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Institutional analysis with reflection as an educator

Foreword to Institutional Analysis and Reflection

In the first year of our apprenticeship, we were given the task of writing an activity report. This includes the institutional analysis of our kindergarten and a personal reflection on the first year of training in the facility. The analysis is primarily about the factual discussion of the educational facility. Which pedagogical working method is being followed? What is the structure and environment like? Is there collaboration and cooperation? So, as the name suggests, it is an objective and neutral analysis of the facility without any evaluation.

The reflection is about personal experience and further development during the internship. What did I find out during my personal reflection as an educator? Have the areas of analysis been implemented in practice? How were these implemented or how did I fare during my practical time? Here it is of course important to be honest with yourself. The best thing to do is to talk to your instructor about some areas.

Please note that due to data protection regulations, small parts of the draft are missing or have to be changed. The overall character of the work is still preserved and offers you a good insight into the structure and implementation of an activity report as an educator. During the reflection, you will get a personal insight into my development in the first year. In this section you will also find the newly acquired or deepened competencies in italics.

Institutional analysis during educator training

External structure of the facility

Location of the facility

The Anna Haag daycare center is located at Martha-Schmidtmann-Strasse 16, which is part of the Espan district of Stuttgart and the Bad Cannstatt district. The location in the city district is outside, near the Bad Cannstatt Clinic. The multi-generation house Anna Haag is also located at the address of the daycare center. It is interesting to know that the Anna-Haag-Haus is Germany’s oldest multi-generation house. Therefore, the day-care center is deliberately integrated into the multi-generation house.

The facility can be reached on foot, by car and public transport. The tram lines U1, U16, the S-Bahn with the lines S2, S3 and the bus line N6 can be used for this.

With the children’s villa Anna Haag at Memminger Straße 4, there is another daycare center in the Bad Cannstatt district. This can be reached on foot within 10 minutes from the Anna Haag daycare center. The living conditions in the Bad Cannstatt district are colorful and range from socially disadvantaged to affluent families. Here in particular, the proportion of foreigners, at 28.3%, and the proportion of people with a migration background, at 50%, are above the Stuttgart average.

Catchment area of the daycare center

The catchment area of the day care center is in Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt. However, the focus is mainly on children of the Espan district . You can register children using the registration form provided by the youth welfare office. The parents will then receive a form provided by the kindergarten to fill out.

Before that, however, the parents must appear at the day care center on a pre-registration date. This takes place eight to ten times a year on Fridays at 9 a.m. in the creative room.

Facilities in the area

There are 3 playgrounds in the vicinity of the daycare center. The Prießnitzweg playground is right next to the Anna Haag day care center. The playground “in den Wannenäckern / Galgenäcker” can also be reached on foot in 3 minutes from the daycare center. The third playground is a play area of the Stephanuskirche and can also be reached within 5 minutes on foot. The nearby Penny supermarket could be used for shopping with children. This is also on Martha-Schmidtmann-Straße and can be reached within 5 minutes. The district library in Kneippweg (300 m away) and the Wilhelm Maybach School should be mentioned as educational institutions.

Other exciting facilities for children in the area are the Stuttgart Federal Police Inspection, which is directly opposite the daycare center, and the Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt district farm within walking distance.

Interior structure of the facility

Care times

The day care hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the facility is open from Monday to Friday. The care time for the smallest children from 0 to 1 year is limited to the time from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility is closed during the summer and between Christmas and New Years. In total, there are a maximum of 23 closing days per year.

Corona currently limits the opening times to 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Capacity & groups

The day care center Anna Haag offers a total of 70 childcare places in five groups. The age of the children to be looked after is between three months and the school age. The groups are composed as follows:

  • Blue group (0-1 year old children, maximum 8 children)
  • Orange group (1-2 year old children, maximum 10 children)
  • Green group (2-3 year old children, maximum 12 children)
  • Yellow group (3-6 year old children, maximum 20 children)
  • Red group (3-6 year old children, maximum 20 children)

As of March 2021, all places in the facility are occupied . There is a waiting list for children whose siblings are already being looked after in the day-care center. These are also preferred.

