I have been making the Early Childhood Playlist for one whole year! I am celebrating by sharing my motivations behind the Playlist: where it came from, why I write it, and where I think it is going.
Where It Came From
The Early Childhood Playlist is the development of the Weekend Links feature on Bakers and Astronauts. There were times when I felt like I did not have enough to write about, or anything personal to share from my teaching experiences, but my interest in learning more about early childhood education is a constant. We are lucky to be living in the information age, but that can also be a bit overwhelming. Articles, videos, other people’s classrooms: all of these things that demand our attention everyday - but where is the quality? How do we know what will be useful for our own teaching practice?
Why I Write It
The goal of the playlist is to expand our thinking about what Early Childhood Education encompasses. Teaching young children demands that we are flexible and knowledgeable about everything from current events to the materials we can offer to children in the classroom.
I write the playlist as a casual way to connect educators with information to stretch their thinking about the field. Teaching young children should be more than setting out materials and knowing songs for circle time. As you shift from beginner to intermediate teacher, you need to make connections between ideas, read between the lines, and reflect on that information to put it into practice in the way that your setting demands.
Each of our settings is unique, from physical location in the world to the kinds of families that we serve and the values and priorities of each community. This doesn’t mean that we cannot all take in the same valuable information; it simply means that how we apply ideas will look different in each place.
I aim to share information that will spark an a-ha moment for you. I don’t really believe in cut and paste solutions - perhaps cut and edit is more my style.
The playlist is meant to be a catalyst for thinking and reflection. I envision educators taking a few minutes to click through the playlist on Saturday morning, with that first cup of coffee or tea for the weekend. Not every link will entice every reader; rather, the goal is to get you thinking about classroom practices and how children connect with the world through play, dialogue, and action.
Where It is Going
The playlist began on a whim, but it becomes more intentional with each edition. It feels like an important responsibility to me, and an important part of the work that I am developing for myself.
My hope for the playlist is that it continues on, reaching more inboxes to expand more educators' thinking around the issues that really matter in Early Childhood settings. I see it as a way to spark reflective practice, moving educators forward with a deeper understanding of global issues and how they translate in local communities and individual classrooms.
If you already subscribe, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the project, and for you to share the playlist with a colleague. If you don’t subscribe, please join us: it is meant to be read by people just like you.