Monday, March 31, 2008


Over the last decade I’ve had cause to think several times about how disproportional the influence of our childhood experience is in terms of our general life experience. In researching one of my assignments on hauora/wellbeing and identity of infants and toddlers I’ve come across several articles which emphasize the importance of those early years and the effects on the rest of our lives.

It must be said it’s been the later childhood years that have stood out for me as being influential in terms of how I still interpret the world and the people in it, but then whilst my memories date back to being 2yrs old I can’t with any confidence date anything earlier than that, so who knows!

When my godson reached the age of two it made me wonder what experiences he was now having that he would remember in years to come. I’ve come back to that thought again and again since, especially in terms of what impact I have on the lives of the children around me. I guess I should ask him!

I was really surprised to discover some years ago that a son of family friends had lived with us in his last year of school when I was a small child. I had no recollection of it whatsoever, it explained why Mum always seemed to think I knew Adam when I scarcely remembered having met him, altho’ I have plenty memories of his youngest sister.

So how come I can’t remember him living with us for several months but can still remember, from that same year I think, playing ball with a little boy at a campsite in Cornwall? I could even describe the ball, the angle of the hill, the tent (borrowed for the occasion), the nightmare I had one night and the rubbery smell of the lilo to you.

I remember realising that being at the downhill end of a catch game was much harder work than being at the top; especially given my lack of catching ability… maybe that seminal moment is why I remember it? Note to future self – always stand at the uphill end. The years have shown that improving my catching skills didn’t seem to occur to me, hey ho.

Strange things memories and their lasting effects...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

reflective writing

Sorry about the lack of input here for a while - I was down in Auckland for 3 weeks on my first practicum placement working at a day care centre for 2-5yr olds. To say it was all consuming is somewhat of an understatement! Talk about exhausted...

It was an incredibly steep learning curve for me and my practicum partner Liz. I think I probably learned as much about how I don't want to practice as teacher as how I do, it was certainly a wake up call as to how much the sector can vary. There were some amazing people working there though who were incredibly supportive and made me feel like part of the team which helped balance out those who made me feel invisible.

As part of our practicums we're supposed to reflect on our own beliefs and values regarding early childhood education for our portfolios. Addressing why we think the way we do, what has influenced that - be it our upbringing, schooling, cultural background, personal parenting experience etc etc. It was one of those things where the more you thought about it the more you came up with, it seemed endless at times and if I wrote reflections on all the things I came up with I'd have a very fat portfolio and no time to write my assignments!

My associate teacher commented on how I must've done reflective writing before - well, I guess 18yrs of journalling and/or blogging has mostly been reflective writing! I think being a Quaker encourages a lot of reflection on my beliefs and values, and then there's 18mths of counselling, 7yrs of writing incident reports in a Steiner setting (where every last detail was deemed important) oh and English Literature & Language O & A levels where my poor teachers dragged descriptive writing out of me on a weekly basis... yup I guess it's fair to say I've done reflective writing before!