What do you find most satisfying about leading the Early Learning Centre?
Fintona Early Learning Centre is a very special place. Not just for the children who frequent the space everyday but also for the adults; teachers, parents and all who visit. It is a joy for me to lead the teaching team at Fintona ELC. I am lucky to be part of such a passionate and dedicated team of individuals who are committed to ensuring that each and every child not only learns and grows, but also enjoys each and every day they spend with us.
What has been a highlight of your time so far in the ELC?
I think that every school year brings many different things to feel both proud of and excited about. From our amazing annual collaborative community projects to the everyday achievements of individual children. A particular highlight for me was in 2013 when Fintona ELC was assessed under the Australian Children’s Education and Care National Quality Standard. Fintona ELC achieved the highest rating of ‘Exceeding the National Quality Standard’ in recognition of the quality of our ELC and the dedication of our educators. The achievement of this rating made me feel very proud and we look forward to maintaining that rating into the future. The re-development of our outdoor play-spaces over the last few years have also been an exciting achievement for mw. Part of this redevelopment has seen the creation of a new space, a ‘Sensory Garden’, which provides the children with an additional quiet, investigative space, to be explored with by all of the senses.
The ELC is a very beautiful and modern space. What are some of the ways students benefit from it?
The ELC space is both flexible and beautiful. The learning areas are designed to allow for maximum light and a sense of spaciousness and visibility. We endeavour to be responsive to our children and the ELC environment allows teachers to arrange and re-arrange spaces easily as the program develops and changes. We provide the children with many different types of materials for them to engage with, meaning the children are regularly able to make choices about the direction of their learning. Additionally, the outdoor learning environment is a natural space, filled with loose materials and opportunities for risk-taking and extended physical and social play.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching young girls and boys or running the ELC?
When I am not teaching in the ELC I enjoy travelling, spending time with my family and friends, and extending my cooking skills by trying something new in the kitchen. I am also very involved in many early childhood network groups, and advocating for the rights of young children, including with the Australian Reggio Emilia Information Exchange, of which I am the current Vice-Chairperson.