Every child is a universe, complex and mysterious, and the only way to get to know them is through building meaningful relationships based on trust, empathy, and respect.
In my daily practice, I appreciate every child for who they are now and I am excited to see who they will become tomorrow. I strongly believe that all children have the right to be heard, protected, and respected. I am committed to providing each child in my care with fair and equitable learning opportunities.
I acknowledge that a family plays the most important role in a child’s life, and that parents (caregivers) are the first and most influential teachers. I recognize that a parenting journey is not always easy, and I offer my support through empathetic listening, validating parents’ feelings and concerns, and sharing relevant information about child development.
I am aware that some children and families might have experienced trauma that can affect their sense of well-being and decision-making. Whenever appropriate, I help families access local resources and I always welcome professionals who provide additional support for children in my classroom. Creating a partnership between the family, the teachers, and the support team ensures open communication, consistency, and better outcomes for children.
Creating a culture of belonging and respect for all members of our community — families, children, and teachers — allows me to connect with people, to get to know them, and to earn their trust. As a first-generation settler/immigrant, I understand the importance of inclusion and cultural responsiveness, the strong need to be accepted in the local community and at the same time to be validated and recognized for having different values, culture, and traditions. I strongly believe that hearing each other’s stories and sharing varied lived experiences contributes to more connected and supportive communities. Diving deep into race relationships during my current graduate studies and self-education highlighted the historical and systemic nature of inequality in Canadian society. I am committed to the anti-racist approach in discussing difficult topics and responsive pedagogy based on cultural norms and expectations of the diverse community members. I have a classroom tradition to invite families to share and celebrate their heritage and culture through family-centred projects like “Family of the Week” and “Our Roots”, which explore our separate and shared stories of living together on this land. I honor the Mi’kmaw language and traditions as a part of Nova Scotia’s past and present by sharing books and songs by Mi’kmaw artists and introducing concepts and tools (for example, a talking stick during our circle time discussions) that I learned in person from the Elder. I will continue my learning in order to normalize Mi’kmaw culture as an integral part of the future education system, with respect and sensitivity.
I see children as explorers who have endless curiosity about life, capable of directing their own learning. I see children as thinkers who experiment with their environment as they try to make sense out of it. I see children as artists who use their creativity as a reflection of their explorations and feelings, and as a communication tool to share their ideas with others.
I am convinced that children learn best through play when their minds and bodies are fully engaged and their imagination is unhindered. I use the Early Years Learning Framework to follow children’s interests and expand their learning through open-ended play-based activities.
I create welcoming and engaging learning environments that support self-directed and complex play. They allow children to experiment, test their ideas, try different roles, and express their views and opinions. I value the principles of democratic classrooms where children are involved in establishing rules and making choices collectively. This shared power comes with a responsibility to be caring stewards of our environment and responsible citizens of our classroom community.
I am intentional in providing children with opportunities to construct their knowledge by scaffolding their inquiries with leading questions, intriguing materials, and ways to share their expertise with others. I use the cycle of inquiry and pedagogical documentation as a research and reflection tool to guide my practice and shape the classroom’s learning landscape. I create unique individual portfolios that reflect children’s personalities, dispositions, and learning experiences in an authentic way based on observations of children’s play and interactions, conversations with colleagues, and reflective practice. I invite children to explore the universal language of art and discover their own creative processes. I safeguard children who take risks to ensure that they can safely test their abilities; I help them build resilience and persistence if they don’t succeed at once.
I value honest work and building real-life skills. I find them to be important for a child’s sense of well-being, confidence, and participation in a life of our classroom community. Cooking, baking, gardening, and woodworking are a part of our curriculum and we take pride in our accomplishments!
Outdoor time is very important to me and I make sure that children are ready to play outside in all kinds of Nova Scotia weather! I help children develop meaningful relationships with their natural environments by modelling observation skills and sharing my own fascination with all living things.
To sum it up, my goal is to inspire and support all children in becoming their best selves in the context of their community while enjoying the process of co-learning and co-creating together with them.
All photos are from unsplash.com