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Sharing your educational learnings online

Sharing your educational learnings online

November 6, 2016 | By Ron Spreeuwenberg

This is a transcript of the Preschool Podcast, episode #17 "Sharing your educational learnings online ”.

Ron SPREEUWENBERG: Hi, I’m Ron Spreeuwenberg, co-founder and CEO of HiMama. Welcome to our podcast about all things early childhood education.

In this week’s episode we have an insightful conversation about continuous professional learning as an early childhood educator and the importance of sharing your learnings and stories with others in the early years community, in particular online. We speak with Deborah Stewart, the owner and operator of Teach Preschool Blog, as well as The Children’s Studio preschool in Indiana. We explore how Deborah has used The Children’s Studio as a lab school for learning about children’s development and the Teach Preschool blog for sharing her learnings with others on the Internet for the forward progression of early childhood educators as professionals. To get inspired by an early childhood educator who is always learning and find out how and where you can share your work as an early childhood educator. Stay tuned for this week's episode of the preschool podcast.

Deborah, welcome to the preschool podcast so great to have you on the show.

Deborah STEWART: It's a pleasure to be here.

SPREEUWENBERG: Awesome. First question for you which I like to ask all of our guests what got you involved in early childhood education?

STEWART: Oh wow. Well I started when I was in high school and I was teaching at a church and they needed somebody to fill in and all they had were us high school students to do it. And so I signed up for the job and it just built my passion for early childhood education. Back then it was just all about playing with little ones. But over time I went and got myself educated and took on a real job and have stayed with it ever since.

SPREEUWENBERG: And so you have your own preschool is that right.

STEWART: I do. It's called the Children's studio. It's a small part time preschool that operates not in my home but it is on our home property we have a separate building it's a two story building with our pre-kindergarten class being in the upper level and our younger students preschool ages 3 to 5, the 3 year olds being in the lower half.

SPREEUWENBERG: Call in you refer to your preschool as a Lab School on your blog which we'll get around to a little bit later as well. And curious to know you know what does that mean to you?

STEWART: Well when I started the children's studio the children's studio is called that because it was my place to study early learning. I've been with early childhood now for over 30 years and I've always been in other people's programs operating on their terms. And I wanted to be able to explore the things I was learning about early childhood education with my own little body of students. And so that's why I opened what we call the studio. So it's a place where I study early learning. I photograph it and I observe it documented through my blog and share it with others to inspire maybe educate a little bit and that mostly a chance for me just to really wrap my head around what really seems to be working well and why with today's students.

SPREEUWENBERG: And why do you think that you took the approach of calling it a lab school or a studio where you can learn and study versus just saying hey I'm going to open up for preschool.

STEWART: Well it was very important for me to make sure my parents understood that on one hand we would be documenting through photographs everything their students did within reason, we don't document things that would make them put them in a negative light or obviously private moments. But they're learning and action and so it was very important to me to be very clear to my parents that they were coming into a program where I was going to not specify a certain philosophy not specify certain things that would be certain outcomes but rather observe as we went along and keep a very open and fluid door of communication with my parents about their child's needs. So on one hand I'm having to balance. And I hadn't when I went into this I really had only intended to use it as just a space for me to bring students and and observe learning and try different things. But I realized you can't do that without building relationships and having something that they need, met.

And so then we I quickly realized it needed to actually be as simulate a simulation of an actual preschool that people traditionally offer in this area. And so in this area it's usually starts at age 3 typically and goes to age five and it's anywhere from two to three days sometimes four and five days depending on the program. I can't personally physically handle five days a week. So we do three days because it all falls on me the cleaning the set up the arrangement the students the staffing all of that. So I do three days a week with my students and give them the experience of having a real preschool programs. So in their mind and my parents mind they're bringing their children to preschool. But it was also very important to understand and for them to understand from the get go. It says that in our parent handbook an agreement I've had to formalize some of this over time for their sake that this is a place that I study and I will be sharing in order to, I have a passion for young teachers such as you do. You are coming into the field.

