The Curiosity Approach is about inspiring the mind, body & heart! Too often it’s easy to forget the educators, practitioners. The adults within our settings!
Remember that you are a family, a team and a unit. Together you achieve more. So let’s start respecting each other, taking time to listen to each other and coming together as individuals. Not just a faceless unit but unique, different people. Sometimes complex, sometimes frustrating but always people who you work with and spend an incredible amount of time with. These unique individuals are your tribe and in every tribe there is always a coming together, an opportunity for shared ideas, shared common ground, a community!
Create an environment of trust and respect. Celebrate your team’s achievements and use your meeting time to collaborate ideas & thinking.
Because tea parties are a huge part of our nursery currently, I thought it highly appropriate to have our very own ‘Tea Party’ for my staff team.
Make staff meetings special, a time to come together, to chat and talk. Forget it being a dictatorship. You are a team that needs to work together, solving problems, reflecting on events & moving the setting to the next stage of development and enlightenment.
We all recognise that learning happens best when children are active, when they learn by doing not by prescriptive preaching.
Learning from the hand, heart and mind. So why is it we STOP following our own advice when it comes to adults? Why do we expect them to be engaged and interested when we sit them down after a long hard day? Sit them confined to a chair and drone on at them!
Usually staff meetings start with the negative stuff, the moans the groans. The stuff they failed to do! What about all the amazing stuff they did right? The hard work & effort they put in over the last few weeks or months. It can’t all have been horrendous?
Think of the positives and focus on those, chat about them. Discuss and celebrate the incredible achievements. I guarantee there will be many!
Like children adults switch off when there is something they don’t want to hear. Shutters go up and they zone out!! You’ve lost their attention, their interest and your team is now on the defensive. It’s now you against them. Your team is no longer united – well maybe they are however it’s now you against them
Reflect on this. There is nothing more incredible than seeing your team’s eyes light up when food, music, fun & laughter are involved.
Use the time to engage in some collaborative art work for your setting, work together to create a hanging mobile, room signs. Create a belonging tree with inspirational quotes and staff’s name. Help them see that you are all a family and they have made an important impression on the nursery / setting.
FEED their heart body, mind and soul.
Trust me by making meetings fun, different, active. Your team will feel valued, respected and inspired.
Attendance at meetings will improve and you can still get your message across about the mundane stuff without boring the poor souls to death.
If you feel this is too much effort, share the responsibilities, give each team a date meeting to stage and organise.
Tea party with car boot collected fine china and Curley cakes and scones.
A Mexican theme with Nachos and sombreros.
Fire pit outside with marshmallow smores. If you haven’t got a fire pit use a disposable barbecue. Provide deck chairs and blankets, hot chocolate and twinkly fairy lights
Go for a walk around the park – get outdoors.
Make playdough or pizza together, provide chef hats.
Create own art work – discuss learning styles and schemas.
Put the music on – every time a word gets mentioned like “learning or play ” everyone has to get up and dance.
The possibilities are endless. The main aim is to get out of the habit of your meetings being a dictatorship, you are a team. A unit, a FAMILY, all united in one clear goal! If your team has lost their way, this is a crucial place to start!
Bring them together, praise them, nurture and inspire them. Celebrate their unique individuality. Then together start the process of WHY? What is their why? Why do they work with children? Then move on from there.
If you wouldn’t expect children to thrive and grow in a world of negativity, doom & gloom, how can you expect your team too?
Enjoy yourselves, trust me the outcomes will amaze you and in turn benefit your nursery and the children within.
This article was written by Stephanie Bennett, One of the Co-founders of The Curiosity Approach, alongside Lyndsey Hellyn. We're more than just another consultancy company, together we want to impact on early years. To make a change to the educational system. To inspire practitioners to bring back curiosity, awe and wonder to childhood and to the lives of educators.
Curious is our monthly publication that focuses on one inspirational ingredient of The Curiosity Approach each month. It opens out into a quality A2 poster, which can be displayed in your provision to excite and inform your team and/or families. We use beautiful imagery from our own settings, to help spark the visual learners amongst us, along with hints and tips on how to bring this aspect to your setting to create exquisite yet practical environments that feed our children's hearts and souls.
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