Tamisha Daniel was awarded the Busy Bees Educator of the Year award for 2020.
Why did you decide to become an Early Childhood Educator?
I chose to become an Early Childhood Educator as I wanted to be an advocate and a powerful voice for children, ensuring that their voices are heard and have someone who believes in them. I am an older sister to two children with additional needs and found that their early childhood journey was tough for them growing up and could only imagine how many other children would be in this position, becoming an Educator meant I could assist other children in the Early Childhood sector, by creating lasting memories and a comfortable place for them to grow.
What sort of qualifications do you have, and how did you get them?
I started as a trainee and gained my Certificate three, after completing this I knew that I wanted to keep studying to further my knowledge and understanding of the Early Childhood Sector. I then decided to do a Diploma in Early childhood Education and Care and a Diploma in Montessori 0-3. I am also currently studying another Montessori Diploma 3-6 and a Psychology Degree.
What’s it like to study while you’re working as an Educator?
I have completed all my studies while working full time and still continue to do this, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Working and doing the courses simultaneously allows me to understand the and put into action on-floor experience and the hard copy information to link the two together. Being able to understand the theory, the quick thinking and problem solving from on-the-floor training has allowed for me to grow as an Educator. I find this is the best way for me to learn.
How do you know when you have had a positive impact on a child’s learning or development?
I believe that I have had positive impact on a child and their learning and development when the child is happy, thriving and flourishing within their environment. I believe it is evident that an educator or service is having a positive impact on a child. When a child is excited to come to school or talks about it at home, or when I can see that they have completed a developmental milestone or challenge that they may have faced confidently.
What’s your favourite memory of childhood?
Being an older sister to six siblings, I had a very blessed childhood and loved spending time with all my siblings spending most our time playing in the garden. I loved being messy and spending time with my sister on our grandparent’s property using our imaginations and exploring the environments around us. We loved being in the paddock with the cows and making potions with all the natural resources we had access to.
What was your favourite subject at school and why?
My favourite subject at school was science, I loved the challenge of working out why things are the way that they are and I loved trial and error of cause and effect. I am a hands-on learner and found that science was the most fascinating as I was able to learn by doing. In high school I studied chemistry, biology and physics.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from the children you work with?
To always have an open mind and be adaptable and flexible. This allows for me to be constantly growing, learning and challenging myself with new ways of thinking and the ever-changing world we live in. I believe that this way of thinking provides for a great mentor for both children and educators.
If you were three-year-old today what element of early learning and care would you love the most?
I would love the STEM, as I am a tactile learner and I love to problem solve I believe this would be the most interesting and fascinating area of interest for me. I also believe that I would’ve thrived learning the Montessori Philosophy, again as this is a sensorial hands-on way of learning practical every day tasks (I may be bias as I am a Montessori Teacher) but I do believe I would’ve loved this way of learning.
What experiences from your own life have been the most useful in your work with young children?
Coming from a big family and being a big sister to six, I was able to learn how to interact and care for young children from a young age myself. With this came its challenges, such as growing up with two brothers with additional needs. Knowing how to be adaptable and flexible in this profession is vital to ensure a smooth-running classroom. Learning how to create a holistic program that caters to all I feel has been the most useful life lessons and skills I have used in this profession.
This spotlight was proudly developed in collaboration with Big Roles in Little Lives. Do you know someone in your life who also has the ability to be a great Educator or might be looking for a career change? Encourage them to find out more about careers in Early Learning here: https://elacca.org.au/big-roles/