It is so overwhelming and it's so easy to lose your way or not have a way at all. And I felt like this would be a great opportunity for me to just show them not talk about it but actually show them what it looks like what it can feel like what it can be like through my photographs. And now we're doing a little more dabbling in video but photographs is what I have part primarily dependent on. I'm suggesting for the future.

SPREEUWENBERG: And so you share a lot of this content through your blog, Teach Preschool Blog, is not the main reason why you started teach preschool was it to share these I guess real observations of children's activities and learning and development in school or a classroom group type environment?

STEWART: It was the sole reason. When I first started the blog I didn't have the school. You need to understand I had the blog first. I was working at other schools and realized that I couldn't effectively share what I believed was working what I believed was best and photograph it in someone else's environment. And so I left the schools and decided to do my own that I was already blogging for about maybe less than a year. And what happened was I thought if I go back just a little bit the blog itself came because I was kind of in a place I'd been teaching and directing and writing curriculum and then I was in a place where I was training teachers going from classroom to classroom wearing myself out one at a time one teacher at a time one classroom at a time. And you just feel like by the time you get to the one classroom you have to start all over go back to the beginning with the first one because Teacher turnover is high in these programs. And so it felt like it was just a lot of work but it wasn't making a difference and I have such a high regard and passion for what needs to be happening with these young children and these teachers and that it can be successful.

And then I went online and saw some teachers just everyday classroom teachers sharing some of the things they were doing in their classroom. And I have to tell you, they were so inspiring to me and I'm like I know that if this inspires me it can inspire others. But other people aren't seeing it. And this was in 2009. And so I started Facebook and back then I just sent out, I broke all the Facebook rules that you have now that back to back then you could do it and you just sent random messages to people who didn't even know because maybe that preschool in their profile and said hey I'm sharing this really cool stuff you want to check it out and you can friend me and if you don't like it you can unfriend me, because they don't have pages yet. And so people that friend me, out of the blue and just stayed friends and then eventually we converted to the page and then we shut down the profile.

But from there I realized though I could share lots of other people's work but I really wanted to share my own work. I really wanted to study early learning in my own environment and wanted to stay culturally relevant, relevant today's trends, a lot of the books and a lot of the things I read don't take in account to today's technological world. To the parenting and lifestyles that there's so many lifestyle changes in today's world and they're happening rapidly and they're very strong and very much present in our children's lives. And so I wouldn't say I work in an environment that represents adequately all the different cultural differences that are out there. But I definitely feel like at least I'm doing my best in my area to stay as relevant as I can to what these young families are take dealing with day to day. And so anyway after blogging without having the resources on my own and starting Facebook and realizing I really wanted to be able to do this on my own I went to my husband and said Hey can I convert that garage over there into a preschool and a studio and I'm just going to have about four or five kids. Well he knows better. And so now we have about 24 students enrolled and I don't promote it. I don't promote it online. I don't promote it anywhere. I don't advertise and the school itself is built by families who have just stumbled on us for whatever reason and have shared it because I'm not necessarily trying to run a preschool I'm not running a business. The school is my place of study so that I can write about all of this through my online work.

SPREEUWENBERG: Very cool. Very cool. Now you have created I guess what I might call an online community where you can share observations and information about your studying of early learning at the Children's studio. And this has been a topic that's come up before in previous podcast episodes about the importance of sharing this type of information with others in the early childhood education community and it sounds like you were quite progressive in starting this back in 2009. What has been the most rewarding part of this for you?

