About Digital teaching materials
A new platform for kindergarten educator support and inspiration has been created. Recommend it to a kindergarten teacher!
A new website has been created in Latvia named HappyKids.lv. The aim is to compile both local and abroad kindergarten experiences and ideas, that preschool educational institution educators can use for their work.
Kindergarten should be the place, that creates a safe environment for the child in every aspect. Also practice exchange between kindergartens is very valuable and helps development – that was concluded in the preschool educator conference “Responsible Lifestyle”, that took place this week. Kindergarten employees not only from Latvia but also from Iceland and Norway took part in this conference (their suggestions can be read on www.happykids.lv ). And in the future this site will compile not only Latvian but also abroad ideas for a better kindergarten.
What is a good kindergarten
“Most part of the parents do not have the choice of staying home with their children instead of going to work. I believe that a good kindergarten can support the family, by providing the child a safe environment and sympathetic care givers,” an educator from Norway Hans Jacob Sundby disclosed during the conference. He is also the creator of the preschool chain Creakids (in Norway it is called Læringsverkstedet). “The family and the kindergarten should cooperate. It is very important that the kindergarten employees tell the parents about their child, inform them on day to day activities because this way the parents can understand how much their child receives there and what they go through. This way parents won’t feel guilty,” explains Hans Jacob Sundby. Website HappyKids.lv has 5 content pages and one of them is “Dialogue”, in which kindergarten educators share their experience on the creation of positive communication with the parents and how to better share the experience of the child with the parents.
“If the kindergarten understands – we have good ideas, for example how to develop the communication with the parents – we ask that you send them to HappyKids.lv. The situation can be vice versa – the kindergarten employees realize that they could do something more to improve the communication with the parents, that they need ideas or advice, then they can contact us – send us questions that need answers from the experience of other kindergartens,” explains the manager from a parent organization “Mammamuntetiem.lv” Inga Akmentiņa-Smildziņa. She is also responsible for the creation of content for the preschool educator platform.
The meaning of parent and kindergarten dialogue
Hans Jacob Sundby stresses that kindergarten teachers work with the most important resource in the world – children. Teachers should be together with the children, hug them and play with them. That’s why it is amazing that educators have a platform where they can gain inspiration and support for their everyday work. Inga Akmentiņa-Smildziņa concludes that cooperation with the parents and parent involment in the preschool educational institution has a vast impact on the institution. “We have noticed that a big portion of the parents feel a tad of friction and mistrust in the kindergarten teachers and managers. That could be because of their own childhood experience. There could be situations where the teachers might be scared too. But no one should be declared as the guilty one, both sides need to work together for one aim – children. That is why the creation of dialogue with the parents has such a significant meaning. Moreover, the parents need to appreciate the important job that the preschool educators do,” says Inga Akmentiņa-Smildziņa, by motivating the preschools to send in their amazing experience, that could be shared with other kindergartens in Latvia and abroad.
In the website HappyKids.lv there are 5 directions with different exercises and challenges for the educators, as well as the children, that are very topical for the everyday life of preschools:
Nutrition – to promote children to eat healthier and more nature friendly;
Sport – to motivate children and their families to a more active lifestyle;
Environment – to promote children’s awareness of nature and the ecosystem;
Culture – to explain cultural differences, to be aware of the differences around us;
Dialogue – to create a positive dialogue that is centered around cooperation and constructive conversation.
The website has been created because of the NordPlus Junior 2017 project “Responsible Lifestyle”. It is the exchange of experience between 3 countries – Latvia, Norway and Iceland. During this project, many specialist visits, discussions and exercises are taking place, with the aim to promote creativity and innovations at preschool education. As well as to develop an international experience and cooperation. The project was started in 2017, in which 3 preschool educational institutions are being represented – Creakids from Latvia, Læringsverkstedet from Norway and Reykjakot from Iceland.
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