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The Magic of Teaching

The Magic of Teaching
Swings & Roundabouts asked ECE centres to share for them what is ‘The magic of teaching!’ It was hard to choose from the entries, in the end these four centres shared such different stories we thought others working in ECE would be inspired by all these stories. Thank you to the centres who shared their story with us.

Wa Ora Montessori

At Wa Ora Montessori School, we are extremely lucky to see each child grow over the three years that we get to spend with them.

During this time we see them develop into their own person and reach their own potential.

However, the true magic of teaching for me, is seeing each individual child develop themselves within the class community they are in.

Tamariki help and care for each other, give each other lessons and look after the akomanga (classroom).

They also show manaakitanga by making kaiako and manuhiri tea and coffee and preparing kai for the community.

They see themselves as learners and as teachers, being able to get and give help and support and grow to care for those younger than them in a truly heartfelt and spontaneous way.

Castle Kids Kindy

Rachel: The magic of teaching for me is recording the unforgettable moments of spontaneous play where the children role model you as a teacher.

One recent occasion was when the children had gathered together on the ‘mat’ to run their own mat time.

“SShhhhh, I’m calling the roll!” came the call from the children as they sat in front of their friends while holding onto clip boards. They looked particularly confident and very proud.

This is just precious and you know your love, professionalism and own feelings of magic have had a loving, positive impact on them.

Phyllis: The magic of teaching for me is when we see the way our 2-4 year olds show respect and interest for the special events in our Centre.

Recently we commemorated ANZAC Day and amongst other activities, the children did some research on the computer to find pictures of soldiers, teachers and nurses that had helped us in the war.

The looks on their faces made us as teachers feel so humble and proud.

We are turning magical teaching moments in to magical memories that these children will have in their profile books to share with their own families. We feel blessed to be in this occupation

Henwood Kindy

We have two classrooms. Te Roopu Kauri (pig story) and Te Roopu Kereru (mounga story).

As highlighted in our Kindy philosophy, “The nurturing of our animals, the garden, and sustainable practices are a valuable part of our learning culture.

The essence of nature in our environment engages the senses, cultivates curiosity and creates wonderment and discovery.”

Taking time to honour and respect our beloved, “Mr Pig,” who passed away recently with a tangi/funeral was a remarkable, heartfelt, teaching moment about lifecycles.

It was a time of great sadness but also a time to celebrate Mr Pig’s unique life as our pet.

We gathered around his resting place, spoke of his life, shared stories and sung waiata to uplift our heavy hearts. We adorned flowers around his grave and planted a tree in honour of him.

We spoke about the cycles of life and how everything living has a beginning, an end, and living in-between.

We shared how sometimes things die because they are old or too sick to live, and it is their lifetime.

These discussions have supported both kaiako and tamariki to process the loss and rejoice Mr Pig’s quality of life with us at Henwood Kindy.

His time with us will be forever treasured in our memories. Adventuring into the wider world ensures a broadening of human experience.

The Magic of Teaching
Let us help our tamariki grow in wisdom and courage by offering them voyages beyond the garden gate.

On this day our community of learners experienced and felt the powerfully natural presence of Taranaki Te Mounga, an unhurried experience to soak up nature. Ps Mounga is Taranaki dialect, not ‘maunga’ as spelt in other areas.

ACG Strathallan Preschool

Look at their faces!! A picture sure does tell a thousand words. Here at ACG Strathallan Preschool our children know how to have fun and have fun in their learning.

Not everyone appreciates all the beneficial learning that is involved with getting muddy, to some it may appear as work with the dirty clothes that are upon us, but the children’s voice overruled and led to this adventure.

We were going to change our little garden we have outside into something beautiful and appealing to the eye, but the children insisted that they wanted to just play with the ugly brown mud.

So over the past couple of months the “garden” has stayed as a “mudpit”. All the parents and teachers have come to realise through observations and theoretical findings the importance of children playing in mud.

As teachers we now know and see daily the magic that happens when all guards are let down and the children “the heart of the matter” are able to be children.

Not a day goes by here at Preschool when the children aren’t playing in their mud kitchen, making mud pies, mud soup, magic mud potions and experimenting with the icky texture of mud on their bodies.

The Magic of Teaching

Playing with mud also encourages creative thinking and imagination, mud can be whatever you want it to be, it facilitates the use of open-endedness when playing with their peers and inspires children to delve into the world of pretend play and use rich vocabulary with each other as well.

The children have taught us about the magic of teaching and we thank them for this. Rosie Wells ACG Strathallan Preschool Manager