STEWART: I don't know it changes. It's I won't say that it comes with the stressors and it's been a lot of work to do to reach out you feel a lot of risk you feel very vulnerable. I can almost tell you more of the negatives into positives. But I would say the rewarding side is when someone writes me, that different people write me, and they tell me for example I have a lot of professors that will write me that I never expected to have any reason to follow anything I do. And when they write me and tell me hey I'm sending my students this way I really want them to get this. And I'm like you know when you have other professionals that you respect acknowledge your work and feel like it's valuable enough to send their teachers to come and take a look and that I have something to share and they trust me with that. That's pretty heavy stuff I mean that's pretty rewarding. It makes me say OK when I'm on the right track to it is being valued by people that I feel like I'm trying to reach and then they're sharing it with our young teachers who ultimately I hope will benefit the most.

SPREEUWENBERG: Interesting and I want to talk about the negatives which you mentioned. I think an online community is doing very similar to what you're doing with Teach Preschool Blog, is very important. But there's challenges. What are those?

STEWART: Oh my goodness. Well the first one is that you know of course my parents are aware of what I'm doing. But you have to be very sensitive to the needs of your students and the process especially you're going to share photos of your students. And it can be things that you do not even think about. So let's say a student is writing on a sign-in sheet and they're using the wrong hand grip. Well you might get lambasted quite frankly online because they're holding the pencil wrong and then everybody wants to be the teacher telling you how to hold the pencil. In the meantime you're just wanting to make sure this parent realizes he's fine. You'll learn it later. It's not necessary you know. So you're trying to balance between everybody being the expert and the needs and that and understanding the needs of the parent and the child and helping parents realize this is it's OK.

So I've gotten very adept at that. I've learned what photos not to share because it puts the child at risk and the parent or risk of being worried about something and how to take photos of things that keep people's focus on what it is I'm trying to get them to focus on. It's not the handwriting or at this point you know. So that's one example keeping that balance between your parents and your students and protecting their interests and keeping them being a supportive person in their lives. And at the same time sharing what it is you're trying to share. It's difficult to balance. Getting recognized online or getting yourself out there is it's a lot of work. It's not something that you press go and oh boy here they all come running and it isn't like that. It's a constant. So you have to be social You have to be out there. And so it feels risky at times because you put your idea out there and somebody may or may not like it and you've got to have a little bit of a thick skin and be able to tolerate that. You have to be able to be OK with people having different views. But in that respect and I know we're going to talk about that.

You will learn more than you ever thought you needed to learn. But at the same time learn learning curve that you didn't know you were on all of a sudden becomes very difficult. And so but the challenges come from the range of being able to manage and deal with lots and lots of people from lots of backgrounds and lots of positions and handle them in a way that stays professional stays focused on your role. It doesn't discourage you doesn't create stress in a lot of people can't handle it. And so they stop you know and I understand. And for me I have moments where I'm like Boo-Hoo. And then other times we're like OK that's fine I'm OK. Move on. And then just keeping up you know social networking is a 24/7 job. And so you get lots of e-mails so people will send you a question that take them two seconds to write. It takes you an hour to respond and you have to learn to manage your time better and realize there are some questions you just have to be honest with them and say I wish I could answer that for you but I just can't. You know so it's a learning process. It's something that you're constantly dealing with when you have people who ultimately want to sell you things or have you promote their work or advertise for you or whatever and you if you decide do you want to turn it into money making or what is your goal. What is your agenda. And I didn't have any of those in mind as I went along. And my one goal was to reach out and share what I loved. And I've stayed consistent with that.

And so you have to decide. I'm always open as to which direction I'll take my blog and from here that's everything's open. But you have to kind it have a start place to start know who you're speaking to know what you're writing for and know why you're doing this to make money that's one direction you might take it if it's just to reach out and connect with others that might be another direction. If it's going to involve parents and families and photos of them. Then you have to be sensitive to their needs. So for example I had a teacher ask me what I really love to see is one day is a photo of one of your children falling apart on something. And I understood what she was asking. You know because she didn't feel like a real life enough. But what I explained to her was that if I have a student falling apart I'm not going to sit there and take a picture of it. I'm putting the camera down and addressing the issue. And so and I'm not going to put that child's personal issues out. And what people think they want to see is that kind of stuff but what they really need, isn't that for me they already have that they already know what the problems are. What they need are what's working what's great what's amazing.

