Meet Morah Dee, one of our amazing Kindy teachers. As well as being a staff member, Dee is a Dorot Carmel and had two children go through the School.
Dee was fortunate to attend the Reggio Emilia Study Development Conference in Italy earlier this year. The study tour comprised over 400 participants from all around the world, with 120 from Australia. Dee says it was a wonderful opportunity to make genuine connections and have ongoing conversations with like-minded early childhood educators. “I could talk ‘Kindy’ and early childhood education for a whole week uninterrupted with genuinely interested companions! I developed some wonderful friendships that will be lasting. This sits side by side with the Reggio approach which is about developing strong relationships with children, families and of course educators.”
The tour comprised of lectures and visits to early childhood schools. Having the unique opportunity of visiting the schools meant seeing this practice in action and getting a true sense of the teaching / learning spaces. Along with children and adults, the environment is identified as the ‘third teacher’. One of the things Dee loved the most was the how strongly children were honoured. Children are genuinely seen as capable, creative, competent, skilled and rich with wonder and knowledge, and as such educators have high expectations of them. This is demonstrated in many ways, which are known as the 100 languages; allowing children countless ways to express themselves and share their knowledge and understandings. There was a real depth and ‘poetry’ in the dialogue and interactions. Dee thought it was truly wonderful how young children were enjoyed and embraced for who and where they are now, valuing them for their current stage of development.
The most fundamental lessons Dee learned were:

  • To take time - we shouldn’t feel the need to rush and complete a project or conversation in set period of time but to rather sit with it for as long as there is genuine interest; to listen for the “clues” as they put it in Reggio, to extend and enrich the experience. Many of the Reggio projects will extend over the course of an entire year (or even longer) and often branches into a different journey based on what the children bring.
  • To honour the voice of the child and their learning through thoughtful documentation. This is done in many ways including photographs, words, art, creative projects and is an integral part of the Reggio approach.”

The Reggio Emilia approach has always resonated very strongly with Dee and has been a strong influence in her classroom practice. We are so privileged and fortunate that Morah Dee has integrated her learning back into her Kindy class room. We are blessed to have Morah Dee here at Carmel. #humansofcarmel.