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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET These six points remind us to pay attention to our emotional responses to each moment with children, to keep our values in mind, to think about the children’s thinking, to collaborate with others, and to reflect before we take action. When we think about the cycle of inquiry—observing, reflecting, documenting, sharing, and responding—we can see that pedagogical documentation has the ca- pacity to inform our classroom life in profound ways. It can influence children’s and teachers’ learning together and contribute to the development of a truly responsive curriculum. Documentation becomes so much more than display. THE NEED FOR SUPPORT When directors ask early years practitioners to observe and reflect and then to pro- duce documentation that demonstrates children’s thinking and learning, they are asking for a commitment of time and mental energy. What can they offer to support this type of practice? While everyone may recognize the value of reflective practice and pedagogical documentation, along with all the intrinsic rewards that come along with this type of work, how can directors support educators in the practical sense? Time is the most valuable resource that directors can offer. It is also the most dif- ficult to provide. It takes time to reflect and to construct documentation. Directors struggle with providing this time. It costs money, since it requires coverage within the classroom. Here are some strategies that directors have shared with me: S hare and reflect during staff meetings, instead of addressing business agenda items that can be managed through other forms of communication. When regular staff meetings become a time for sharing documentation and thinking together, they help staff form a supportive community of practitioners who think together. P rovide the resources for educators to produce documentation with children, in the classroom. The concrete supplies must be on hand, well organized, and ac- cessible at all times. W hen longer pieces of documentation need to be produced, redistribute staff on low-attendance days in order to give one person time outside of the classroom to focus on assembling the data and mounting it. E mploy other staff in constructing documentation. One director shared that when she was hiring a new administrative assistant/receptionist, she chose some- one with an early childhood background, rather than an administrative person. One of the responsibilities of the new position was to construct documentation after meeting with the teachers in order to fully understand the described event. An assistant director or program coordinator can also fill this role. K eep expectations realistic. When we love documenting, we don’t mind spend- ing our own time to produce it. It is a pleasure for some educators to engage in this type of work. However, when we lead full lives both at work and at home, COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction 3