I read a blog right in 2009 right in the beginning these two girls from an Internet room started their own blog and they sent messages to me saying come read our blog. And they had written three posts and each post lambasted parents for you know they were super obviously using the social network to voice anonymously their anger with their job. You know whatever that may be and so they were saying really hateful things about parents. And they should never have kids and all of these things. And so I wrote them and I just said you know you haven't, first of all you need to know that your parents deeply trust you with your children their children or they wouldn't have them there if they knew you were saying these things they would be very disappointed so I hope they never figure that out. And number two that that you have so many gifts if you're really good at your job, share your gifts because that's what people need to know about. They don't need to know this. They need to know what your gifts are and what you're good at and how they can be good and how you can enrich their lives. And while the girls I think tried they were super sweet and they did try. I think they lasted like a couple more months and I didn't see their blog anymore. I think it lost its steam.

But that would be my message as always keep your message about what will be encouraging to others what is going to inspire others don't use social networking when if you're an educator at any level and your place to vent it is not the place to do it.

SPREEUWENBERG: Yeah and I think the internet can bring you some strange behavior in people right, because of that anonymity. A lot of people express things that they might not otherwise without that anonymity that exists on the Internet.

STEWART: Well and they're not necessarily anonymous as much as they'd like to think especially teachers who get on Facebook and they maybe friend their parent families at some level or someone's a friend of a family member and a friend of a friend. We have to remember every time you write a comment on like My Teach Preschool Blog, Page is a public page. That comment is public for everyone to see. And you may think your parents aren't paying attention but I wouldn't bank. I wouldn't bank on that. I think that you have to know and be smart and be a professional.

If you're talking early childhood education talk in a professional manner in a public forum or. I don't care what it is if you're online, always maintain that professionalism. If you want to have a venting session or tell us you may think you sound really smart and bright but I'm telling you not everybody will feel that way. So if you have something to say that's non-expiring encouraging or somehow being critically professionally in the process I would really encourage you to second guess, think again about sharing it on a public page like a Facebook page or Instagram or anything else at the same time and

SPREEUWENBERG: Professionalism such a key word and early childhood education and something that I am very keen on. HiMama is very keen on stressing a lot of the work that we're doing and I think you really hit the nail on the head with that one. It's so important to be professional as early childhood educators if you want to be viewed by parents by society at large as professionals and that’s both offline and online. So that's an absolutely point that's worth taking home for our audience. And also you know it's really easy to pass judgment on other people who are sharing information online but it's very hard to put yourself out there put your ideas out there. And I think that's something that I think is also worth reiterating to the audience is that you know if your only commenting on what other people are putting out there maybe you should think about opportunities for yourself to share some of your own work and your own thoughts about what you’re doing with the children and it doesn't even have to be photos or videos but just sort of scenarios in how you've been able to manage those. To get feedback.

STEWART: Absolutely. In the book I will say there's been an improvement when I first started sharing. People were really harsh and I think they were in this mentality and in this frame a mode early on and just attack attack attack. And so you were so vulnerable, if you shared an idea that people would find things in it that may or may not have anything to do with what you thought of had to do with and they were just you know just target that and go after it. And sometimes I learned I will say though in the process I learned a lot about the practices that I employ and whether or not they are indeed the best idea. And so if you can be teachable you might be able to really learn from some of these people even though maybe it's not they're not being that kind about it. And it really cost me a lot of time to stop and reflect on. Well maybe are they right, why am I doing this and do I believe in it.

