Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Preschool shift at Mosman

Today I went for a 8- 3.30pm shift at this preschool in Mosman. The preschool was managed by a non for profit association.

It was a most interesting shift as the experience was the most different from the last two centres I went to, and very different from the centre where I last held a permanent position near Beverly

The Cert3 Assistant, and who is now doing her 2nd year of a BED (Primary School) part time, was very well informed and a very capable teacher.

She was able to answer the questions I asked her, and had a very open mind in managing and disciplining children.

The experience today basically proved that no matter what sentiments my ex boss had about children having a run outdoors was, it was not going to hurt if they had a fall as that was how they learnt.

I also observed that the children also helped to pack away indoors with the teachers just assisting. Group times was good too as the children enjoyed waiting patiently and quietly and it was pleasant reading a book to them.

Last but no least, there was not much administrative or cleaning duties. This basically took up the bulk of my work previously. Perhaps the only work was the curriculum planning, the prparation
for the art activities, and some general cleaning.

I also liked the fact that the centre was willing to bring in casual staff from the agency for RDOs or sickies, as it really gives the staff the rest they need as when they need to, instead of overworking staff on a weekly

As much as I love the Montessori philosophy, I believe there must be a balance of reality, practicality, and imagination to make work bearable, enjoyable and most importantly pleasant to wake up to everyday.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shift at a Brookvale centre.

Today I went in for a 9-5pm shift at Brookvale with Agent E. The centre was easy to find.

For this shift, I had to leave Rhodes by 7am. I took the bus to Brookvale from Carrington st Stand C, and arrived at the centre about 7.45am.

The day started out easy, with the 3-4 year olds. There were 16 in attendance today. Lunch was at 12.05 - 12.45 with ten mins paid.

As the children went out to play, I realised that the play of the children, especially with the boys seemed to get rowdier. Quite a number of the children (boys and girls) even showed some attitude when spoken to.

My perception of the staff at the centre is that they all seemed really busy and did not seem to catch on the verbal or non verbal cues that I had given. It was very different compared to the first centre in Penrith that I had been sent to.

I did not like that the staff in the preschool room had allowed the children to run, and as a result, some of the children knocked into each other. I didnt think they had very good ground rules for outdoor play.

I am not sure how trained the staff were, but I could see some OHS concerns. I dont agree in allowing children to wear Japanese slippers regardless of the seasons. Strapped
or velcro-strapped sandals are still acceptable though.

Some of the play equipment was placed too near the fencing, which is also a OHS concern as well.

When the permanent ECT from the preschool room came in, I mentioned this to her, but she did not seem to see this as a OHS hazard. I am quite particular in regards to OHS as this was the kind of environment I was exposed to in my previous work place.

Anyways, she (the ECT) asked me a few questions about my training and I mentioned about my Montessori
training. She was somewhat interested in it, and seemed to take a liking to me regardless of how 'dead' or 'self absorbed' the other staff seemed to be.

To end, her encouraging words were, 'You survived. Thats all that matters'.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

First assignment in Penrith

Today I finally decided to take up an assignment with Agent E. I was not sure initially whether to take it, as it was all the way in Penrith. 

However, staying home all day and reading all the books on theories
was not going to help me with procuring the kind of work I wanted to. So I took it.

It was also a full day shift, 9-5 pm. This morning I had to be at the Rhodes station by 6.44am. I had to transit over to the Blue Mountain Line at Strathfield station, and reached Penrith at roughly 7.40am.

I bought a coffee, and a bacon egg and roll (aud4.50) Then I had to take a local bus to Cranebrook, which is Bus 2 one ticket equivalent, at about 8.14am, which was closer to the centre in walking distance.

The centre was a long day care centre, with before and after hours services. It had quite a number of staff away, so that explained why I had to cover a full day shift.

So far, I think I did pretty well at the centre. The staff seemed pretty easygoing. I managed to work with the children, both the preschoolers from two different rooms.

It was pretty full on as it was full attendance today, with 22 kids in.

By the time I had lunch, it was 1.20 pm, of which 10 mins was paid for, and 30 mins was unpaid. I finished lunch at 2pm. I was pretty much exhausted by around lunch time... Heh.

It was also the first time I worked at a centre which provided after school hours services (up to Year 6 students). I was surprised to see older students in a daycare. I later realised that another daycare centre nearby too provided after hours services.

Apparently by law, children in Year 6 are not allowed to stay home alone, and hence most centres with after school hours provided a school van for pick up services.

Anyways, I took the bus back to Penrith Interchange at half past, near the daycare centre. There was no official bus stand, although there was a notice for 'bus zone' in front of the school. Just for your information, as I wasnt sure where to catch the bus home either.

It was nice to take a ride around the city of Cranebrook, which had a likely beautiful lake, and spacious grounds.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New South Wales: Working with Children Check

So to my readers, I am now back again in Sydney. 

After a month of travelling up the Northern Territories, I was supposed to end my trip in Sydney. However circumstances ask that I extend my trip longer than my initial stay here. 

In order to sustain financially my extended stay here, I have to look for a part time job. In which case, I decided that returning to my training vocation seems like a good idea.

In the last 6 months, the administration here in New South Wales has required that all staff being newly employed in the Childcare industry are to apply for a Working With Children Check, similar to their counterparts in the other states. The difference however is that a card would not be provided, like what they do for the states of Queensland and Victoria. 

I do believe they will send a notice or statement with an applicant number. This number will need to be quoted when applying for employment or volunteering services with children. 

The charges? 80AUD!

 I don't think it's cheap... But I guess that may deter a lot of people who would initially want to work with children... And the govt's way of making more money. Sigh.

They have also introduced the EYLF Early  Years Learning Framework. I do believe Queensland had something like this when I was doing my uni studies in 2006. I need to check it out if its the same.

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