A Guide for Educators: The Importance of Observing Your Young Learners' Development

Parents like to take pictures and videos of their children as they grow. It is heartwarming to see how much they learn. Child care providers should match this energy by observing the kids under their care. It means actively watching them and proactively supporting them in their growth. Lake Mary childcare facilities like the Academy of Excellence understand the difference between idle watching and actively observing their young learners in class.

Early childhood education is more than just reading books and learning how to write. Educators need to let the children explore, learn, and play. Teachers and child care providers play important roles in a child’s development. They must take the time to observe so that they can determine how to better support the children under their care.


Observation in Early Childhood Education

What is “observation” in the context of early childhood education? As mentioned previously, it is about actively watching the children under your care. You need to take note of how each child behaves, learns, reacts to situations, and interacts with other people. Then, as an educator, you need to take these observations and use them in planning activities to help your class develop skills.

You must document each children’s progress so you can reflect and evaluate the success of your teaching methods.

By taking notes and making detailed documentation of the progress each child has made over a certain period of time– you can see patterns that will help you plan age-appropriate activities. It will also help you understand how they see the world from their perspective.


Lake Mary Childcare Guide: List of Things Educators Should Observe

Here are the primary areas that educators should focus on when observing children under their care:

  • Cognitive development
  • Physical development
  • Social development
  • Emotional development¬†
  • Language and literacy development

Keep in mind that although these are the main skills children need to learn during early childhood education– you can cover more areas as needed depending on your observation. But regardless of how you want to design your curriculum or activities– these primary areas must remain the key areas of focus.


What Do You Do With Your Assessment?

Lake Mary Childcare centers like the Academy of Excellence make it a habit to evaluate their lesson plans and activities to ensure that they are still relevant to their young learners.

Observing the children in the class can help educators determine if the kids need more challenge or if the current activities are still promoting growth. 

Assessing the current materials and activities is a necessary step when observing the kids in class. It helps identify areas that need improvement for both the educator and the young learners.

Your assessment can be as simple as a checklist or you can upgrade it to something that needs certification.


On a Final Note

Your observations are not only beneficial to you as a childcare provider, it is also an important piece of information for parents. Working with the parents can significantly boost a child’s development since it ensures that they are getting the help they need both at home and in school.

Educators can better understand the kids in their class by sitting back and observing how they behave. Getting a better insight into how the children see the world can open up a lot of teaching opportunities for child care providers and even parents.

Actively watching the growth of each kid will give educators a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses which they can use in improving the curriculum in class. Sharing the observations and assessments in class with the parents can help the children learn at home as well.

Observing helps both educators and parents in many ways including:

  • Understanding a child’s behavior.
  • Identifying any special help that a child might need.
  • Understanding a child’s interests.
  • Documenting strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identifying a child’s communication style.
  • Determining how they interact with their peers.

As you can see, there is a big difference between idly watching and giving lessons compared to observing and adapting to the children’s needs. The process of observing can actually help educators support the children’s growth better.