Differentiated description of the green group

The age structure of the green group in which I am sitting in is between 2.5 and 3.5 years. The group includes 4 girls and 8 boys, for a total of 12 children. One of the special features of our group is the inclusion of a child with physical limitations.

There are no children of refugees or of recently immigrated parents in our group. However, there is a cultural diversity (different nations) of the parents. (Anna-Haag-Multi-Generation House 2020)

Personnel equipment at the Anna Haag day care center

The facility has a total of 11 full-time positions with 100%. There are also 7 jobs with an employment rate between 60 and 80%. In addition, there is the management of the facility with a 100% position. A PIA intern is also employed in the kindergarten.

This results in a total of 20 employees. 4 of them are men . All employees have or are currently completing educational training. The employees are also trained and educated on a regular basis. Each group has a group leader. There is a separate regular team meeting for this management team. Unfortunately, there is no organizational chart for the facility.

The facility also has employees in the kitchen and cleaning area. However, these are employed by the Anna-Haag-Haus and not directly by the kindergarten. (Götz 03/15/2021)

Overview of the pedagogically relevant rooms

In the Anna Haag daycare center, each group has its own group room and ancillary room. Within the group rooms there are different play areas, which are designed differently according to age group and can be divided into the following areas:

  • Role play area
  • Construction area
  • Book corner
  • Painting studio
  • Movement construction site
  • Sleeping and relaxation area

Each group eats together with the teachers in their own premises. The sleeping area of the green group, for example, is set up in the construction area while eating and thus its function is changed at short notice.

There is a large outdoor area for playing. This is shared by all groups and includes, among other things, a swing, climbing landscape, slide, floor trampoline, a sandpit and a water play area. The special features of the outdoor play area also include the existing fruit trees and bushes . A gymnasium is also available to all groups, including children’s groups in the Anna Haag children’s villa (e.g. for weekly children’s judo). Due to Corona, there are now usage times per group in the outdoor area and the gym is currently not in use.

The children’s toilet should also be mentioned. These are shared by all the children in the various groups. Due to Corona, the toilet is only used alternately and the Green Group uses a converted employee toilet.

For the educational staff there is a small library, special rooms for working on the computer and a place of retreat for breaks. All rooms are on one level and can be reached barrier -free.

Pedagogical working method and content focus

Objectives and priorities of the institution

From my point of view, the Anna-Haag-Kindergarten has created a very comprehensive and very special kindergarten concept ( intergenerational concept ). Because the concept of the kindergarten is also connected here with the spatially integrated Anna-Haag multi-generation house for older people. This is remarkable in that I am currently not aware of any kindergartens that share or link a daycare concept with the concepts of other institutions or similar.

Furthermore, the concept of the kindergarten is based on diversity , difference and the connection to the self- education processes of the children. Here in particular, I would like to state the current vacancies with male educators in the facility (see staffing).

The guiding principles of the facility result from this:

  • We meet each other in appreciation and trust. – We are in dialogue with one another.
  • We act with personal responsibility and initiative. – We stand for quality and performance.
  • We shape quality of life. – We are flexible and innovative.

The concept of the kindergarten with the guiding principles can be broken down into the following six sub-areas. However, these are not to be seen as separate conceptual excerpts. Rather, these areas flow into one another:

Pedagogical approach and image of man

“We should give our children two things: roots and wings!” Is a motto of the institution. He shows that children need a secure hold around themselves so that they can develop and grow. The facility supports the children with a stimulating environment, limits and reliability as well as space and time for self-determination. Much emphasis is placed on exercise, nature and the environment.

No matter whether young or old, man or woman. Diverse role models are very important for the personal development of children. For all these reasons, the facility relies on a group concept. This should give the children orientation and security.