It makes you constantly reflect on your practice and whether or not you do you're doing what you want to do. On one hand it helps you it pushes you to grow where you didn't know you needed to grow. But on the other hand if you're one commenting on someone else's work and you target something in that you need to understand that that that person put themselves out there probably just a parent blogger who thinks their child is beautiful and that this fine idea they didn't think was going to become a point of discussion over whether something is developmentally appropriate or not they just in their moment were enjoying it and it worked well. They want to share it with everybody else and it got picked up by someone like me and I appreciated it too and I shared it. And then and then it goes on and on. That's what social networking does and then it continues to grow and build and be shared. And somewhere in the loop of that. You might look at it and see something wrong with that idea but your job is to look at that and see what the possibilities are, number one and whether or not you can use them.

Number two is to understand that no single moment represents an entire person's work an entire mom's relationship with their child that time teachers work with their whole class. Is that one story that one photo that one video only represents that moment and you need to appreciate it for that and understand that there's always much more deeper things happening around that environment that that photo is not going to show. So have a sense of perspective and the process.

SPREEUWENBERG: Yeah. I mean the reason I like sharing information online and I'm sure part of your goal with Teach Preschool Blog, as well is to have dialogue and reflection about the content that's being shared and I think as soon as you stop listening or reflecting and only opining as an expert then you stop learning. At that point and that's absolutely what you said is you know the reason you started the children's studio was so you could keep learning yourself and even though you have so many years of experience working in a preschool studying you're still learning and you're listening and reflecting. But as soon as you stop learning and you think you're an expert at something then you've kind of hit a plateau. So I think that's a key lesson for people that you know if there's one thing you learn as an early childhood educator working with children that were still just starting to understand how they learn it's that you don't know all the answers.

STEWART: No way it's free it's pretty fascinating and amazing part process and so on one hand if you if you go into the Internet whether you're just a reader or you're a blogger and you come with the mindset that you have all the answers and you already have it all figured out, the minute someone disagrees with you you're going to be sat on the defensive and you and you'll become even less of a learner so you kind of have that mind set aside and go in with the idea of this is what works for me and then I do. And I think if you do it that way. So you get to share what you feel like you're an expert in and you also leave the door open for other people to come along and say but you know in our classroom this doesn't work. And then you're not feeling defensive about it. Your understanding they're coming from their own perspective and it may or may not work for them.

SPREEUWENBERG: Absolutely. Now you're also the author of a book called Ready for Kindergarten. Can you tell us what that's all about?

STEWART: Well the funny thing is that's actually a book that I was contracted to write for somebody else so it's not really probably if I were to write a book that I would want to write and I would not be the one so I know it sounds like you're terrible promoting your own book. Well I am because I wrote that and with parents in mind it's really not intended for educators although I think a really young new educator could benefit from it. But I wrote it with the idea parents in mind and how they can just take play based practices and all that I follow basically the guidelines here in Indiana of what's considered things they need to learn before they go to kindergarten. And so by the public school systems.

And so I followed that and I created kind of this context of information easy to read very simple follow things that they could do naturally and there are maybe already doing they just don't understand that that's a good thing. And I created these different categories of things that they can do to teach at home and to build the skills they need to prepare for kindergarten. And it is not an academic heavy book by any means. And some people don't like that who are very academic focused and it's very play based focused because I believe our job and I will and I stand by this 100 percent is not in in our young early preschool classes to send kids off as if as if they don't need kindergarten it's to send them off to get ready for kindergarten. And those are two very different things. And so the book supports my view of that. You know I would rather you be more concerned with whether or not your child can put on its own coat and wipe his own bottom and zip up his own zipper. And then whether or not he can read and write the alphabet I don't care about that. So before he goes to kindergarten, I want to know that he can self-regulate he has healthy balance he knows how to make a friend.

All of these other things so that book encompasses those ideals that I believe in. It's not that the book I do love the book but it probably it was a contract book that was written in the way I was asked to write it. And so I did the best I could within their frame to try to make it my own. And that's what the book is about. And I do highly recommend it. Parents are really young teachers who are new to the field. But one of these days maybe I'll have time to write a book that is a little bit more like about my experiences.

SPREEUWENBERG: And if you had that time what would that book be about?

