An Interview with Inspired ECE

It is an honour to be Inspired ECE‘s featured teacher this month! Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.

1. How did you decide to become an Early Childhood Educator? (describe your journey)

Sometimes all it takes is one person to change the course of your life. On this particular day it was Elaine. She saw something in me and asked that I come to an interview for a position as an Early Childhood Assistant at a brand new facility that was opening up (at the time I was working in the restaurant industry which didn’t exactly feed my soul). There was an inkling in me that knew to say yes and to go to the interview.

I was hired as an assistant ECE and not long after, developed a love for teaching and a deep interest in learning more. I was introduced to the Reggio Emilia Philosophy and became instantly intrigued and inspired by this approach. I researched different schools and decided to move to Vancouver to attend Capilano College (now University) to complete my ECE.

After completing the Early Childhood Program, I had the privilege of working alongside Christianne Hayward at Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art. The time I spent teaching alongside Christianne continues to be one of the most rich and informative experiences of my teaching career. I am eternally grateful to have had her as a mentor.

2. What makes you jump out of bed and go to work everyday?

My passion and my purpose is what drives me every day. I am passionate about creating environments and experiences for children that nurture and nourish their minds, bodies, and souls.

3. Share a pivotal moment in your career.

I’ll never forget the day the opportunity to start my own preschool program landed on my doorstep (or in my inbox to be precise). The email went something along the lines of, “We are a group of parents who are looking for a preschool program for our children. We have a space and we want you to be the teacher.” (Did I mention I had never met them before?)

That day, followed by the day I said, “YES” to starting this preschool program (now Storyoga Preschool) was a pivotal moment in my career. It meant really doing it on my own. It meant taking the creative reins and running with my vision and my dream. It meant growing a grass roots business and trusting that, “if you build it, they will come.” And so they did. In just three years we have grown from 1 class and 10 children to 3 classes and 42 children.

4. Who has had a positive influence on you as an educator?

Christianne Hayward, Founder & Director of Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature & Art. Samantha Johncox and Amy Danks, Owners of Sweet Peas Cottage. Bridgitte Alomes, CEO of Play & Natural Pod.

5. What inspires you?

Children inspire me. They inspire me to be present, to be patient, and to lose track of time. They inspire me to be curious, to jump in puddles, and to make mud pies. They inspire me to be playful, to sing in the rain, and to laugh out loud.

Nature inspires me. It inspires me to slow down, to reconnect, and to listen to what I already know is true. It inspires me to live with the seasons, to tune in to my surroundings, and to remember that it’s the simple things that count.

My community inspires me. It inspires me to give back and to provide our future generation with an everlasting impression that will inform and inspire their hearts and their minds. It inspires me to be the change, to make a difference, and to leave a legacy behind.

6. Describe your personal teaching philosophy in five words:

“It’s a way of life.” My teaching philosophy is a reflection of who I am and how I live. It is evidenced in an all encompassing approach to embracing and empowering ourselves (and our children) exactly as we are. My philosophy is rooted in growing your own food, in green smoothies, and in A-B-C juice (apple, beet, carrot). My philosophy is rooted in kindness and in treading softly on the earth. My philosophy is rooted in the way of yoga, in mindfulness, and in an understanding that we are all connected. My philosophy is rooted in a love for oneself, for each other, and for our earth.