Hi friends, it’s so lovely to be back today for this week’s Friday favourites. I honestly didn’t have a bunch of favourites about this week! I’ll be sure to share all about this past week sometime soon. So instead I thought that I might share a little bit about myself and how I became interested in working in early childhood education. I always love getting to know people through their blogs and I thought that you might like to get to know me a little more too.
Working in early childhood education is definitely one of my favourite things! (If any of my lovely co-workers are reading this…I know I know some days are hard!!). Because I have so many favourite things about working in early childhood education. I actually did a whole post about it a while ago and you can find this post here. Believe me, there are plenty of fun reasons!
Working In Early Childhood Education
Today I am recapping how I eventually landed where I am today working in a preschool. I have always loved being around children, I mean always. Even way back in primary school when I was twelve. I volunteered to go on a roster where I would go and clean the kindergarten room after the children had finished their lunch break. Now that’s passion!! I also taught Sunday school for many years and helped out at the kids club at church. If there was any opportunity for me to be able to help out with kids or babysit I was there!
I Originally Wanted To Be A Child Psychologist
During high school, I read a book by Torey Hayden called ‘One Child’. I didn’t just read it once, I must have read it at least ten times if not more! Because I just found it so inspiring. ‘One Child’ is a memoir written by additional needs teacher and now psychologist Torey Hayden. And is all about her experience working with her class of very young additional needs students over the course of a year. If you haven’t read it you totally should and I would really have to say that it is my favourite book ever.
Anyway, when I finished school I decided that I wanted to be a child psychologist just like Torey Hayden. And I never considered teaching not even for a second. While I was at uni doing an arts degree and majoring in psychology. A friend of mine who was working as a cook in a long daycare centre called me and asked if I wanted to do some casual work at her centre. Oh, boy I sure did and so I totally jumped at the chance!!!
I Ended Up Happily Working In A Daycare Centre
I remember walking into the childcare centre and then I absolutely loved every minute of working there. Honestly, I couldn’t even believe they were paying me for it. I loved it so much that I would have gladly done it for free! I loved all the crafts, messy play, singing, storytime, rest time, and outdoor play…I was in heaven!! So I guess this was my introduction to early childhood education and I ended up doing a whole lot of casual work at many different childcare centres as a part-time job while I was studying at uni. I couldn’t believe my luck!
A Change Of Direction
When I finished my first year of uni I decided that maybe psychology wasn’t for me. While I did enjoy the course I hadn’t expected that I would have to do a whole lot of statistics!!! I mean I break out in a sweat if I have to count higher than my fingers! Numbers, maths and me…nope we are not friends. I miraculously passed the statistics courses. Thanks to a book called ‘Statistics Without Tears’, although there were plenty of tears. And I did well in the other subjects that I enjoyed. But I really really wanted to have a year off from uni and just go to work in childcare.
I remember talking to my mum about it and she was all like…No way young lady! You go back there and finish what you started. You walk away now and you will never go back. Gulp, I knew better than to mess with my mum. And I am so glad that I listened to her. So I went back to finish my Bachelor’s degree. But my plans to progress further with psychology were pretty much over. I just wanted to get in there and be with the kids in a childcare setting. And I knew that my mum would be ok with me at least finishing a bachelor’s degree. Phew!
Big Life Events
Another huge life event was that I actually got engaged to my husband during my second year of uni. And we got married when I was in my third year. I graduated from uni and went straight to work in a long daycare centre. It was bliss! I worked in the nursery and I got to take care of babies all day long. I have to confess that the nappy change routine after lunch was probably not my favourite. But everything else was!
I worked for about a year and a half before I got pregnant with my oldest son Luke. Being around all those babies and smelling their little heads, cradling them in my arms just made me desperate for my own!! I took maternity leave and then I went back to work on a part-time/casual basis.
When Luke was four I saw an ad in the local paper (yep…there was no internet back then) for a part-time position at a preschool right near where I lived. It was a small community-based preschool and they offered four paid term breaks. That’s right paid!! As well as the usual four weeks of paid holiday leave. I couldn’t believe this kind of job even existed outside of primary and high schools!! The working hours were also perfect and so I went ahead and applied. Long story short I got the job and twenty-five years later I’m still there!
Do I regret not going on to become a child psychologist and working in early childhood education instead? Hmmmmmm……No. I mean I thought that maybe I would one day go back and do further study so I could eventually qualify as a psychologist. But the years just went by so fast. I honestly loved what I was doing too much to seriously consider going back to more study.
In hindsight, I probably could have done psychology as a science degree and not an arts degree. Then I would have just gone straight into the fourth year. Instead, I went via the bachelor of arts route because at the time I felt that it was a much more interesting pathway. I got to do other subjects like philosophy and Spanish and Latin American Studies. But I had to apply to get into the honours programme which I didn’t do. So I ended up just graduating with an Arts degree.
Another reason that I don’t regret not becoming a child psychologist is that I work in a great preschool with a brilliant team and to top it off it’s so close to home. And the biggest perk of all is that I was able to be home with my kids for every single school holiday that they had as well.
Working In A Lovely Preschool
I never qualified as an Early Childhood teacher and that’s one thing that I really have never had a desire to do…ever! You should see the amount of paperwork that is required every single day! It’s just so overwhelming!! I ended up studying for a certificate in children’s services and I work as an early childhood educator. I also have paperwork that I need to complete concerning my focus children’s development etc. But nowhere near the amount that the teachers have. Not even close. I get to be hands-on in the classroom and also do fun things like sometimes lead music and storytime. But at the end of the working day, there is no work that I need to take home.
I know that I would have made a whole lot more money working as a psychologist but I honestly love what I do way too much. I mean where else would I get away with doing my ‘I’ve got eyes in the back of my head’ routine as I did with the children on Monday at preschool?
Or be surrounded by toys!!
and do all the fun and messy craft.
I really have no regrets about how I ended up working in early childhood education at all. Are some days tough? for sure they are! Some days can be really challenging BUT that happens in any job and I honestly can’t imagine not working in early childhood!