STEWART: I don't know I can answer that yet. I feel like the blog itself is kind of my book. And so I don't know I think that's why I haven't written it's not so much time and I haven't found something that wraps it all with a bow on top that I could put it in. I think I'm still too much in the middle.

My timeline is it's been two to run my school until my youngest grandchild graduates and she hasn't started yet. So when she gets through the preschool so we have at least three and three years out maybe four. If my daughter has another one it might be five but I think we’re all done. Once the youngest grandchild which I think is three to four years out, graduates preschool I will close down the preschool. I will be done with that. And we have we have documented so much over the last five years since we've opened and will continue to open next door. We literally take300 to 400 photos every single day and archive those photos.

Yes we take a lot of photos and every day we review them every day we archive them and put them where we can find them under certain categories and tags and we share we share maybe one photo a day and on Instagram out of 400 that gets an idea. So we have a lot of stuff. And one of these days I will have all of that and then I will retire the school and I will go slowly into the writing. And that's always been my plan is to one day just write. But I felt like I needed to have my resources in place. And that's part of this journey is having that together.

SPREEUWENBERG: Wow OK. That's yeah that's quite rare. I mean I would think there's you know if you're not writing your book I'm sure there's like a master's or Ph.D. student there in early childhood education who would love to have that amount of data.

STEWART: I am happy to let them sign up. They can sign up for the job because right now I couldn't do it if I wanted to. I know it is. Time is certainly a factor but it also is just because I don't have my head wrapped around that message yet I'm still in the middle of the story. And my life work is my story. And one of these days something will click and say this is where you need to bring it and who the audience is for that. But I don't have that yet.

SPREEUWENBERG: A couple wrap up questions that I ask everybody. First of all what excites you most about what's happening in early childhood education right now?

STEWART: I think that early childhood education was for years behind the wall. There were only there was you and your little classroom and only people who seem to care about anything you did. Where are the parents that walk in and out. Some of them maybe you didn't feel like did. And your assistant teacher who may or may not be that invested in yourself. And you'd go home and you spill it all out on your husband and that was the only person that could listen you know. And he got tired of hearing about it after 10 years. But he did anyway. Right. But all of a sudden now you have this world, the world is opened up through technology for early childhood educators to that to be informed to know truth to know when don’t tell me my boss says we can't do it because of this because you don't have to do that anymore you can go out and research the answers you can know for yourself. So I love that early childhood is no longer confined by these four walls. Instead they can network with each other. They can go out there and get inspiring ideas that make you get up and can't wait to go back to work the next day and give it a try even if it bombs you'll go you'll go online and you'll look again.

And so we're in the midst of that you're going to learn something. So the ability to learn the ability to continue to grow. I believe philosophy now is starting to make sense to young teacher because it's being always talked about at some level in real life real daily practice rather than it being a book that you read about. And I mean I read all that stuff when I was in high school I remember reading Maria Montessori’s entire book. But it wasn't until I put it into practice that I was able to take that, and then all of a sudden see oh that's what she was talking about. I couldn’t have cared less back then and for years I couldn’t have cared less because I was like I don't understand why we have to learn this. Now it’s different now I see it. But I would say I'm still learning to see it. You know the Internet has just opened those doors and getting it. And then of course it's also opened up the, I believe early childhood now more than ever, since I started you know it certainly is in the public eye for discussion every day. The value of early childhood the value of play and the value of their early childhood educator is now more front and center than ever. And so people come to me asking me if you know their idea do I do I approve of it.

I mean nobody would have cared whether I approved of it 10 years ago. Right. You know they were like this cute, we're going to do it but now people are very conscious of what they're doing or whether or not it is achieving the desired outcome that they're after. And so that's all really good. And so we have this entire world that's no longer hidden behind four walls and it's spread out and it's teaching each other it's helping us apply practices and more. Most importantly if young teachers in these classrooms will get plugged in to these sites that are sharing early learning, learn which ones are value which ones they should probably avoid. I mean you know to avoid any of them but you know think for yourself that if these directors will plug their teachers in and get them excited there's nothing better than a teacher coming back to work the next day. I don't care what the idea is even if it sucks, even if it's an idea that you don't want your students doing. That teacher is excited. She'll learn to balance it. She'll learn that it was really a dumb idea but she was excited to try and know that is something we weren't seeing enough and we need to see more of.

