|A beautiful bouquet of handprints made for my by the kindergarten children. Everyone at the early learning centre made me feel so special and appreciated on my last day of placement.|
I am finished with my Cert. III in Children's Services. I know it's not exactly a PhD, but considering where I've come from in the last couple of years, it may as well be! I'm pretty happy to have completed it. There was a time when I thought I'd never be able to actually attempt and complete anything ever again! But here I am, arriving at the end of 2011, with an actual achievement! I know I sound overly dramatic, but those who've been along for the journey since fibromyalgia upturned my life 5 years ago will realise that this is BIG.
The best part about it is that I LOVE working with preschoolers. When I was a child, I adored kindergarten. ADORED IT! In fact, I mourned the loss of kindergarten for at least my first three years of primary school. Seriously, I was distraught that I couldn't go back to that magic place of playing and painting and singing and collage and playing and painting......Then I settled on the idea that I could go back to kindergarten by becoming a kindergarten teacher when I grew up. That was a great plan, and I held fast to it.........until my latter years of high school when I became interested in health and got detoured into choosing a nursing and health promotion degree when I went to Uni.
It served me well for a time......until my body told me it had had enough. Enough of the stress, the shift work, the understaffing, the exposure to latex, and to all those intravenous medications that became airborne as you were mixing them up....and did I mention the stress? Nurses have a HUGE responsibility, and with my health in rapid decline, I just couldn't do it any more. I always thought I'd go back.......some day.........but my heart just is not in it.
So this year I decided to explore the idea of returning to my first love.......kindergarten. I thought I'd try on the Cert. III in Children's Services for size, to see if I was still interested. After my first placement - working with 2 year olds - I wasn't sure if I'd made the right move. But now, having finished my second placement in a kindergarten room, I know that it is exactly where I should be. I loved every minute of this second placement. The days flew! I couldn't believe that I got to play with children all day long - to guide their learning through all those wonderful activities that I loved so much as a 4 year old. I mean, who doesn't want to spend their days doing great stuff like singing songs, reading stories, painting, making 3D artworks, building huge block constructions, dressing up, playing in the sandpit, going for nature walks and too many other wonderful things to mention.
The best news of all is that, on my last day of placment, the centre director offered me a job! So very soon, I will get to spend my days doing all those wonderful things I mentioned above AND GET PAID FOR DOING IT :-)
Do I want to continue on studying Early Childhood Education? You bet! I am super inspired by this new direction and I really want to jump in completely and keep moving forward. However, I am taking heed of the lessons I've learned over the past 5 years, and I'm pacing myself. There is no rush. I will take 2012 to consolidate some of the improvements I've made healthwise, and to enjoy beginning work as a kindergarten assistant. I will soak up this new direction and enjoy each day as it comes. I will learn from the Early Childhood Educators I meet in "real life" and online. Hopefully, come 2013 I will be healthy enough to take another step forward and start my Grad. Dip in Education (Early Childhood). One step at a time though......I have learned to (try to) focus on the present and not get too carried away about what might happen down the road.
For the present time, I am focusing on my family, our home, and preparing for the festive season. I'm also looking forward to enjoying some creativity now that my days are not filled with assignments and classes. I'm also very involved in working with my naturopath to help my body heal. We are focusing on my food allergies and how these contribute to my pain, fatigue and other fibromyalgia symptoms. Having more time to really concentrate on my health will be really valuable right now.
Hope to be back here again really soon. Have been having a little look around the blog-iverse and I'm liking what I see out there. You are all so clever. You inspire me endlessly. Have a wonderful week. xxx