We’re nearing the end of the year. This time last year, it seemed that a lot of us were relieved to have made it through 2020 - a year like no other, where we had been pushed - or so it seemed at the time - to our very limits. Now, twelve months on, we could be mistaken for thinking we’re in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day.
We’re nearing the end of the year. This time last year, it seemed that a lot of us were relieved to have made it through 2020 - a year like no other, where we had been pushed - or so it seemed at the time - to our very limits. Now, twelve months on, we could be mistaken for thinking we’re in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. It’s been another tumultuous year, with many of us experiencing lengthy lockdowns, staffing crises, and ever-changing rules and expectations.
I think for many of us, we didn’t expect that this year would be almost a carbon copy of the last one, and so as we head towards 2022, we can be forgiven for feeling tired, overwhelmed, and maybe even starting to “fall out of love” with the early childhood sector altogether. This is not okay. Our sector needs amazing people like you. It needs people who are passionate about what they do, who are advocates for children and families, and for play. But, it’s hard to be an advocate when you are holding onto two years worth of ups and downs. There have definitely been downs, but there have also been ups! There have been moments of connection, of wonder, of creativity and of growth. We can’t lose those moments. But we will, unless we build ourselves back up.
If you are lucky enough to have holidays over the summer period - relish them.
Make plans, make no plans.
Go to the beach, go to bed.
Watch a movie, read a book.
Create something, consume something.
Do what you need to do to fill your tank back up. Each of us is different and requires different things. Extroverts may need extra time with friends and family, out seeking adventure and connection. Introverts may need more time alone, kicking back in a hammock with a good book and some silence. Work out what it is that you need and do that.
There are many services that remain open across the holiday period, and so of course, educators are required to work during this time. It can be hard to stay focussed at work when everyone else - or so it seems - is enjoying ice cream on a Wednesday afternoon, or enjoying a morning at the movies. The key is to take “mini breaks”. Do things within your work day that help you to disconnect and recharge, without being away from your service. Some things you could try:
It can be tempting to think about the year ahead: what room will I be in? How will I set it up? What children will we have? What professional learning do I want to do?
But before we can get to 2022 - we need to focus on right now. And right now, if you are tired, or impatient, or resenting your work - you need a break. You need to take time to just be and to think about what you really want, and why you do what you do.Perhaps after a few sleep-ins, some Netflix binge sessions, or a lazy day by the pool, you might find yourself feeling recharged and ready to get back to making the world a better place for children!
It's not simply enough to record that there is a hazard - there needs to be a process to report that hazard.
The terms "hazard" and "risk" are used quite a lot in early childhood. But what do they really mean, and what is the difference?
Risk assessments can sometimes feel onerous. There are a multitude of experiences, hazards and events that require risk assessing in our early education and care services and the paperwork can feel a little overwhelming at times. But, we want you to think about risk assessments as being a positive thing.