Why did you decide to become an early childhood educator?
One of my earliest memories of growing up in India is of me pretending to be a teacher and sparing no walls in my house. I unconsciously steered away from teaching as a career, as it wasn’t considered ‘successful’ enough. But after moving to Australia, it did not take long to realise that this is my chance to reinvent myself. Early childhood teaching was the most appealing to me, given its responsiveness to children, autonomy in building a curriculum and its play and relationship-based approach.
What experiences from your own life have been most useful in your work with young children?
The fact that, across generations, children gravitate to the same things: play, nature and relationships. I use these three elements in aspects of my teaching. Children thrive as they play, take risks and build meaningful relationships with adults, peers, animals and nature.
What do you wish that other people understood better about your job?
Early childhood is not a ‘baby-sitting’ service. The first five years of a child’s life shapes the person they are going to become in the future. It is more than getting them ‘ready for school’. It is about celebrating who they are and bringing out a life-long love for learning and curiosity.