The Role of the Teacher
The teacher's role within the Reggio Emilia approach is complex. He/she is first and foremost meant to provide a safe and nurturing environment for young children to discover and interpret the world around them. As a learner partner rather than just an instructor, educators carefully listen, observe, and document children's work and the growth of community in their classroom. Teachers are there to provoke, co-construct, and stimulate thinking and children's collaboration with peers. They are also committed to ongoing reflection about their own teaching and learning.
Role of Documentation
One of our primary responsibilities as co-researchers alongside the children is to make the processes of children’s learning, both as individuals and as a group, visible. Daily Reflections, journey binders, documentation panels, and books provide a window into the world of the children at school.
For children - By documenting the children’s play, conversations, and representations, we send them a very clear and powerful message that their work is of value to us. These visible traces allow for children to revisit their experiences, deepening their thinking and inspiring them to form new understandings.
For families - Documentation is about more than a basic exchange of information between teachers and parents. It is an extraordinary opportunity for parents to see beyond what their children are doing in school to the how and the why. By sharing documentation with our families, we create a bridge between home and school, a dialogue where all members of our community - children, teachers, and family - can gather together using a common language to support the child’s learning as a team.
For teachers - Documentation allows us to be reflective practitioners. It provides tangible evidence of our own role in the children's experiences and forms the basis upon which we develop and evaluate the choices we make and the strategies we employ in our teaching.