Educators are tasked with creating safe spaces for children, families, and colleagues to share their diverse perspectives. As discussed earlier in this text, creating safe physical spaces is important for children, while allowing for manageable risk-taking to increase confidence and positive self-esteem. Creating spaces that embrace differences in a manner that supports a sense of belonging and well-being has been mentioned multiple times. As noted in the important work by Elise Ahenkorah we cannot guarantee that we will provide a safe space for everyone.
Read “Safe and Brave Spaces Don’t Work (and What You Can Do Instead)” by Elise Ahenkorah to learn more about the differences between safe and accountable spaces.
As educators we continue to learn more about our accountabilities to those entrusted to our care. While we often think of our roles as focused primarily on accountabilities to children we also need to consider their families, our colleagues, and the communities in which we work. Ongoing learning and communities of practice help guide our practice and continued growth in such an important role. Many resources are available locally to support knowledge building through Strive, All Kids Belong, AECEO, OCBCC, PEACE, CYN, LCCN, CCCF, and many more. These resources will be shared in chapter eight.
Listen to the following podcast from Leading Inspired Learning to learn more about creating accountable spaces through Gender Justice in ECE with Danielle Pusateri.
College of Early Childhood Educators
What is a community of practice?
The College defines communities of practice for RECEs in this way:
A group of professionals who share a concern or passion about a practice topic and who wish to learn how to improve this area of practice by communicating and collaborating with each other regularly over time. Communities of practice are examples of reflective practice and collaborative inquiry.
In a community of practice, RECEs come together to discuss, learn and strategize ways in which to better understand or advance a shared passion as a group and as individuals in daily practice. The voices and perspectives of all members are reflected in the work of a community of practice.