I come from a child and family therapy background, and was a trauma therapist for 10 years before moving to ECE, a decision I have never regretted. With both a Masters Degree in Teaching and a Masters degree in Play Therapy, I feel very fortunate as it grants me extensive knowledge about child development and the importance of this for children’s learning within a play based environment. I have extensive experience in building strong and effective relationships with whānau and believe in the child as a whole, involving whānau in the assessment and learning process to ensure the best outcomes for our tamariki.
My teaching philosophy is based around play. My belief is that ultimately, children learn through play and without this, learning would not be possible. I believe my role is as a facilitator of children’s learning and thus put a lot of value on my role as a teacher – but believe that only the child can determine where they are at, and what must happen next. Thus, I value my ability to recognise children’s verbal and non-verbal cues about what they find interesting and what they want to learn from that.
Furthermore, I place high value in guiding children in their social and emotional development. My studies included a research project that looked at how children can support each other’s social and emotional self-regulation within their sociodramatic play. This project added so much to my own practice and created an awareness for me about the abilities of children in managing their own emotional and social challenges, with the right guidance from myself, as teacher. It also confirmed the importance of imaginative play and how this really serves as a learning tool in itself.
I pride myself on my sense of humour and sense of fun and find this to be a way for me to connect, not only with children, but also with adults. Having said this, I also know how to be serious at the right time. I am so happy to be at Pathways Kindergarten.