Educator Spotlight | Shohreh Mansourian
Educator Spotlight | Shohreh Mansourian
May 28, 2018 | Alexandra Louis
Parkland Players | Coquitlam, BC
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.
"Working in education has been a dream of mine, since I was a child as young as 5 years old. I have always had a passion for learning and I wanted to share that passion with others. Therefore, in university, I began studying child psychology in order to give myself a better understanding of child development, and early childhood education. Once I graduated from university at the age of 22, I began my career in the field of child care. I started out managing a child care with children aged 0-5. Since then, I have had two wonderful children of my own, worked in, and managed a number of educational child care centres, and opened my own centre, which provides care for all ages all the way up to children in grade 5. Even after 35 years working in education, I still enjoy every day as if it were my first”.
Challenges in Early Education
The challenges Shohreh describes are familiar to many early childhood professionals. She reflected on three challenges that increase the daily difficulties present in early learning environments:
“I find it can be difficult hiring qualified staff. In British Columbia, where I am located, hiring and maintaining early childhood educators is a challenge across the province, and our centre is no exception. We are fortunate enough to have a wonderful team of educators at the moment but we are still struggling with growing our staff”.
“A second challenge sometimes faced in our field, is non-cooperative parents. The vast majority of the parents are great; they really appreciate everything we do and are willing to collaborate with us. However, over the years there have been a few instances where parents are unwilling to work with us when their child needs a care plan or extra support. We do our best to explain that we have their child’s best interests in mind, and we want them to succeed, but parents don’t always see it that way and that can make it difficult for us to give the children the early learning experience they deserve".
Support for Children with Exceptionalities
“Lastly, one of the bigger challenges we face is getting earlier support for children with special needs. The process for getting supports put in place can be long, and you have to continually work with organizations and systems that are busy and sometimes overwhelmed. Everyone does the best that they can, but it would be nice if we could provide children with the supports they need sooner in their education".
Access to Resources
“I wish I was able to provide more for the children, and for the staff that work so selflessly in this field. Maybe through government supports or some other system. I would like to find a way to access more child care resources, as we are constantly trying to grow and improve our programs”.
“Everything brings me joy at work! I truly love my job, I love the children and families that we care for, and being a part of this community. Anything that can bring a smile to the children’s faces, or peace of mind to the parents gives me joy”.
“Communication with parents is important to me because it allows parents to still be a part of their child’s day. Sending reports and photos helps parents better understand their child’s development and the educational program we are using. Furthermore, it contributes to their sense of security that their child is being cared for even when they are not there”.
"My goals right now are quite simple. I want to promote optimum growth for each child that comes through our centre, through a variety of activities, to help them to become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners. Therefore, I am constantly trying to learn more about new approaches, and ideas about early childhood education in order to grow and expand our programs".
Supporting Our Community
"I wish to be able to serve and support our community so it can be a better place for the next generation to grow in a safe and healthy environment and to learn how to care for each other with kindness and empathy. I think that one of the most important aspects of early childhood education is knowing that you are part of a larger neighbourhood or community and you have an impact on the youngest members of that community. So, it is important to contribute to teaching these community members how to care for each other as well as care about their learning experiences”.
Do you have an educator you think should be in our Educator Spotlight? Contact us today and let us know!
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