As educators, we know that the stronger relationship we have with the children, the better we can learn together. As September arrives and we welcome new children into our programs, we re-start thinking about ways to connect with children, make them feel welcomed, and build strong relationships with them.
Sometimes, we pause everything else: we wait for the relationships to be built before we can go on with other things. We fall into a routine of daily tasks, holding infants, making small talk.
This September, we want to invite you to think of this start differently. What if nothing had to pause for you to cultivate relationships? What if building relationships included exploring, talking, thinking, and observing children? What if it is possible to care and love, and also learn at the same time?
We invite you to think of relationships in two ways: caring relationships and pedagogical relationships.
In the diagram below, you will see that both these relationships require the same things from the educator: love, play, presence, and support.
While the caring relationship refers to the everyday tasks that we do with the children, the pedagogical relationship refers to the way educators pay close attention to these daily tasks to find meaning in them with the children.
We value both these kinds of relationships equally and recognize that in a learning space, one cannot go without the other.
We invite you to think with this concept as you welcome new children into your programs - perhaps we won't need a pause this year!