Gillian C

Gillian C

I've spent 20 years teaching in Asia and the Middle East, and the early years classroom is my favourite place to be as a teacher. I'm also an ELT writer and editor, as well as a picture book author.

Location UK


  • @MarianaMaggioDeMaggi Yes, this persists in some settings unfortunately. But the information is getting out there - young children need an environment suitable to their development in order to thrive. The more people, like you and @IvanaKoleva who know about it and spread the word around to colleagues and friends, the more the situation will change. If you can...

  • @IvicaCacic I think a lot is connected to how you set up your classroom and lessons. Remember that play doesn't have to be boisterous and noisy, and you can arrange the setting and the resources to guide children in a certain context. Engaged children are less likely to disrupt others, so setting up small simple activity areas for early finishers can be really...

  • @TraceySexton I love the idea of Role Play Lane - what a wonderful way to encourage children to experiment!

  • I think it's partly because fun and play are associated with games and wasting time in many people's perception. But why shouldn't we enjoy what we're doing? Fun can be a simple quiet satisfaction in the work we do, or a hobby we enjoy and can share. The idea that work should be hard and isn't meant to be enjoyed is hopefully something that will change

  • @YasminPantano It's sadly common in some places to undervalue the contributions and importance of dedicated teachers and carers - it is my great hope that this is changing. Now, with the new wide availability of online resources and information on so many platforms, there is so much opportunity for managers and directors to discover that there is so much to...

  • @HallaAbdulSayed Thank you for joining us!

  • @YANAFILIPCHENKO Absolutely agree - feeling you are noticed is so very valuable and heartening for children

  • @JoanFratyKumowal What an interesting way to put this - it's important to not succeed at everything the first time, or learning doesn't really happen. Thank you for pointing this out, as it helps us a teachers and parents to be aware that we need to notice where support should be provided.

  • @NailaElyas Thank you for joining us!

  • @AnnisaAnandaPutri Best of luck!

  • Thank you everyone for your contributions and comments! We are glad so many of you have found the course useful, and best of luck to all of you in your future paths.

  • @MonicaAnitaJohnson Yes, the silent period is incredibly important and often misunderstood.

  • @PoMoMyat Yes, a comfortable environment with activities and resources to engage the children and encourage them to explore is really important.

  • @InésZorraquín Yes, maintaining a context can be really rewarding

  • @CarolinaOM You're right that much can depend on the group on the day! If the group is especially energetic for some reason on one day, back up activities may well need to be used. Flexibility is key - thank you for sharing this!

  • @PrernaNikam The accepted rule of thumb is their age plus 1, so an activity for a two year old should be planned for three minutes, etc. However, with more experience and knowing the children well, the teacher can assess and reassess this, so that it develops with the child. Also, when intrinsic motivation is involved (a child focusing on something that...

  • @JayaniSovis and vice versa - as a child's brain develops, they naturally acquire more knowledge, and as educators, we can help to provide the right input at the right time

  • @AkuchiChukwuemeka A super example, thank you for sharing!

  • @WendySpicer Teaching assistants are utterly invaluable in the EY classroom, and as I have read your contributions throughout the course, it has struck me how lucky your setting is to have you. You have really demonstrated here how much a teaching assistant adds to a class dynamic and the children's development. Thank you!

  • @AkuchiChukwuemeka Your last point here is really interesting. You're right, it's really good to have that consistency, but also, children are masters of context! They are very good at assessing their surroundings and acting accordingly!

  • @AnnisaAnandaPutri I agree with this approach. I've found homeroom teachers can be very helpful in this way, and what you share with them can feed into what they, in turn, share with the parents. I've been in this precise position myself @AdrianneK and developing as good a relationship as possible with the individual schools can definitely act as a bridge.

  • @CesarRVallecilloOsa I love that you have developed this relationship with your nephew in this way, what a great example of extending knowledge with a trusted person and in context

  • @BEATRIZPATRÍCIODEMEDEIROS Every child is different but in the case of your nephew, the fact that you have noticed this about him is really useful for when you spend time with him

  • @AkuchiChukwuemeka Thank you for sharing this, it's a wonderful story! And you're right - you think you've been as amazed as possible, then along comes another thing. Working with or caring for children is never ever boring!

  • @NurSyazwaniAhmadFuad Mingling with others can be an intimidating thing, even for an adult. At only 3, he has plenty of time to get used to others, and simple things like a playdate with one other child can help him gently become more used to others

  • @PratikshaBelose Absolutely, and also important to bear in mind that development doesn't go in a straight line - it twists and turns as children get to grips with various skills and knowledge!

  • @JayaniSovis Observing does really let you see what the children are interested in and what type of activity they engage most with, doesn't is?

  • @WendySpicer Oh I love this, taking the roof off to see the stars! And what a great use of technology too

  • @YasminPantano And that you have noticed this in her is also extremely valuable.

  • @ElaineHazelTebby Most welcome - it was a really valid question

  • @WendySpicer Yes, there is a balance which the teacher needs to judge, and it really does illustrate the importance of getting to know the children and their situations. Thank you for highlighting this

  • @AmandaMazzotti Thank you for sharing this - a fantastic example of this in action

  • @JayaniSovis Yes, assessment isn't only tests and writing - there are many ways to assess a child

  • @NailaElyas Absolutely - observation has so many benefits!

  • @AnnisaAnandaPutri That's fair! I hope you get a chance to read through the articles here

  • @IvanaKoleva We will include this question in the Facebook live on Thursday 6/10 (week 5) at 11.30 am UK time. If you can't make it, you'll be able to watch again later as we'll post the live in week 5.

  • @NailaElyas And you Naila, thank you for all your comments and contributions

  • @IvicaCacic Awww, you've made my day!

  • @IvicaCacic We'll be doing another one this Thursday (6th October at 11.30am UK time) - hope you can join us! If not, we'll post the new live here afterwards

  • @ElaineHazelTebby Sorry, I have just noticed that you won't be able to join us live - we'll post the live here though, so you'll be able to see our response!

  • @ElaineHazelTebby I have noted this down and we'll discuss it in the Facebook live this Thursday - hope you can join us.

  • @WendySpicer I absolutely agree with your final point - it can be frustrating in the extreme.