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At the end of an Early Years session, we expect the children to be seated on the carpet for their parents to collect them.
One of the children was finding it very difficult to co-operate, and continued to move around the classroom, walking and running, picking up toys and making noise. I asked the child to sit down but receive no response. I then asked again for her to sit down and began to move towards her in a way that indicated I was likely to sit her down myself. At that point the child giggled and ran away from me quickly, shouting loudly and refusing to come to the carpet area
I felt it was very important the child sat down, with no toys in her hand, and I was concerned other children would copy her behaviour. I felt embarrassed to be under the child’s control!
The child seemed to be enjoying this and I did not feel confident at all and immediately regretted trying to move towards her. However I had done so because I felt I imperative all the children were ready quickly as we were running a little late for the end of the session, and the class teacher had already gone to open the door to let the parents in!
. I believe I should have acted in a more adaptable manner. I could have considered an alternative way to encourage her to sit where she should be. In Dewey’s publication How We Think (1910) Dewey draws the readers attention to routine action and reflective action, where routine action is largely pre set guidelines, not giving consideration to individual circumstances. Reflective action is considering the individual situation and adjusting as necessary (1910).
I should have reflected on the situation as it were happening. The child could have been quickly pacified with a small activity- perhaps helping me to tidy the books away - whilst this is not common practice, it would have still achieved her quietly remaining on the carpet until her parent arrived.
I needed to adjust the pre-set guidelines to the individual situation.
Dewey also believed we should draw on past experiences whenever possible (1910) and I will consider this in the case of this child. A small adaptation of the rules to meet her needs would be in everybody’s best interests. Allowing the child to have an item or engage in a quiet activity at certain times could encourage a more positive response from her while she settles into the school environment.
I will continue to keep a reflective journal so I am encouraged to think more independently and learn to become adaptable.
I feel reflecting on experiences and learning from what happens – and seeing the outcome when I put ideas into practice – will help me to grow in confidence and become more effective Practitioner. It will prevent me from being becoming unable to develop individual responses to unique situations. It is imperative that we learn to reflect on our actions. If we don’t, we will simply be

Turned into low level operatives…while remaining blind to large issues of the underlying purposes and results of schooling (Griffiths and Tann, Ripples in Reflection 1991:100).

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