Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates

Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.

Is it Worth It?


Is it Worth It? Are YOU Worth it?

I was reading a few posts in a few different Facebook pages and groups about how people program and plan and complete portfolios and reflections. A big point of contention was how much programming time they are given. There was a slight undertone of martyrdom in some of the responses, and it almost felt like a competition of who did the most on their own time. It felt like some of them were vying for the title of “Most Dedicated Professional Because I Do The Most Work At Home” award that comes with a nice shiny trophy and a framed certificate to hang on the wall in their study above the fireplace.  Or there were those who do their portfolios at home because they enjoy it. There were of course those who do it because they have to as there is no other alternative for them, and they feel pressured to do so, eiher by management or their colleagues who have set the bar high. Everyone else in their service is entrenched in the culture of working at home, so why can’t they? Don’t they want to fit in? Aren’t they professional? ‘That is what the professionals at this service do afterall – work at home.’ Peer pressure, it doesn’t stop at school.

Once upon a time, I used to do mine at home too.  But something had to give. And it did. But this isn’t about me. It’s about you.  And them.

I’ve been thinking about this, and I am left wondering.

Who benefits from all the programming and paperwork that you do at home?

Do the children benefit because you become a more successful and professionally engaged educator?

Do the families benefit when they get to take this amazing portfolio of their child’s learning journey and experience at Rainbow Magic Fancy Shmancy Fairy Whimsical Early Child Care Learning Kinder Place?

Or is it the Nominated Supervisor who gets a pat on the back from the Approved Provider because the service achieved “Exceeding” and it (supposedly) brings the profile of the service up?

Who are you doing it for?

Are you doing it for the children because they will get a keepsake of their childhood and their time with you?

What if they don’t appreciate it? What if it gets thrown into a box and put in the garage or the roof not to be looked at until a massive de-cluttering-event 2 decades into the future … By then the inkjet ink is faded, or the silverfish or cockroaches or mice have made a feast or a nest of it?

Is it worth all those hours of your life?

Did you note what I said just then?  YOUR life?

How much time do you spend each week on employment related paperwork?

Let’s take an average of 2 hours … I mean what is 2 hours a week spread over a week? It’s not that much.  Is it?

Well, that’s 8 hours a month. That’s an average work day: unpaid.

Multiply that by 12 months and you get 12 days.

Divide that by your average 5 day work week …

That’s two full weeks and 2 days unpaid a year.

Imagine, if I told you that I wanted you to come and work for me, for almost two and a half weeks with no pay. Would you say yes? Would you jump that that opportunity?

Ask yourself:

Is it worth it?

If you want to spend your time at home on professional endeavours, I suggest you put the portfolios down, and pick up some books or articles. Who benefits from you engaging in some professional reading? Well, the children do, because you learn about teaching and learning and you become a far stronger educator. And you. YOU benefit from your own professional development. You take that learning and knowing with you, wherever you go.


Jeanne de Clisson

© 2014 Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates All Rights Reserved


5 comments on “Is it Worth It?

  1. Aunt Annie's Childcare
    July 1, 2014

    Amen, amen, amen.

    • keryn bowes
      July 1, 2014

      So so TRUE I See so much of what I do here I must reconsider using my personal time to a better advantage maybe furthering my own studies instead of more documentation of childrens learning

      • Keryn, invest in yourself – whether that is in regards to education or learning something you’ve always wanted. You’re worth it 🙂

  2. Kylie
    July 6, 2014

    I truly understand where your coming at but where do you find the time to keep up to date with your learning journals portfolios. I am one that does 95% of my portfolios at home because working in a nursery with up to 15 children 0-2 year olds myself and my fellow educators can’t find the time to keep them up to date. Thank you Kylie 🙂

    • The bulk of what goes into my portfolios comes from the daily documentation. I then add to it for the individual child so that I make sure that the portfolios are are unique to the child. I also add unique moments for the child that don’t need to be shared with the whole community.

      I think the overarching problem is that we are doing way too much. And I think that employers/owners/managers don’t understand the NQS and EYLF as well as they should. As a result it becomes about adding more and more on top of current practices. It isn’t socially, mentally, emotionally sustainable and as a result you are pushed into doing work at home.

      I really wish that you were not in this situation Kylie. I used to do much of my portfolio work at home too. I changed the expectation I placed upon myself, and I changed workplaces. In time I found some balance.

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