How does Everyday Interactions work as a
professional learning experience?
This learning experience starts and continues with a focus on what we already do in our everyday interactions with children. Usually, a trusted person (or persons)—could be a training facilitator, a teacher, a director—start by capturing daily interactions at early learning settings. The training facilitator can work with the site or program to select short video clips that is typical and exemplary of teachers’ practices.
The selection process aims to identify what we are already doing well. It would never be used to criticize or embarrass an adult or a child.
Then, the site staff come together for a learning experience to discuss and share their reflections while watching video clips of their own practice.
What tools do we need?
- A very simple camera that captures video and is easy to download clips to a computer.
- The simple interactions scale—a one page illustration that helps us examine our practice. Here is a more detailed description of each diagram in the scale.
- An open-minded and trusting environment for discussing our practice.
What do we talk about when we meet together as an Everyday Interactions group?
We focus on practice. Often, it helps to use the following prompts:
A) What do we notice?
Instead of saying what we “like” or “don’t like”, it helps to simply describe what we see. Often, listening to what other people see helps to expand our own perspective.
B) What is our practice?
Discuss the why and how of our practice in the moment. What helps the educator decide what to do and how to do it in real time situations?
C) Share the practice
Discuss whether others engage in similar practices across different settings. What is similar and what is different in what we do and why we do it?
D) Re-watch the clip
Sometimes, it helps to re-watch the clip at the end of all the discussions. Supported by others’ perspective, we might see new things that we ourselves have missed the first time.
For a more detailed description, see the Simple Interactions how-to manual.