In the childcare industry we have routines we work with and go by everyday. They are important to have to keep everything on time much like work in other industries. One of the main issues I see with this is that it doesn’t give us much time for to do different activities or do something random much like children do everyday. One of the biggest issues in childcare is much of the communication to children is giving instructions and not discussions.
As a male educator it’s sometimes harder to break the ice with children or with parent because I’m not a female. Childcare is about preparing children for primary school and improving their social skills so much of the “discussions” are really telling children what they should be doing, staying quiet and working to the routine. My method is really simple but it takes time. I simply talk to children about anything.
When there’s new children and ones that I like to get to know more I just go up to them ask what they are doing and how their weekend. Educators might use “Show and Tell” to know what children get up on their weekends but it’s still instruction based and a couple question from other children before the ticking routine kicks in again. When I talk to them in the playground we talk about all sorts of subjects like super hero’s for example. I will say that I find Spiderman to be lame or not cool and then we debate on which super hero’s are the best. It’s a free flowing discussion where I get to know how their minds tick. I sit eye level to them and become a equal in their eyes. I’ll talk about going home to feed my cat and then we might talk about their pets.
Having a sense of humor and my talent as a writer allows me to be very creative on the go – much like a child. One time I went to someone playing in a cubby house and said “Is your house at home this big or bigger?” and the 4 year old replies, “Oh yeah it’s like bigger” and we would just talk about homes and what they have in them and if they have a backyard and just goes on like that.
Even it’s just a small 2min chat a day you can find ways of interacting with them on a equal level. It’s simply how you make friends in the big world.