The end of year is a busy time for everyone, so we’ve prepared a few practical tips from experts to help you save time and create the best outcomes for children.
In the run up to holidays children are excited, parents are frantically trying to prepare and educators’ workloads increase as they prepare to farewell a group of children.
Across Australia and New Zealand, educators write transition statements, create portfolios, write letters and find other ways of trying to appropriately represent each child’s strengths and interests for their new educators.
Trying to summarise this information is very difficult to do – how do you represent the diversity of a child in just a page or two?
Sonya McIntyre, an Early Childhood Educator in Wellington, New Zealand and writer for Storypark says that she likes to write a story summarising the child’s time at kindergarten in her final transition report. She likes to focus on their strong areas of interest and also their strengths in regards to the learning dispositions they display.
“I think that their school teacher knowing the dispositions they possess helps the school understand their individual style of learning”, says Sonya.
Carol Hartley, author of ‘Crossing The Border – a community negotiates the transition from early childhood to primary school’ researched how transition portfolios can help with the transition process. The transition portfolios include the child’s learning stories from throughout their time in the services, and when the child is several weeks away from starting school, their teachers actually interview the child themselves! The child chooses the learning stories from their time at kindergarten that they want their teacher in the new entrant room to see and add their comments on the learning as well. What better way to share a child’s interests and strengths with their new educator than to have them help to present this themselves!
“While we have paper portfolios AND digital portfolios, I think there’s a place for both because the children use the paper portfolios all the time in the kindergarten and they consider them their possession – whereas the digital portfolio is really a possession for the whole family. It’s been fabulous on both scores really – we’ve had comments from Greece and Scotland on Storypark and the children also comment on their own portfolios all the time at kindergarten.”
Regardless of the form you use, putting appropriate thought into a transition document means spending time – a precious resource for every educator.
Here’s some tips that might help you save time when thinking about children:
2. Invite the child’s school or next educator to see their child’s Storypark profile while they’re still at your centre. Read more about how to do this here!
3. Filter their stories, look for ones that had a lot of engagement that will be good indicators of a child’s strengths and interests for their new educator.
4. Watch a short interview with Carol about her practical tips for educators and parents for making the transition process a positive one for children here.
Not using Storypark yet to see how you can improve children’s transition processes in your centre? Try for free here!
To all those teachers feeling run off their feet, hang in there – the end is in sight!