difference is due to culture, class, or another factor, to serve the
child well, teachers first have to understand the difference. Read
this note about Yuta, and note the difference between the early
educators’ assumptions and the child’s and family’s expectations.
Yuta (1 year, 8 months)
Every day Yuta sits in his chair waiting to be fed. He does not
eat the food that is placed on his tray. He eats when we feed
him. Using information for assessment and planning In this case, the
teachers involved decided that they needed more information in
order to understand Yuta’s behavior around eating. Here is what the
teacher says about what this team did:
After talking with the family, we learned that it was typical for
Japanese families to feed their children for a long time, not stopping
completely until the child starts grade school. We had to deal with our
assumptions and accept that this was a part of this family’s culture.
We now feed Yuta each day.
Observation can provide you with a wealth of information about
children. You decide how best to use that information to be a better
teacher, to understand a child’s behavior more fully, and to commu-
nicate with others about what you are learning.
Finding Your Observation Style
Implementing observation is a process that may look different from
one teacher to another, from one care setting to another. Find-
ing your unique style of watching children in action—figuring out
when to document your observations, how to file and organize those
records, and how to evaluate them and present them to families—is
an important part of developing your own professionalism. Through-
out this book you are offered many ideas, tips, and strategies based
on early childhood professionals’ experiences with observation. Use
these ideas to help you find your unique observation style and make
it successful for you in your work with young children and families.