A note from Jo
I love my job!
Without a doubt, the best part of my job is being present- spending time within the service and not only seeing and hearing, but feeling just how much everyone wants to be here. My role as Manager is many, many things, and one of the best things about working for Journey is they provide a load of support (and cool apps!) which allows me more ‘time’ to do what I love best- spending time with the children and educators!
I know mornings and afternoons is when you will see me most often in the foyer, but I wanted to take you on a journey of what I call my ‘Connection time’. I have seen happy and confident children climbing, exploring, getting messy, digging, jumping, mixing, crawling, laughing, concentrating, playing with each other, playing alone, sleeping, eating, crying and being comforted by their friends or by their educators.
I see children being challenged, I see children celebrating, I see them feeling safe and connected and happy. I have seen children being exposed to new cultures through a huge variety of planned learning experiences to celebrate NAIDOC week. I have seen them transfixed by the voices of our community invited in to share their songs and stories. I have seen our preschool teacher Zoey teach the importance of honouring our First Australians, and I have heard our Preschool children developing our own service Acknowledgment to Country!
I’ve seen one of our Preschoolers (Hayden) who we have had with us since he was a tiny baby, bravely walk up to 3 adults, shake their hands and thank them on behalf of Journey for singing to us. His confidence blew me away! I have seen the Toddlers building their own Bug Hotel Habitat - learning from a very young age how important it is we have to support all creatures - even the creepy crawly bugs that keep the world alive, the very creatures that we share our land with.
I’ve seen the children all working so hard together- and trust me when I say getting 20 x 2-3 year olds to work collaboratively - this is a magical thing to see - creating a beautiful big canvas artwork with the theme ‘Year of the Pig’ (Thanks Darwin Show committee!!) to complete our annual Royal Darwin Show artworks- more pics to come!
I have seen children painting and creating beautiful artworks, learning with and being inspired by the local Aboriginal Artworks our dedicated Lead Educator Myra found for them on the weekend during her Op shop spree. I have seen the babies in the Nursery watching and caring for our pet chickens with their Educator Frankie, feeding them and being gentle and nurturing our new feathered friends.
I have seen our newest most tiniest babies developing beautiful, nurturing bonds with their educators. I have been surprised and even a bit teary with Chloe and Bronte and Rhianna in the Nursery, watching one of our babes take her first steps at day care. I have seen educators tear up as well learning that it’s time for their children to move into another age group, because they can’t stay babies for ever!! (Thomas!)
I have laughed and laughed with our hilarious children - you probably don’t realise but we actually have a service full of tiny confident comedians! They say to never work with children or animals, but I can promise you it’s the hardest but most rewarding role there ever has been.
The whole time I have seen children absorbed in play and learning- in their own way and in their own time. The way it should be. I see our educators spending hours and hours learning new and better ways of capturing and documenting children’s learning, all with the aim of connecting with their children’s families in a more user-friendly way on StoryPark. All so they can provide a more responsive and holistic program for the children in their rooms.
I see our teams setting up their rooms to feel like a home away from home, nurturing and respectful environments children want to be in. I see a team who makes time to build real connections with each other, with the community, with our parents, a team who truly care for the children in our care and want to be here.
I was even lucky enough to spend some time helping the team with their planning- which I really love to do, which many families will have noticed thanks to your lovely comments, I even had a little helper or two! (Thanks Hunter!!)
As the Centre Manager this time is precious time. I can say with confidence I am so proud and lucky to lead the team I do and blessed to know every single one of your children.
So from me to you, thank you!!