It was a complete coincidence for me to choose education as my career. When I was little, being a teacher never sounded appealing to me. Part of the reason was that my mother used to be a geology teacher. She always seized every opportunity to teach me something new about geology. For example, introducing questions to me such as; how are limestones different to that granite. It was certainly not the most interesting question for a 4-year-old child; as a result, my initial impression of being a teacher involved nothing but boring facts about random things. However, this is something that I have since learned to value and appreciate the most about education and, more so, early years education – the power that questioning can bring into the environment and our children’s learning experiences.
I still vividly recall one of my first memories as a nursery child at 4. At that time, I had just moved from Guiyang to Guangzhou with my family and joined a local nursery in the middle of a school year when I met my EY3 teacher, Ms Qianqian. Being exposed to a new environment where most of the children spoke only Cantonese, I felt quite anxious and was intimidated by this very different language everyone spoke around me. Ms Qianqian showed an understanding and awareness of my anxiety from the first day, and so began a very supportive transition and settling in process. She ensured that I continued building on my mandarin whilst at the same began introducing me to Cantonese. In addition, she would always sit down next to me during lunch and snack time to check-in. From observation, she quickly found out that I liked music a lot, so she planned enjoyable music activities to encourage me to become a more active participant in the classroom and, at the same time, inspired me to want to learn Cantonese.
I still think of Ms Qianqian now that I have become an early year’s educator myself. Even though it was a completely different school setting 30 years ago, I think the core educational belief remains the same: to see every child as an individual and determine what motivates their high levels of wellbeing and, as importantly, know their passions and interests are.
I feel honoured and proud to say that I have now found a nursery that shares my values, a vision for excellent early years education, and celebrating the child in all they do - Huili Nursery Hangzhou.