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Tangible Appreciation of Caregivers and Teachers
January 30, 2024
One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.
-Malala Yousafzai
“In an era in which early childhood educators feel mounting pressures that may reduce their professional identities to readiness scores and standardized measures of ‘quality,’ Teacher Learning Stories center teachers as the experts of their practice and celebrate the work they do with and on behalf of children,” write Christie Angleton, Kathryn Whitmore and Pamela Jett, in the article at the heart of the Exchange Reflections “Celebrating Educators’ Expertise.”

The authors note, “We think of Teacher Learning Stories as letters that come from a place of love and celebration, rather than evaluation or judgment.” They add, “Much like Learning Stories written to children (Carr & Lee, 2012) which narrate and celebrate children’s identities as learners, Teacher Learning Stories offer insights into the pedagogies and processes teachers enact with children. Because each story highlights a teacher’s strengths, and because teachers are invited to offer their interpretations through shared readings, Teacher Learning Stories position teachers as experts of their practice.”

In their experience, Teacher Learning Stories:
  • create a deliberate time and space for reflective conversations about classroom events and pedagogical practices;
  • resist narrow, preconceived notions of who teachers are;
  • value teachers’ voices, including their language(s).

Child Care Aware offers another way to shine greater light on the important work caregivers do! According to Child Care Aware, “One of the signature ways to say thank you on Provider Appreciation Day is to record a video message. Thank your child care provider, or providers in general, for all the ways they have cared for our children and supported the workforce.” Child Care Aware’s website lets you do it all in a minute or two with their simple-to-follow online recording tool. Provider Appreciation Day is May 10, but it’s not too early to spread the word and begin creating and collecting appreciation messages today.



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