HiMama is improving learning outcomes for children zero to five. We support early childhood education because the sector is the most challenging teaching environment. Low wages, lack of professional development and long days; HiMama’s aim is to ease childcare management and support early childhood professionals.
The HiMama team firmly believes that early childhood professionals deserve to be celebrated and that recognition is important. Our Educator Spotlight is one way we are shining a light on the important and undervalued work of childcare professionals.
After spending some time volunteering in a Grade 4 classroom, I knew I wanted to teach. In order to get some experience in the teaching field before going to Teacher’s College, I decided to get my degree in Early Childhood Education. During my placement in a kindergarten classroom, I fell in love with working with young children. It presents a unique set of challenges- you want to give them the tools to explore and challenge themselves, while still making sure they are learning important skills. I decided to stay in the early childhood education field, and teach kindergarten, and I am so happy I did.
CHALLENGES IN EARLY EDUCATION
As an early childhood educator working in a Full Day Kindergarten Classroom (it is a 2 year program, students can begin as young as 3.8 years old, and can be up to 5 years old), there are some challenges within my role.
- Recognition — Getting recognition as an equal teaching partner in the classroom. There are families and other community members that continue to see my job in the classroom as a ‘helper’. I have had to educate people on what my role as an educator means and what my work is in the classroom.
- Fitting The Needs of My Students — Finding ways to teach all the different learning styles and ages within the classroom. They have different interests, needs, and are at different places academically. I am continuously trying make sure our program fits the needs of each student.
- Resources — Having enough resources to run an effective program. We get a very limited budget for our classroom, so we have to be creative in creating centers and activities for our students.
WHAT DO YOU THINK COULD BE BETTER ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I wish that Early Childhood Educators received the same level of respect as our teaching partners. We do the same job, we work just as hard, but for some reason we do not receive the same level of respect. We are all in it for the love of our students, and I want to continue to provide the best classroom environment that I can.
I love laughing with our students and learning more about each one. Our students have unique personalities and every day I learn something new about them. We get to explore their wonders and their interests with them, and learn alongside them. Every day is something new, and they are learning so much all the time.
Having families involved in our classroom is so important. We make sure that we are always including them in our classroom environment and we want to make sure they know what is happening during their child’s day. We are with them for 7 hours a day- we want parents to know what their children are doing and learning. It creates a great bond between school and home, and fosters a sense of community in our classroom.
AMANDA’S CAREER GOALS
I would love to continue my work at the school board level by providing professional development opportunities. I love integrating technology into the classroom, and I have presented at a board-level professional development day. I would like to continue to present to my co-workers different ways that they can use technology in the classroom.
I love creating different materials for our classroom. I have made different sets of wooden blocks, wood car tracks, story stones, a pencil stool and other items. I enjoy crafting, so making things for the classroom is a natural fit for me. I also love sharing my ideas and getting inspiration from the teaching community. That is why I started my blog here!
Do you have an educator you think should be in our Educator Spotlight? Contact us today and let us know!