Educator Spotlight | Vanessa Wozniak
Educator Spotlight | Vanessa Wozniak
June 18, 2018 | Alexandra Louis
Vanessa Wozniak | Golden, 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.
"To be honest, my original career path was not Early Childhood Education. During high school, I wanted to pursue a career in the Canadian Forces. Long story short, it did not work out due to medical reasons. I decided to take a placement at my elementary school to earn a couple extra credits before graduation, where I was placed in a grade 5 class with one of my old teachers. That is when I realized I had a passion working with children. Therefore, I decided to apply for Early Childhood Education and it was one of the best decisions I ever made”.
Challenges in Early Education
“After graduating the Early Childhood Education Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton Ontario, I pursued some extra course work at McMaster University, while working at McMaster Children’s Centre. McMaster Children’s Centre was one of my placements when I was still going through the Early Childhood Education program. Having the opportunity to go back and do some supply work, while still going to school, was a great way to get my feet wet in the field. I had the chance to work with all different age groups, which was great, and build great connections with the staff, families and children. Completing all my courses, I then found a permanent full-time position in my home town Peterborough, ON at Compass Early Learning & Care".
"This is when I knew I was going to face some challenges. I knew there would be some expectations that I was not very familiar with at the time. We were required to do documentation on children’s learning through photos and observations. I struggled with that for a long time.. and still do! But, having to work with so many talented educators and collaborating ideas, was a step forward to learning something new. I still struggle with documentation, but I know collaboration is so important in our field that without it, our growth is limited to our own perspectives”.
“The place I am in right now, I have no complaints. I am always learning and always growing every single day. I am extremely happy with what I do and I am very grateful”.
“I can say this for all the educators out there when I say we get a lot of “I don’t know how you do it” remarks. But the truth is, we just do! I mean, our job isn’t a walk in the park. It definitely has its challenges. I had the privilege to have my niece and nephew with me in my last daycare and they were a huge inspiration of mine. Not only inside of work, but outside as well. There is so much joy you find every single day and you have a huge impact on children’s lives. You make them laugh, you make them smile, you help them learn, and you are someone they love. To me, that’s what makes this job so rewarding”.
“Parent communication is one of the most important relationships you can have as an Early Childhood Educator. You are very much a part of the family’s life as you are the child’s. I have built some very strong relationships with families in the past and this is because of how strong of a connection I have made with the parents. The families need to be reassured that their child is in a safe, comfortable and happy environment with educators they can trust”.
Vanessa's Career Goals
"I recently moved out to Golden, British Columbia excited to start a new journey with my life and especially my career. Sad to leave my old workplace behind, I was eager to jump into a new beginning. Right now, my goal is to open my own Child Care. I have come to realize that there is a demand for child care out west and I would love to open my own and offer what I have learned and gain new relationships with children and families. Another challenge I have come across is money; I believe a lot of Early Childhood Educators have this challenge as well. This is why I am currently at a halt with my goal at the moment, but that does not mean I will give up. I am still striving for my dream and always will".
"I have recently started my own Instagram page: @vanessa.rece and Facebook page: vanessa.wozniak.rece sharing my philosophy, inspiration and my passion for children. I also love sharing what I have learned through the Reggio Emilia Curriculum and I am always looking to connect with other educators to better my practice and collaborate with others! Follow my journey, collaborate with me, and let us support one another on our adventures with these tiny humans”.
Do you have an educator you think should be in our Educator Spotlight? Contact us today and let us know!
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