However a series of events conspired to get me into a nursery class in 2006. My mum was a teacher and in fact was a nursery principal when she retired (early I better add) in 2006. Her colleague who was acting principal at the time needed a nursery assistant & I had recently lost my job. I am indebted to Christine for having the belief in me to allow me come into her class & be her assistant. Whether she thought I would be a natural merely because my mum was such a great teacher or she was just so desperate she figured anyone with a pulse would do - I got the chance to work in a nursery classroom in February 2006 for a few months. (It actually turned out to be 18 months).
|Ice is never just ice when there are children around! "It's a dinosaur egg"|
|My mum - I only wish I had had the chance to work with her, as I now know she was one of the finest nursery teachers ever.|
I was fortunate to get a maternity cover in the same nursery where I had got a break as a nursery assistant (so Christine, by now the Principal, had a lot of faith in me) & that first year as a teacher I taught nursery, special needs Primary 3. I enjoyed teaching in the primary schools but my heart lay in nursery. I was so lucky the following October to begin a temporary contract as nursery teacher in my current school. I never, ever thought I would still be there 12 years later!
I truly believe I have the best job in the world. I get to teach the most enthusiastic students in the school system. Everyday I hear laughter, get hugs & told how great I am!! Nursery children are natural optimists, they believe anything is possible & they rarely give up when they can't succeed at a new task. Some days when I am sitting in the block corner or having fun outside I still can't believe my luck. When we are out in the forest or cooking on the fire I have to pinch myself & I know I am so fortunate to do a job I love.
|Imagine getting paid to make hot chocolate or popcorn?|
I do get cross when the early years as a sector is dismissed or worse still it comes attack from those who should know better. If children can not have a carefree, stimulating playful learning environment when they are 3 or 4 there is something seriously wrong with the world. So I will continue to hold firm against the formalisation of the early years. The children in my class will play with mud, rain, sticks etc., they will have time to watch a snail move slowly across the playground. I make no apologies for not worrying abut whether they recognise all the letters in their name or can hold a pencil 'properly'. They will learn all those skills in primary school & honestly look round a room of adults, do any of them hold a pen 'properly'?
I want the children in my class to have fun, to learn how to take risks, to experience that rush of achievement when they get up the slide or up a tree or put their own coat on. I want them to keep on trying when things aren't going so well & to know that it's OK to not be able to do something - but to never give up on the first try.
I also believe that because I have worked in other jobs where I had to work weekends, evening & early mornings & during holiday periods that I fully appreciate how lucky I am to have a steady job that gives me quality time off to relax & recharge my batteries.
I truly mean it when I say that if I won the lottery in the morning I would keep on working, as realistically I feel like a lottery winner every day already.