I have been in post as the Head of Kindergarten at CIA FIRST since 2017. I am originally from the UK and have over 30 years experience in early years education and leadership, including specializing in HR and recruitment for the Early Years Sector. I am happy to say that after living in Cambodia for 6 years, I now consider Cambodia to be my home.
First and foremost it is important that educators make connections with students that will form the foundation for building and maintaining positive, secure and trusting relationships which support learning and social and emotional growth. Young children are by nature investigators who question and explore the world around them, arriving at school with their own experiences and ideas. It is important that adults allow children to build on their own interests and prior experiences working as a partner with them, encouraging them to be active in their environment, to seek out problems and work with their peers to find solutions.
An educator is a facilitator of learning who spends time observing students, encouraging them to share ideas, ask questions, wonder and experiment in order to construct their own new knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
I have been teaching at CIA FIRST International School since 2015. Now as the Deputy Head of Kindergarten, I support the Head of Kindergarten with day to day operations of the department. In the last five years, my practice has been centred around Kindergarten ages 3 to 5. Alongside teaching, I have also served as a Subject Coordinator in K3 Level. This involved me in writing, modifying and refining units of study to academic standards, School-wide Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and the principles on Understanding by Design. I have also made performance tasks and rubrics to assess unit goals.
I believe that each student has unique strengths and that their learning styles vary. Teacher instruction must be differentiated to give adequate support and challenge for all students to develop genuine love and passion for learning.
Same as the famous pragmatist, John Dewey, I believe that education should be about life and growth. Education should be student-centered, interactive and practical. The teacher should be a facilitator of learning, not a lecturer. Students should experience real-life learning that will allow them to maximize their potential and build their character, leading them to be globally competitive individuals.