I was recently in the Curricula Concepts newsletter in the ‘educator highlight’ section. I was interviewed and it was so good to just get some time to think about the answers and express myself freely. Then I realised I could share the answers here so you lovely readers can get to know me a bit more 😊
How many years have you worked with children?
I graduated in 2007 with my degree in Early Childhood Education. I went to university in England – my home country. I moved to Northwest Arkansas in December of 2016 with my husband and our four (now five!) cats.
What brought you to work with children? Have you always wanted to do, or did it just happen?
I have a distinct memory during my first year of school of looking up at my teacher and just being in awe. I remember that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you feel love. I really enjoyed being in her class, and I remember doing a 2-week work experience back in her class when I was 15yrs old! That was such a fun time, being able to go back and see the classroom from the teacher’s point of view. I’ve been hooked ever since!
What are some of your hobbies?
I’ve always enjoyed journaling – writing about your day-to-day life, thoughts, and feelings is very therapeutic. I like documenting my life through photographs too. I have taken so many since moving to the US, I try to put them into scrapbooks in my spare time. I also enjoy spending time watching British comedies on YouTube – it helps with the homesickness!
What is your most treasured accomplishment?
I think sometimes we don’t treasure the little accomplishments that happen every single day. I have a journal that I write ‘little-wins’ in before I go to bed as part of my self-care routine. Expressing a little gratitude for things that have gone well, giving yourself a pat on the back for any successes that have happened – big or small – is a great way to flood your brain with happiness hormones and BONUS: get a good night’s sleep!
What is your favorite thing about working with children?
I love observing children in a state of awe and wonder. Watching them play when they are amazed, surprised or intrigued by something. It’s like you can see their brains glowing. I love child-led learning; following children’s interests, and co-constructing projects through play. The children’s questions and ideas are always better than anything I could come up with in a lesson plan, and it makes each day a new exciting adventure – for the children and myself. I believe that we, as the adults in the room, should be playing with our own ideas, feelings, and understanding so that we retain some child-like wonder in our world.
What has been the most significant or memorable moment in your job?
I think my most significant moments are the times when a child who has been having a hard time with something – zipping up their coat, taking turns, decoding a word or missing their mum…and they’ve got through it with tools and support that I’ve modeled and helped them with. It’s always a wonderful moment when you see a child being successful, and you can recognize the direct impact you’ve had on them.
Do you have any dreams or aspirations you want to share?
Oh, there’s so many!! I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. I’ve been using my passion for writing to share some thoughts, articles, and research about the power of play and early childhood on my blog, The Play Coach. I believe that play is the key to everything – it joins everybody together; from all ages, races, nationalities, and cultures. It heals pains, solves arguments and takes you to other worlds where anything is possible! Play is children’s work and I believe it should be adult’s work too – interweave play into your day and watch you and the people around you glow up!