SPREEUWENBERG: Totally even just that idea of coming into work excited about trying something new and different speaks a lot for itself even. There's your blog, Teach Preschool, which is TeachPreschool.org, has some awesome content from the children's studio which we talked about. We're also passionate about you know where people can find all this awesome information online which you just spoke about. So in addition to teach preschool is there other resources or places where you go that you would recommend that are great for preschool teachers to get cool information about what's happening in early childhood education.

STEWART: All right. Well on Facebook. Facebook is inundated anymore with people providing ideas for early childhood education. Some of it's under the names of kid bloggers or mommy bloggers and some of it’s actual teachers. And if you do your research you'll learn if you research enough you'll learn to know the difference between someone that's just trying to sell a lot of worksheets and things they make and someone that's really just sharing real life things that they've tried at home or in their classroom. And those are the ones you want to look for the ones that are sharing in real life things that aren't just about getting lots of people to like your post or to buy something that is about sharing their passion. And if you can lock in to those they'll make the biggest difference in your classroom and then we'll send you back to your classroom with ideas that look really cool but don't work. They'll send you back to the classroom because it worked in their room and you could probably make it work and yours. Facebook and Teach Preschool Blog, we go through and we've been sharing for nine years now things that other teachers or parents write that we believe we could do in our classroom or that and that we find inspiring for whatever reason it can be a broad range of reasons. Some of it, other people are happy with it but I love it. And if I love it and I'm like hey I'd do that I'd at least give it a try. Then all share it.

And so on Facebook and Instagram is becoming probably one of my favorite places where people are sharing early learning new ideas and there. And again you just you start with one and then you'll see that these people congregate together and they communicate with each other. And so pay attention to who is leaving comments on their blog or who they follow. I mean on their Instagram page and you'll get connected to other early childhood educators that are sharing and there are some beautiful absolutely beautiful works of early learning being shared and they're very action focused on actual early learning in Instagram because you have a very small window. That photo has to really tell you a lot. And so Instagram is my favorite my least favorite honestly is Pinterest. But people do, you know it's gotten widely known over the last I think four or five years now. Last track when it started and as being the go to place for finding stuff. But I find Pinterest to be overwhelming number one. Number two I find people go there looking for, you have to understand that to get you to click on their Pinterest picture and they go through a lot of work to get that picture really cute and clickable and so you click on this a really cute idea and you go to it and they've written a beautiful article about this really cute idea and you take it to your classroom and your kids could have cared less.

And Pinterest to me has too much junk. I think you have to go to where they are that people are still behind it writing the resources. I think that's why I like Instagram because Instagram is usually being written by the person that's in that classroom that's sharing the photo that's attesting to why it has value to end it. And right there on the other end ready to answer your question. Pinterest says here's a cute idea. I made it photo ready for you. I'm going to drop it here and I'm never going to come back and see your question or I don't care what happens to there. I just hope a lot of people like and share it.

So I think that's why I think I've kind of never been a big fan of Pinterest although I do have an extensive Pinterest site where I collect and savor everything, for those who are interested and it's not my go to source I tend to go to Instagram where I share with all my heart. Once a day and sometimes more and when I see a lot of my fellow educators doing that as well.

SPREEUWENBERG: Wonderful. Well Deborah, thanks so much for everything you've shared through Teach Preschool Blog, blog as well as what you've learned by starting that blog and having been involved with the children's studio and documenting all the cool things that are happening there and sharing those experiences. It's been great having you as a guest on the show.

STEWART: Well I've enjoyed the conversation and I could talk all day about this stuff, as you can tell.

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