So it has come to an end of a six week block of my work at the Migrant childcare centre. It also happens to be the end of Olympics yesterday, after 16 days of competition and having Wang Lee Hom & David Beckham to appear on a London Red Double Decker bus at the Olympics Closing Ceremony! Seeing Lee Hom at the Olympics was definitely a bonus! At least we know where he was at that point of time!
The six week block was a god-send as it provided me continuity on developing my observation & programming skills. I definitely appreciated having the need for a floater (or an extra staff) in the classroom when I had to do programming or the daily diary in the classroom when the children had their nap time. I have learnt so much from just working with toddlers (when I was in Malaysia, I had the opportunity to work only with children 4 years and older), and how they behave and work.
Working with children who display disruptive and challenging behaviour, I have found that they too enjoy being "manja-ed" and actually did display better listening and compliance behaviour regardless of whether they were from chinese or anglo-australian background.
Because the results shown from the children of chinese background was positive, I decided to try it with the children at the centre I worked at today. The composition of the children who attended the centre came from a mostly anglo-australian background. Surprise, surprise! It worked really well too indeed, even from those who do display challenging behaviours. I definitely did surprise myself!
I really believe that it was a miracle and God's preparation that I have learnt so much in just six weeks. I have the wisdom to reflect on my work daily, and when I go to other centres, everything that I have picked up during the six week tenure just comes flooding back. It is essential & necessary for me to do that on a daily basis, as that will help me to learn from my mistakes and mentally prepare myself when I face the children each day. Trying to wing it is equivalent to CHAOS!
Indeed when I was writing up the observations today, all I had to do was refer to the daily dairy they had in the classroom, and everything just came flowing as I started writing. I thought it was going to be difficult, but it was easier than I expected.
Finally, it must be said that I have learnt to set boundaries on myself and have developed much more confidence in my skills as an Early Childhood Teacher. I have been to centres where the staff gossip away on how awful or badly ECTs perform compared to those who are diploma trained, or why as staff they do not get more work hours.
The sources of these comments have come mainly from staff who are untrained, and yet have the audacity to whinge. However I must direct a question back to these same people saying, if you really take your work seriously, or want more work hours, why are you not updating your skills and taking up serious training either at a teacher training college, or university?
Early Childhood Teachers are people who have taken time off to study, complete assignments as well as meet the requirements that are set out by the authorities. These assessment tasks and assignments were not easy, and we slaved away doing research in the library, asking questions and taking time off by sacrificing our time to not work. Some of us worked and studied and slaved away almost four years of our life to reach where we are. Some others even more than four years, to graduate with what is supposed to be a 3-year-degree.
So, to all Early Childhood Teachers out there who have either just graduated, and starting out on your journey, do not lose hope, and most importantly have pride in yourself and what you have accomplished. Do not let such discouraging words make you lose confidence in yourself as a teacher, and all that you have achieved so far thrown into the drain.
To all this, it must be said that I do believe that God is preparing me to much greater things and more responsibilities under my care, and I know He will. This is only just the begining.