Educator Spotlight | Kim Nguyen
Educator Spotlight | Kim Nguyen
October 9, 2018 | Victoria Parikian
Kim Nguyen | Calgary, AB
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.
My mom was a Kindergarten teacher when she was living in Vietnam. I grew up volunteering in her classroom when she moved to Canada, teaching at an International Language School on the weekends. From then I guess I knew I wanted to be a teacher but never thought I would end up teaching preschool. The opportunity to teach special education came and since then it's been such an incredible experience.
Top 3 Challenges in Early Education
It's hard not to fall in love with the children that come through your classroom. Everything they do and who they are become part of your personality and your daily routine. Sometimes that means even the parts of them that experience trauma or come from troubled homes.
Remembering that these children are still learning. It's their first experience in a new environment, first time separating from their parents and they're still learning how to share, sit down for circle etc. It's easy to forget that when you're trying to manage a preschool classroom.
Understanding that you cannot control every part of your classroom. Paint, play-doh, Lego on the floor. Even the most organized classroom is unpredictable.
What do you think could be better about your work?
Managing a better work-life balance. When you love your job, it can consume all aspects of your life. Sometimes that can be positive, but it's important to have a healthy balance.
Watching the children progress from September to June, as they reach their developmental milestones. Not every instance is a success story, but I have had kids come through my doors not walking or talking, and after you put in two years of grit work, getting to hear their first word really brings tears to your eyes.
Keeping parents informed for safety is just the baseline. I want to know parents that we are hearing their concerns, and want to address their priorities. Parent communication is essential for consistency in a child's life. You have to build that relationship with parents so they trust in your program and love for their child.
Kim's Career Goals
If a great opportunity presents itself, you have to seize it. But for right now, I am working at a not-for-profit that focuses on preschool-aged children in Calgary who have special needs. There's no job I want in the immediate future that gives me much satisfaction and fulfillment.
Do you have an educator you think should be in our Educator Spotlight? Contact us today and let us know!
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