Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

Reflective Practice

As an early care and education provider, young children are consistently relying on you to provide a safe, stimulating, engaging and fun environment. How do you know you are on the right track? Looking closely at your own practices, the learning environment and the interactions you have on a daily basis is called reflection. Reflective practice is an ongoing process of looking at and observing both what is happening and what you are feeling, recording one’s own practices and taking action to make positive changes in the teaching and care environments for young children. Discovering what triggers your own emotions can be helpful in relating to children and in planning your days. Working with someone in a reflective consultation setting is key to understanding your emotional triggers.

Individuals come to their roles as early care and education providers with their own values, beliefs and past experiences. The reflective process begins with taking a close objective look at how you see and define your role and wondering about your own reactions to things that happen in your classroom. A reflection is an account of what occurred, possible reasons why it occurred and what possible changes might be needed. Reflecting on your day can help a provider be more thoughtful, intentional and effective.

“For example: if you are focusing on circle time and notice the engagement level of the children waning, you can look at several things that might affect that activity. After reflecting upon the lack of engagement, you consider the use of a visual prop, incorporating music and movement during circle time, allowing flexibility of movement, changing the physical location in the classroom of where the group time is held or offering an alternate activity for children who have a shorter attention span.”  Source: http://www.ttacnews.vcu.edu/2013/02/reflectivepractice/