Keeping connection and relationships alive in the Kindergarten

As we read last week in Narelle's editorial, we have a lot to be thankful for in this season. At MECS Kinder we have continued to offer onsite classes for some families throughout the term, as well as remote learning for other families. I am so thankful for a willing and creative Kinder team, who so readily appreciated the main goal: to maintain and continue connection and relationship in order to foster a Relational Community.

In ‘Transformational Education – a Framework for Christian Teaching’, Chapter 8 is all about ‘Relational Community’.

‘Effective learning happens best in a community where there are relationships of trust and mutual service, where people exercise their particular calling before God.’

So, the question loomed as we begun the term, how do we offer learning, maintain connection and build relationship with families, educators and 3-5-year-old children remotely?

In our MECS Kinder philosophy we state what we believe about children: they are wonderfully created, full of wonder and very capable. What we do and what we offer needs to reflect what we believe. We embed thoughtful and deliberate learning opportunities for children, to let them share their wonderful knowledge and build on skills as they learn and grow.

Some of the activities the team came up with were so creative and fun! We videoed each of us reading and telling stories, offered accessible adventurous experiences to do at home and even had some special ‘visitors’ appearing in our videos such as the mad Professor Jones and Professor Izzard-Stein, who performed some amazing science experiments with water, air and light, to foster conversations about the days of Creation - our overarching focus for the term. To further facilitate relational responsiveness, we enjoyed our weekly get togethers on MS Teams with the children, who were so chuffed to be using IT systems in this way!

With these principles as our strong foundation, especially in this time of upheaval and change, the kinder team ‘grew’ through the challenges and grounded ourselves in the fact that God is sovereign. We are truly so grateful for our families, each contributing where they could and working together with us through various modes of connections such as MS Teams and Seesaw.

I am also extremely grateful for the return of children and families to daily classes at MECS Kinder, and our new ‘relational normal!’