I’m reflecting on the training event we held just over a week ago, I Wish for Risky Play which was a collaborative effort organised by myself, Rachel Macbeth Webb – owner of Beatle Woods Outdoor Nursery, Anne Gladstone – Author of We’re Ok with Risky Play and the contribution of all 22 attendees, who played an enormous part with their enthusiasm, willingness and participation.

It has got me thinking just how important training sessions/events are for our professional development and believe me when I say it’s not because I helped organise and plan the session! Rather it was the coming together of all the wonderful early years enthusiasts that arrived with an open heart and mind who had a desire to share, listen and learn from every person that was there.

Something magical happened under the blanket of a sky so blue, sheltered from the sun behind large trees and branches, hidden away in the shade of green leafy trees. There was a natural openness to start conversations, share stories and experiences as we sat around our make shift cable reel tables, perched on tree stumps with wind chimes tinkering and a welcome gentle breeze occasionally whooshing through the trees and branches.

The success of this experience cannot be captured by an evaluation form or photograph, not even in the words written inside our wishes and dreams journal nor can they been seen by the decorations hanging from our wishing tree. They were felt by every person attending, it was the joined up thinking, of wanting to do more, motivated by one another’s enthusiasm stories and ways of working. All inspired with the desire to make a difference and remind ourselves of the power we hold when we come together. This doesn’t happen if we become closed off from networking, visiting each other’s settings and disengage from attending training events.

We all deserve the opportunity to enthuse, motivate and reignite our own professional desires – through development, training and events. It’s vitally important to collaborate with others outside of your own workplace, seek out others who you can bounce off, learn from and share experiences, it enable you to reflect, focus clearly in what you do well, what your strengths are and what areas of development you need to focus on. As the payoff – the benefit of such collaborations will boost your spirit, fill your heart and top you up with the motivation and power to do that little bit more, both for yourself the team you work with and the children, whose hands you hold every day.

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