I love social media; it has connected me with like-minded professionals, allowed me to share my practice, given me copious amounts of inspiration and given me a voice.
I fear I do not always use that voice wisely; partly because there are so many amazing voices already out there and partly because I am afraid of saying the wrong thing. That said, there are times when I feel like I want to say something and one of those times is now.
Lets talk about social media and the role it plays in the early years sector. We are bombarded daily with new articles, blogs posts, ideas and voices; many of which say many different things but all of which have the overriding principle to develop best practice. But, not everything is what it looks like. Just as we teach young girls and boys that images in magazines are air brushed and unattainable, so are what you see on social media in relation to the early years.
Lets face it, everyone wants to show their best angles; I never share images of my dump of a cloakroom, the stain on the ceiling from a recent flood or the chipped paintwork from using Blu Tack on the walls. My setting is not perfect and it never will be (oh how I long for beautiful white walls). But, that's okay! I wouldn't dare let the children have so much freedom or choice if I was always worrying about the walls or the carpet or the furniture.
And it isn't just about the images we see but also the articles and blog posts that we read. How one setting visits their local forest once a week and how another has no toys (only those made by the children) and then there is another that visits the local care home or soup kitchen. All of these things are great but no one is going to share their horror stories, the things that didn't work out and didn't go to plan.
We all serve different families and communities; we all have different buildings and facilities. Remember, you can only do the best with what you have,as long as you are doing that you are heading in the right direction!