21 Mar 2017 at 12:00AM
Celebrating Community Connection
Getting dressed for work, Carol chooses odd shoes and socks, bright colours and mismatching earrings. She wonders what adventures are in store for her today. Will she go on a treasure hunt, turn into a fairy, or be buried in the sandpit up to her elbows? One thing she knows for sure is that engaging in a child’s world and encouraging their imagination is key to inspiring their development.
Carol has been an educator with Lentara’s early learning services for 13 years. She started in early learning as a kindergarten additional assistant and now works permanently at Fairfield St Andrews Kindergarten.
Some people think that being a kindergarten teacher is just a job. To Carol, it’s her life. Providing nurturing care and connection to families well beyond their kindergarten years is how she enlivens her community.
It’s not uncommon for Carol to share a milkshake at local cafe ‘Mumma Says’ with families past and present. Children in the kinder are a big fan of Mumma Says and cafe owner Anna was invited to a special play date, “I was provided with a table with flowers, a menu and my teacup was never left empty. It was wonderful to see the impact my little cafe had had on their play and their lives.”
When we asked the local community to share stories about their connection with Carol we were inundated. A true testament to Carol’s work and playful spirit.
“The staff at St Andrews kinder have impacted our lives greatly. There is only one Carol... she has a relaxed approach all the time and shows the kids that you should never be afraid to be yourself.”
“My girls all made strong connections with Carol because of her inclusive, fun and caring qualities. After 3 children attending kinder over 5 years, we are fortunate to still catch up with Carol. The connection and influence of this wonderful educator and person continues.”
“She (Carol) is widely recognised in this community and loved by all she meets. Her charm is boundless and we are all greater for her presence in our neighbourhood.”