What is pedagogy? (Pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching by exploring ideas and issues and creating environments where learning and thinking can flourish.) ELF (2019)
My pedagogy has changed significantly over the past two decades as my career advanced from a small basement daycare owner, to an owner/employer/Pedagogist of a large child Care facility.
I set big goals for my business, and I advocate every single day to make those dreams become a reality for the educators and families that attend my school.
When my centre was chosen as one of the $10 dollar a day prototypes, I thought, “Nothing could ever top this!” It has been such an incredible experience listening to the life -changing opportunities this grant has offered the families at Little Bears.
In March 2018, our families went from paying our regular rates to only $10 dollars a day for care. The prototype runs until March 2020. We were one of 2 centres chosen in Victoria, BC. There were 53 centres chosen across the province to receive this 18-month prototype.
These days, my role has changed again and the many hats! wear include: mentoring early childhood educators that I employ in my programs, working as a pedagogist (lead educator/role model), advocating for childcare across the province , hosting workshops, writing/publishing articles, touring students from neighboring colleges, and travelling around the world to observe, document and experience the Reggio-Emilia philosophy. It is such a treat to be able to jump on the floor and work directly with the educators and your children. Not a day goes by that | am not incredibly thankful for this work that I feel so privileged to be a part of.
My travels to Italy and New Zealand have allowed me to look at my program here in Canada with a fresh lens. I am becoming more and more familiar with the Te Whariki (New Zealand’s Framework that is based on 2 cultures uniting and joining as one: the Maori and NZ peoples) Being able to visit many different centres all around New Zealand allowed me to experience fist hand what their programs feel, taste, smell and breathe.
| have had the honor of travelling to Italy, to do my schooling at the Loris Malaguzzi centre in Reggio – Emilia, Italy so far in 2016, 2018 and again in 2020. The work experience I have gained from these tours has challenged my vision of what quality childcare looks like here in BC. Many of the building designs and architect here at Little Bears has been influenced by these Italian schools.
I am always growing as an educator and challenging myself to do better; to be a better employer, educator and mentor. With the help of vision boards, I have seen many of my dreams become a reality, including the incredible honor of winning the 2019 Prime Ministers Award of Excellence in early childhood education. (see Gallery)
Nothing is ever “completely done” around our 4-acre campus because I am always questioning my values and my beliefs around quality. The outdoor classrooms are currently being built, and I am so excited to embark on a new and challenging component completely new to British Columbia childcare. Sleeping outdoors has been a natural progression for the past two years, and it is something not typically seen across Canada. I am working with my colleagues and my own mentors using pedagogical narration and documentation to chronical this NEW outdoor-living pedagogy. Very exciting times ahead!