The intergenerational life in the Anna-Haag-Haus

Intergenerational life plays a central role in the Anna-Haag-Haus. Because in addition to inclusion and the district concepts, intergenerational life is one of the three main arteries of the facility. In the facility, children learn how to deal with young and old and thus learn tolerance, consideration and empathy as early as kindergarten age.

The children regularly perform in the “forum” or sing for the elderly. Breakfast together, mutual visits or getting together also strengthens each other. As a result, children see older people not only as people with disabilities, but as people with diverse strengths. Here, too, due to the corona situation, intergenerational life is currently not possible.

The participation of children

The promotion of participation in children is very important for an individual and independent life, also in the community. Because through participation, children discover that they can participate, exercise influence and help shape the daily routine.

For these reasons , participation takes place on a daily basis and continues to develop with the respective age group. The daily children’s conference should also be mentioned here. In this, the children can contribute their wishes and thus learn topics such as democracy, equality and participation in kindergarten.

This also teaches children how to resolve conflicts. With these, children can independently resolve their disputes or, for example, if they have different opinions, they can discuss them in a communicative manner and thus communicate.

The aim of the Anna-Haag-Kindergarten is to support the children in maturing into an independent personality.

The situational approach in children

The facility is based on the individual requirements and needs of the children. The situation at home and in the surrounding area is also taken into account. By transferring responsibility , the children learn to deal with rules and setbacks as early as kindergarten. Later, as adults, the children should shape their lives independently and face the demands of work, family and society in a positive manner.

Inclusion of children

The day-care center supports the inclusion of children by admitting them to normal groups and has an inclusive attitude . Through this the children experience that being different and different is normal. The children learn to build bridges and to approach one another. A so-called “Snoezelen room” is available for the children of inclusion, which serves as a place of retreat. With the appropriate facility, all of the child’s senses should be holistically activated.

To implement this basic attitude, the facility has hired a (special) pedagogical staff. This takes care of the process of inclusion through coordination and support. In cooperation with other institutions, funding and support needs are checked. The aim is the best interests of the child. It should be able to successfully manage day-to-day daycare.

Employees with many years of experience in inclusion work in the daycare team. Furthermore, employees receive regular training.

Special features of the facility

In addition to the concept of the facility already mentioned, this is also

to name the sex-pedagogical concept as a special feature. Because the daycare center is concerned that the important area of early childhood sex education is also taken into account in the context of personality development. In doing so, the institution would like to achieve the following goals:

  • Strengthen friendships and make new ones
  • Body experience through mirrors, clothing, doctor’s suitcase and the like
  • Children are educated and informed through age-appropriate books

The aim is always for the children to know about their own bodies and also learn to say no if they don’t like something. You should learn to express your own limits and learn to take into account those of others. The children’s sense of shame is respected.

Collaboration and cooperation

Forms of collaboration with parents and families

Cooperation between educators and families is very important to the institution. Because of this, the educators are in constant contact with the parents in order to be informed about changed conditions and current situations.

For this purpose, parents’ evenings, door-to-door discussions, an annual development meeting and parent surveys take place on a regular basis. Parents can also find information on the information board.

Due to the current corona situation, I unfortunately cannot share any further experiences with this.

Cooperation with other institutions

Since the kindergarten belongs to the Anna-Haag-Mehrgenerationenhaus, there is a regular exchange with the sponsor and the other institutions. The senior citizen center and the educational establishment should be mentioned here in particular. Outside of Corona, there is usually a three-day observation program once a month. This creates new contacts and gives the employees an insight into the work of the other institutions.

The facility also takes part in cooperation meetings with the surrounding elementary schools and kindergartens. This also includes contact with municipal institutions such as the health department, youth welfare office and early intervention centers such as the urban interdisciplinary early intervention center IFF .

Due to the current Corona situation, I unfortunately cannot share any further experiences with this either.

The Covid-19 situation in kindergarten

During the Corona period, all groups were alone in the rooms. Here the concept had to be adapted to the current hygiene regulations. Joint events and visits to the elderly were not carried out due to the risk. The garden was also cordoned off in different areas and the groups could only alternate between walking into the large garden by the hour.

