CEHD Connect magazine spoke with Christopher Watson, director of the Reflective Practice Center at CEED, for an article in its latest issue focusing on the Reflective Interaction Observation Scale (RIOS). Watson led the development of the RIOS at the Reflective Practice Center. It was conceived as a tool to document and measure the interactions between participants in reflective supervision/consultation (RSC).
RSC is a form of professional development for people who work with young children and their families. It entails regularly scheduled conversations, either one-on-one or in a group setting. During these conversations, childhood professionals—educators, child care providers, child welfare workers, and others—have the chance to talk freely about their work with trained supervisors or consultants. RSC presents an outlet for the thorny problems and intense emotions that arise when working with children and families in high-stress situations.
RSC has been found to ease burnout and reduce staff turnover. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it is growing in popularity in the early childhood field. This quotation from a nationwide survey of RSC participants recently conducted by the Reflective Practice Center says it all:
“Participation in RSC has been life-changing for me. It has made me a more patient, mindful, and observant practitioner. It has helped me learn how to use myself and awareness of what I am thinking and/or feeling to be more accepting of my clients and colleagues and frankly, myself. It has decreased my stress, made me feel less ‘alone’ in the work with young children and their families. It is the hour I look forward to the most each month.”
The RIOS was developed “to help us identify the active ingredients in reflective supervision and consultation and to measure its impact,” Watson told CEHD Connect. Along the way, this tool has taken on an important secondary purpose as a guide to effective RSC sessions. Read more about the RIOS and the work of the Reflective Practice Center in the full story, “Reflective Supervision.”