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Relate your learning to practice
Drawing again on the ideas presented in the previous reading, in this activity we want you to cultivate (or further enhance your skills in) the art of presence. Remember that presence means both physical and emotional presence, and the total orientation of your attention towards the child and what they are experiencing. It requires the careful use of eye contact and body language, as well as responsiveness to the child’s cues (you might choose to review the sections of the reading on listening, responsiveness, reciprocity, imitation and joint attention/intersubjectivity which can help you to be fully present). This attentiveness should be akin to engrossment: you should be still and quiet, not trying to do something else at the same time (so it will be important to choose an appropriate time to practise this skill). After your practice, make some notes in response to the following reflective questions:
Welcome to the first discussion for the Infants & Toddlers course!
Please introduce yourself here, and explain what you are hoping to get out of the course. You might also like to share what you noticed about trying out this first activity in your setting. What did you notice about being present with an infant or toddler in your early childhood setting? Did it improve your interactions with the child? How did the child respond?
Use these five reflective questions to delve deeper into your current infant-toddler curriculum.
Check out Penni Brownlee’s quiz on her website to examine some of your pedagogical practices from the perspective of respect.