Unfortunately, the intergenerational concept also suffered from this, especially when it comes to encounters and exchanges between old and young. An attempt was made to reduce the contacts among colleagues to a minimum. For this purpose, two-way radios have even been purchased in order to be able to establish contact with one another quickly and without contact.

The team meetings and employee appraisals took place digitally. I also had no contact with the children’s parents. To be on the safe side, a rapid corona test was carried out on me every Monday before the start of my visit to the practice. This enabled me to interact with colleagues and children without a face mask during my practice time. However, this was lifted again by the sharp increase in the number of cases from April, so that all educators in the facility had to wear a face mask within the group.

To further prevent infection, the facility purchased so-called lollipop tests. Parents test their children twice a week at home with these rapid corona tests. This is intended to detect infections in children at an early stage.

The summer festival and all other festivals are also canceled due to Corona. Basically, it can be said that normal day-to-day kindergarten life is currently not taking place and many activities are canceled. Nevertheless, the children like their time in kindergarten and the facility tries its best to make the situation as good as possible for everyone. (Anna-Haag-Multi-Generation House 2020)

Personal reflection on the first year as an educator

In the weekly practice visit I was able to take away the experience that the concept could not be implemented for the most part due to the current corona situation. Due to the spatial separation of the groups and the lack of common play in the outdoor area, cross-group play times could not be offered. Collaborations between employees were also only made via walkie-talkie instead of personal conversations. The employee appraisals and team meetings took place digitally accordingly.

I feel comfortable in my role as an intern. My instructor taught me all the necessary steps and together we determined the current status through regular reflective discussions. This enabled me to develop a willingness to review my own values, norms and stereotypes . At the same time, the regular discussions also helped me to acquire the understanding that the development to professionalism is to be understood as a lifelong process . The cooperation with my instructor was therefore always friendly and courteous. I even got her phone number so I could contact her if I had any questions.

During my internship so far, I was deployed in all of the usual educational fields. I worked in the nursing area by being used on the toilet or diaper changing. I also carried out educational measures, be it by setting targeted free game impulses or planning and implementing targeted offers. In the housekeeping sector, I was able to gain experience in preparing meals, setting the dining table and then tidying up and washing up. Here I also learned that you can involve the children through participatory measures. Through all of these activities, I now see myself in a position to build up pedagogical relationships and shape them professionally .

During all the time at the facility, I always felt well looked after and supported. My instructor managed to familiarize me with new areas of responsibility through new impulses and short discussions, so that I could then carry out these independently. As a result , I now have the ability to be proactive and to work independently in a team . Therefore, from my point of view, the cooperation in the team was always harmonious and friendly. We were able to support each other so that the stress level was within an appropriate framework even on more hectic days.

So far, I have really enjoyed working with the children. I quickly found access to the children and so far I have ultimately been able to reach all of the children. After a short time the children listened to me and approached me of their own accord. With offers, excursions or other activities, there was always a common joy. The children’s trust also extended to the nursing area. Changing diapers, going around the toilet or anything like that was never a problem. Especially when eating, I always had to change tables with the children so that they could eat with me once. The day I was back at the facility after a day of illness was formative for me. Some children there asked me why I wasn’t there and whether I would come back next Monday. Here I learned to take into account the importance of emotional ties and social relationships in educational work .

I was able to observe how I carried out targeted observations and ultimately used this data collection as the basis for the methodical-didactic action. During the internship, I became calmer and more relaxed when dealing with several children. I was also able to assess certain situations from a technical point of view and then decide on pedagogically justified behavior as an educator (e.g. conflict situation between children).

My calm and patience helped me explain the children’s new discoveries and what felt like the tenth time of the admonition on some days. I was able to incorporate my interest in the natural sciences into everyday life. Why is the sun warm? Why is it raining and why is the floor dusty? Many questions that one must first be able to explain in a child-friendly manner.

