Jan 23, 2024  Jessica Holder

Carrying the Torch

Carrying the Torch-Our Commitments to Carrying on the Legacy of Dr. Diane Kashin

In our first reflections of 2024, we want to pay tribute to the late Dr. Diane Kashin. We know that the loss of her is felt in corners all over the world. We felt the most perfect love letter that we could write to honour her would be a blog. We know her love of blogging impacted thousands of educators all over the world. This is our tribute to her and her career. One that has imprinted on both myself and Karen for decades.

Over the weekend, we spent time in Ottawa reflecting on the values, vision, and mission of the Home Child Care Consultants from Andrew Fleck Children’s Services. We decided to listen to any podcast we could find that featured Diane. Over the 10 hours of driving, we got to hear her reflections on the relationships that made up her career. All of these relationships gestured toward her final publication of Cultivating Professional Friendships in Early Childhood Education.  When we think about the impact we want to have in 2024, relationships are at the heart and soul of what we want to do. Our commitment in 2024 is to carry that torch and build a system of relationships that our professional friend Diane, would be proud of. reduced image jess and karen

Karen and I were fortunate enough to be planning a collaborative series with Diane around her vision for professional friendships and our passion for communities of practice. We were going to work together in 2024 to build a network of educators who used different approaches to build relationships that will enrich and sustain their careers. In one of our conversations, we were asked by a potential client, “Have you done this work before together?” she paused and thought about it for a moment and said, “Well no…what you are seeing here is the spark…the beginning of a professional relationship, one that will require movement.” In a world that often wants black-and-white answers, I was able to see how she was able to invite people to think in complexities. 

In the dynamic field of early childhood education, the significance of relationships and professional friendships cannot be overstated. We want to play a pivotal role in fostering these connections, creating a supportive ecosystem for educators. 

Through collaborative professional relationships, educators can lean on these connections which become a lifeline for their career. 

Professional friendships also create a sense of community and shared purpose. The synergy of minds within a network of educators allows for the exchange of diverse perspectives, sparking innovation.

The emotional support derived from professional friendships is invaluable. Early childhood educators often navigate complex scenarios involving young minds and their families. Having a trusted network of colleagues provides a platform for open dialogue, mutual encouragement, and the sharing of best practices. This emotional support not only enhances the well-being of educators but also directly impacts the quality of care and education provided to young learners.

We want to serve as architects of a robust professional community, emphasizing the importance of relationships and friendships among early childhood educators. These connections empower educators to navigate challenges, celebrate successes, and collectively shape the future of early childhood education. A mission that we hope would make Diane proud. We, like many others, have reflected deeply with Diane’s final blog post Legacy in Early Children Education: Embracing the Season of Giving Back and see it as a call to action. One that asks us to consider our own living legacy and as Diane has challenged us to always remember, “Just do good stuff with children and educators.” 

Diane, we promise to do just that <3 

Published by Jessica Holder January 23, 2024
Jessica Holder