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Image by Philip Bohle

Libby, a seasoned educator based in Launceston, shares her experiences in the world of early childhood education. Having previously worked as a teacher of Grades Two, Three and Seven, she now oversees literacy and numeracy initiatives in her current role as an Early Childhood Teacher, Libby shares the unique challenges and joys she encounters daily.

 

Embracing New Career Choices Later in Life

Libby’s career journey in early childhood education took an unexpected turn when a colleague’s departure created an opportunity to become an Early Childhood Teacher at the centre where she works. Adapting to new challenge with a positive outlook and many years’ experience as a primary and secondary school teacher, she found herself spearheading literacy and numeracy efforts. She creates informational materials for parents and fosters a love of learning with the children, both at the centre and at home.

If a child comes into the centre and they’ve got a smile on their face and you know that they’re really pleased to see you, it’s a gift. It’s a gift that it just keeps on giving…All my inspiration comes from the interaction that I’ve got with children, the interaction the children have with each other. “

 

Passion Knows No Age

Reflecting on her journey, Libby emphasizes the consistent thread of passion in teaching. Whether engaging with three or thirteen-year-olds, Libby believes that her dedicated focus on a child’s learning remains unchanged. Her commitment to nurturing curiosity and adapting teaching methods is evident, illustrating the universal nature of effective education.

You don’t want to stop [a child’s] learning, you don’t want to stop that passion. If you want to run with whatever a child comes up with, that’s not going to change from a three-year-old to a 13-year-old.”

 

Community Connection

Since Libby joined the team she has positively connected with her colleagues, through their shared dedication to early childhood education and collaborative spirit. From encouraging professional development to embracing diversity, the team exemplifies a commitment to excellence and inclusivity. They also place emphasis on empathy and understanding which underscores the depth of connections formed within the team and fosters a positive working environment.

The importance of communicating clearly and documenting the day is invaluable to the successful and smooth running of the centre. It enables the team to stay up to date and is especially helpful to staff like Libby who doesn’t work every day.

Image by Philip Bohle

Intergenerational Advantage

As one of the older members of staff, Libby sees her age as an asset. She believes it brings a unique perspective to the team, offering a varied range of experiences and stories that contribute to a richer learning environment. Libby also invests in building strong relationships with parents. By creating an open and reassuring environment, she aims to convey to parents that their children are not only safe but also cherished.

“…because all their thinking, at the forefront, all their focus is on children.”

Libby values the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. She appreciates the encouragement to leave work at the centre, allowing her to recharge fully at home. As a bonus, Libby can also walk to work, adding opportunity to pop home for lunch or grab a favourite children’s book from her collection at home.

Her personal fulfillment comes directly from working with children. She sees them not just as the future but as the present, deserving of a strong foundation that instils a passion for learning. Every working day Libby enjoys the opportunity to show children how to explore their own ideas. Watching them observe ice melting or seeing them play with paint is a rewarding process because we can draw on children’s ideas, fostering collaborative learning and embracing inquiry-based exploration.


“We also need to remember the importance of routines, processes and expectations for these children and sometimes we need to roll our sleeves up and help them with their life skills as well as learning outcomes. And that might just mean putting on your gloves and sanitiser to help a child with their toilet training. “

Libby encapsulates the essence of early childhood education — dedication, compassion, and the unwavering belief in the potential of every child.

 

Our sincere thanks to Libby for her contribution to Work with Purpose. To find out more about working in disability access an information guide here.

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