This year I planned to travel north to meet Kathy Brodie on the Monday, visit settings (both new and current customers) on the Tuesday and the Wednesday and finish up exhibiting at the conference Kathy organises each year on the Friday. On top of this, Kathy offered to feature our software on her blog and invited me to meet with Marion Dowling, Laura Henry and Bernie Taylor (from Trafford Early Years Service) at a dinner she organised on the Thursday evenig – how exciting! A jam packed five days I had ahead of me!
To start off the week, on Monday I joined Kathy at a very comfortable venue that she suggested. I felt very privileged to share the software with her in the same week as she published Inclusion in Early Years Practice to add to Observation, Planning and Assessment; Bringing It All Together and Sustained Shared Thinking in the Early Years – books that I always have on my exhibition stands.
JOYS OF SEEING NEW PLACES – On the days that followed I visited –
It is always great to see new settings, no matter how long I have to gaze upon motorway scenery (although I must say the roads up north are quite superb). These encourage me to evaluate my own nurseries, environment wise, and pick up new ideas. I also really enjoy talking things through with enquiring owners and managers to give a resolution to solve a difficulty. There’s just something very satisfying about working it out together. Thank you all for your hospitality and I hope we will work together in the future!
With the current customers it was a pleasure to meet them, for the first time and/again, but in their own surroundings. Over the phone, one always imagines what a setting is like and I am continually surprised by my imaginings being so inaccurate – and always in a positive way! I unexpectedly visited:
All so different but all equally working hard to ‘make a difference’ to the lives of children in their care. It was good to chat and amongst other things we looked at how:
So over those few days I covered a lot of ground and met with lots of enthusiastic like-minded people – definitely a worthwhile trip! And as for the dinner on the Thursday night (with Marion, Laura, Bernie and Kathy) it was more than ‘most enjoyable’ as we talked at length – all early years and sharing our experiences and thoughts in how to put everything to rights! It was a privilege.
I am not sure where my next trip will take me… It appears that most of our customers are up in the north. However, London and the south are growing in number, we will see if a conference will take me there later this year.