Because of my harsh authoritarian upbringing, I never considered the possibility of being a good care giver. It wasnt until I had my first three children, I realized I had the power to become the person I wanted to become.
I was fortunate to receive wonderful therapy that allowed me to grow intellectually and spiritually. I also became involved in my childrens Daycare Parent Committee and one day was asked if I could help by replacing the Toddler Educator for one day, which turned out to be three days. I was already well liked by the committee for my supportive and optimistic ways but after my experience with the children I was praised for my patience, energetic and caring ways with the children. I was also considered a natural at teaching and guiding the children as an educator.
Two weeks later I was offered the toddler educator position which I accepted nervously. My experience as a mother, and now as an educator, made me question how I could be the best mother and educator for these children despite my negative upbringing. I already knew what I did not want, and that was not to follow my parents upbringing at all. But for this to happen I needed to educate myself and therefore graduated as an RECE educator which I did in 1995 in Montreal.
I was confident I would be a good educator because of my positive strengths I possess. I have always been optimistic, caring, organized, well rounded, happy, energetic, thoughtful and specially have the love of children. With these qualities in mind, I knew I had a place I could feel loved and a place I could keep growing spiritually and intellectually.
Throughout my thirteen-year experience I have come to know the importance of my role as an educator. As a researcher, I have learned to envision quality programs for young children and I am dedicated to meeting all the needs of each growing child in my care. To me each child is an individual with their own rate and style of learning and growing, their own unique patterns or approaches to situations, and their own innate capacities. Every child needs opportunities adapted to their individual needs with respect to individuality. As a child, I grew up with ADHD and never got the proper guidance I deserved. Therefore, I understand the importance of unique individual support for a child to reach their optimum development at a time when they are in a critical period of their development, socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually. I feel if I can help succeed children through their trials, I have succeeded in bringing out their best positive self-concept or self-image. Which is an important factor in the childs learning and mental health. I want to be able to foster this by allowing children to feel that significant people like them and feel that they are able and worthy.
As an educator, I also feel a responsibility to respect family diversity and to provide learning experiences that are inclusive. For this relationship to grow I feel it is essential to keep a low child/teacher ratio to ensure that the teacher can focus on individual needs of the child. Therefore, my program shall be flexible and planned activities according to the varying needs and level of the childs ability.
As a role model, I have come to realize the importance of parenting. We are the most important teachers for children. As a teacher, I plan to partner with parents so we may learn from each other.
My Early Childhood programs will respect the parent-child relationship. I feel I have the responsibility of interpreting programs to parents as well as understanding the expectations of the parent about the childs own learning experience.
I have come to observe the importance of play as an avenue for learning and for enjoyment. Children learn through active involvement in play, using all their senses; through doing things to and with materials; through representing concepts in play, rehearsing roles and thus clarifying them. Children test out, explore, discover, adapt, classify, organize and reorganize their experiences as they play.
Although guidance is necessary for the growth of each child, discipline is never meant to hinder the childs self-esteem. Instead, good guidance involves fairness, consistency, respect for the child and an understanding for child development. Positive and consistent guidance will help to regulate his own behavior in a responsible way.