How long have you been working as a teacher and what inspired you to become one?
I have been a teacher since 2005. I started in a P-10 school and then moved to early childhood school.
I have always loved been around kids and playing with kids. I also had some influential teachers and some of them I still remember today. They just made me feel important and like I was great at what I was doing. I think that is an amazing thing to be able make a difference to someone’s life at a young age.
What prompted the move to become an early childhood teacher?
I became passionate about the development presence of younger children, what they develop and all their key milestones. So, I decided to pursue early childhood teaching and really enjoy early primary practices.
What do you love most about your job?
It’s a fun job! It’s different every day. The challenges change every year even if we are teaching the same thing. Every day is a new adventure. I love looking at the magic of all the children that I teach. They are all so different and fascinating to see all those bright lights come alive.
What’s the best part of your job?
I think the best part is seeing the light bulb moments of the kids. When an activity becomes so much more, it is a really exciting for them and for us as teachers. It is really rewarding to see that excitement through their learning. They are learning such vital skills that if they don’t enjoy them, they are not going to improve those skills. So as early childhood educators, it is so important that we give them the tools to unlock their creativity and skills.
What does a typical day look like?
At the moment I’m teaching in lower primary with 3 and 4 year old kids. We start the day with activities to settle in, with lots of stories and songs, all based around our focus text for that week. Each day we spend some time playing outside, where the kids can run and jump and learn how to play with each other.
Then after lunch we always have quiet time, it’s particularly important for the little ones to have a rest.
In the afternoon we do activities based around dramatic play areas. During this period, I also have one on one time with kids. I would go up to each kid and get down and have an activity just with them. Then we pack up, have another story and head home.
Best piece of teaching advice that you would like to share?
Best advice is to be flexible. You can have all the plans in the world, and you can set things up as strategic as you like, but the kids may take it in a different avenue that is neither right nor wrong. It’s just something that you often find when they start going on different tangents, a whole new level of thinking becomes available to them and you. So even if it is not quite what you thought you were going to be teaching that day, I think it’s important to go with the interest of the kids and be flexible.