I love nature, questions, and being silly!
Hello, my name is Tiffany. I am currently working an end-of-day shift at Emmanuel at Brighton Forest and Nature School in Waterloo as a Registered Early Childhood Educator in their preschool, toddler, and kindergarten rooms. I'll be moving away from the area and am curious about the needs of parents in my new area, and what path to take in my career. I have experience in licensed childcare centers, Forest and Nature pedagogy, nanny work, homeschooling elementary grades, and early learning indigenous programs. I've worked with all ages and I'm still deciding which is my favorite, but across the board, parents sharing the values I teach are essential for a fun and positive program.
My philosophy when working with children is ever-evolving, made up of the endless experiences we call life. With all ages, I talk a lot about the brain. My true fascination with brain development began when I learned a baby's brain connects around 700 neural pathways a second between the ages of 0-3 years. The brain is constantly being wired and rewired, experiences play a huge part in determining its structure.
I often refer to concepts and strategies in The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. such as "the upstairs and downstairs brain", "implicit and explicit memory", "wheel of awareness" and integrating self and others".
Founder of Developing Minds Mariana Carazo identifies twenty-first-century learning as an encompassing experience. She breaks her curriculum down using three major categories:
Foundational Literature - academics
Complexed Mental Challenges - creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking
Character Qualities - curiosity, initiative, adaptability
Helping children foster these life skills is rooted in human connection. Ontario's early childhood pedagogy shows a diagram with "belonging, expression, well-being, and engagement" surrounding "children, and families. and educators".
One of my most referenced curriculums is Roots of Empathy. A program "based on the scientific knowledge of the human condition". The curriculum includes The Six Strands of Human Connection:
4. Emotional literacy
5. Authentic communication
6. Social Inclusion
One of my favorite quotes is "love builds brains".
I believe love is infinite, there should be enough to fill up everybody's buckets! and when you spill, get holes in, or someone dips from your bucket, love and empathy will help to fill you back up again.
If there is anything that can come close to the healing power of love, it's nature.
"Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies" (Adam Alter)
"The outdoors awakens and rejuvenates the mind and engages all the senses at once" ( Angela J. Hanscom)
Angela J. Hanscom's book Barefoot and Balanced explains how children thrive by challenging their bodies. "Every child must learn how to assess one's own strength and abilities".
"Active free play is critical for developing healthy bodies and minds", providing play experiences that offer resistance to joints, muscles, and connective tissue, go against gravity, and develop bone density and immunity.
Nature-based experiences that engage all the senses are the foundation of my teaching style.
When engaged in my practice, I refer to questions provided in the book From Teaching To Thinking.
What are the children trying to figure out?
What theories are they testing?
What questions are they asking through play?
What understandings and misunderstandings are occurring?
What experiences are the children drawing from?
Are there patterns in their inquiry that reveal a trajectory of thought?
Are there inconsistencies in their thinking or contradictions to explore further?
How are children building on each other's ideas, perspectives, and contributions?
Through various methods of documentation, I am able to keep you updated on the answers to these questions as your child learns new things.
I believe a play-based emergent curriculum is an amazing opportunity for experiences to provide high levels of academic and social-emotional learning while instilling confidence, curiosity and sense of self.
When reflecting on experiences a tool I use is The Thinking Lens Planning Tool. consisting of the following reflective questions:
What values and intentions influence your response?
What action might you take to help children take different perspectives?
How might you deepen the child's relationship to their family, earth and community?
How does this moment connect to the developmental aspects of childhood?
I love my current position but the commute is eating up the majority of my wage and it is unsustainable long term.
Send a message with what type of care you're looking for if you're interested!