Early Childhood Grows Up

Volume 6 of the series International perspectives on early childhood education and development pp 87-101


A Constant Juggle for Balance: A Day in the Life of a New Zealand Kindergarten Teacher

  • Carmen DalliAffiliated withInstitute for Early Childhood Studies, Victoria University of Wellington Email author 

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Thematic analysis of a continuous video record of a day in the life of a kindergarten teacher in New Zealand, and of a follow-up narrative reconstruction of the day during an interview with the teacher, yielded the image of a constant juggle for balance to describe the teacher’s professional practice. The teacher juggled the demands of working with a group of children while responding to individual interests, managing curriculum plans as open possibilities, and seeking ethical responses in complex situations. The chapter argues that the juggle for balance required the bringing together of multiple layers of understanding about relationships, curriculum and ethical practice that belied the appearance of momentary encounters and trivial conversations.