in a state of equilibrium, and would use different strategies in order to meet these needs on an unconscious level.

Today, there was a young girl who cried when her nappy was being changed. Somehow, I felt that this child was feeling insecure, and I went up to her and gave her a hug, and asked if she wanted to be read a book. Almost at once, she stopped crying and quietened down as I read to her. I feel that she was perhaps feeling insecure, and I had met her need, that is to feel safe and secure. I also had prior knowledge that she was still new to the environment, which is why I thought she might have still been feeling insecure in the group.

I believe that if we give positive attention, and meet the children’s needs in a positive manner, and are able to understand where they are coming from, as educators, we would be able to provide a learning environment where the child will look forward and safe to keep returning to again.

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