My interest in exercise and sport also helped in everyday daycare. We often ran around in the front yard or once “flew an airplane”. This time was very nice and also helped to deepen and strengthen the relationship with the children . Integrating the inclusion child in particular was exciting and a great experience. Because of the additional support, this child was able to take part in the activities of the other children. In doing so, I first made a deeper reference to the topics of diversity and inclusion and was thus able to deal more closely and more intensively with the perspective of both sides .

From my point of view, there was a link between theory and practice. However, merging the two parts required a higher level of personal effort, since at the beginning it was not always clear which theoretical area should be implemented in practice, when and how. I think that the school timeframe was too tight, especially at the beginning of the apprenticeship period. I was able to put the material I had learned in school into practice. This also helped me in practice to understand some of the measures.

The conversations and the exchange in particular helped me to get involved in open work processes and to be able to deal with the complexity and the frequent changes in professional behavior . The other way around, it was significantly more complicated. Because we have not yet dealt with a lot of the knowledge acquired in practice at school and so I can currently neither classify nor check it.

The Corona situation also had an impact on my second visit to the practice. This only went as planned to a limited extent and the motivation for the preparation and planning was low in the preceding months. Nevertheless, the visit to the practice helped me to recognize the problems and ultimately to increase my motivation again.

In the future, I would like to work primarily on the planning and implementation of my offers. Because here I noticed that the implementation of the offers often worked well. However, I have not always achieved the goal with the child, namely the expansion of knowledge. Here I have strengthened and consolidated existing skills several times rather than imparting new knowledge to the child. In my opinion, it is also necessary to deepen your own specialist knowledge, especially in language training and development, in order to be able to properly recognize and carry out the development and promotion of U3 children.

I would also like to deepen and intensify the communication with the parents. Unfortunately, this was not possible due to the Corona period. The previous contact with parents has therefore consisted of brief personal conversations. During these conversations, however, I was able to learn that parents have different individual needs and resources. These have to be recognized by us specialists so that we can offer the families needs-based offers of parenting education and counseling can.

The regular discussions with my instructor and the other specialists were a very important and good experience. I thought it was great when even the educators came to me and asked my opinion on situations. So I had to think about the behavior of others myself and was able to professionally shape the pedagogical relationship with colleagues . Ultimately, the conversations motivated me to continue, to try out new approaches and sometimes to rethink my own point of view.

The next challenge I would like to face is planning and implementing a theme day myself. In my opinion, this would be the next sensible step in expanding my knowledge. The age change from U3 to older children would also be a challenge, as assertiveness plays an important role here and I’m not sure whether I feel comfortable in this age range.

My personal goals are therefore to maintain the current learning pace as well as the differentiated attitude between the role of the educator and the father. One often catches oneself seeing the perspective at home from the role of an educator rather than that of a parent. I also have to strengthen my assertiveness.

Ultimately, I can say with a clear conscience that the internship at Anna-Haag-Haus confirmed and strengthened my career choice. I found the internship very valuable, especially with regard to the U3 area of activity. As mentioned earlier, I was able to connect with the children and I was accepted as an educator.

Therefore, the next consideration is in which institution the subsequent internship will take place and which conception will be best suited for further deepening my knowledge. An urban facility with the Einstein concept or a bilingual kindergarten are among the options.

sources

  • Anna-Haag-Mehrgenerationenhaus (2020): Conception of the day care center Anna Haag. Day care center in the Anna Haag multigenerational house. Ed. v. Anna-Haag multi-generation house. Stuttgart, last checked on March 16, 2021.
  • Götz, Sebastian (March 15, 2021): Personnel equipment at the Anna Haag day care center. Interview with Dagmar Bender. Stuttgart. Conversation.
Sebastian Götz
Sebastian Götzhttps://krippenzeit.de
"Ich lerne für den besten Job der Welt und möchte euch hier auf Krippenzeit daran teilhaben lassen."
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