Hello my beauts, I hope you are all doing well and fantastic. I have been going through a lot lately with some ups and downs, hence why the limited blogging sessions. I will eventually write a few blogs about what I have been going through but I want to spice things up with a more positive blog post today. You know when you get so bored of social media, especially on Instagram and are always looking for more people to follow? Or you get tired of following the same people and get bored looking at the same kind of posts each day? One day while I was going through this on Facebook and scrolling down on my newsfeed, I had noticed that a girl I went to highschool with, Shelise Aulthouse, posted a status stating that she created a Facebook page as well as an Instagram page on her career path and what she brings as an ECE into her classroom. As an individual who always wanted to be a teacher but changed career paths, I always will have a strong passion towards children and caring for them. This post intrigued me and made me more interested to go check this page out for myself. When I clicked on the link and opened up the page “Miss Full Day Kindergarten” appeared in big letters at the beginning of the page, and I knew just from the title that I would find it fascinating. Usually when you click on pages and read through articles discussing education and what happens inside the classroom you get bored or tired of reading the same thing. In order for a child to want to learn they need to be intrigued and their attention needs to be grabbed as soon as they walk inside the classroom. Often, students see the same things in each classroom. First, you have the desks, the carpet space each child has to stay on, the shelf full of used or damaged books from other kids, toys that are 10 years old and so forth… you get the picture. The environment and learning atmosphere that a child is a part of needs to all in all be “spiced up”, and that is exactly what Shelise has done.
While browsing through her Facebook page she has created, you are welcomed and shown numerous ideas on how to make the classroom more exciting for children to be a part of. It takes a lot of creativity and a strong imagination to capture the attention of young children especially little kindergarteners! After walking through numerous schools and checking out the different classrooms, I have never seen one as original as Shelise’s. Children need an environment to grow from, and to have fun while learning new things.
How cute is this library setup? I mean come on, logs as seats? It really does not get much cooler than that! Children even have pillows to get comfy while reading, even a stuffed elephant to cuddle with. Often children are welcomed to a boring, cold, blue mat that they are expected to sit on while the teacher reads them a story. Don’t you want to be cozy and comfortable? No wonder it is so hard to keep the children on the mat as teachers read to them, hell I would not want to be on there either! Cutting up tree stumps to make seats for the children is a fantastic idea! Not only is this a fun seat to sit on, but it allows the children to see all different creative ways to make things, like seats!
“The classroom environment is one of my favourite things to plan out! ” explains Shelise, as she goes on to discuss her lovely atmosphere inside her classroom. I know what you are thinking! Yes I had the privilege of interviewing Shelise and asking her a few questions on her journey of becoming “Miss Full day Kindergarten“.
Shelise states, “I spend all my time in the classroom so it was just as important for me to have a cozy, inviting, home-like room as it is for the children. The classroom environment is like the “third-teacher”. I design the room to invite and enhance the children’s learning while encouraging communication and inquiry. Sure it is easy to put blocks on a shelf, crayons in a cup and a rug in the library – but why not use tree cookies as blocks, sort the crayons by colour in coloured bamboo cups and place a grass like fuzzy rug to read on!”
Shelise simply goes on to explain just exactly how she plans her classroom environment.
“With having experience now, I base the classroom environment off of how the children have responded to it in previous years. While all children are different it’s a good starting point to set up the classroom a way that worked for the children the previous year. Of course, the classroom will change off of your children’s needs many times throughout the year. I love natural elements – it is very calming for both me and the children! I am a Pinterest junky so I tend to find myself there looking for ideas as well as Facebook groups for Kindergarten Educators!”
There is no doubt about it that Shelise takes that extra time out of her day to ensure her students have a wonderful atmosphere to grow and learn in. While scrolling through Shelise’s Instagram and Facebook page, one question jumped out at me. What made her want to create “Miss Full Day Kindergarten” as a social media page? Shelise states, “I have always been interested in any form of blogging – YouTube, blogs, Instagram and Facebook pages“. She goes on to explain that it wasn’t until recently she began following other teacher blogs and Instagram/Facebook pages. Shelise states, “ I love the idea of being able to share with others. I want to share my passion and ideas for Full Day Kindergarten and through photos and posts I can accomplish that on social media!” I could not agree more with her statements. I think that her page will inspire so many other future educators and teachers about different learning environments and maybe even teaching methods as well. Since our world is more social media based, and a lot of individuals are using the internet to find information, this was an excellent idea!
So I know there are numerous questions that I had to ask Shelise especially when it came to her schooling and the process of becoming an ECE. I know that in university, I was personally not the book worm type and struggled to stay focused within my studies but not Shelise! Throughout university, Shelise has always been committed to her books and her studies. “My parents and most of my family never had the chance to further their education after high school so for me it was really important to focus on my studies and want I wanted to do“, states Shelise. On her journey to become an ECE, Shelise stated that she had taken a 2 year dipolma program for Early Childhood Education at Mohawk College. While in this program, Shelise could not express and emphasize how much it prepares you for the real world while in the career path as an ECE. “It is very hands on in the classroom followed with intensive studies on aspects like child development and behaviour, inclusion, and parent teacher-child relationships”.
Finding the right career path can be extremely challenging, especially for individuals as young as ourselves. Having the right determination and dedication towards something is very important and working for it is key. Although you may find yourself in a program that eventually you become disinterested in, do not give up. Shelise goes on to explain that she did not know what she wanted to be in life! It was not until her grade 12th year that she finally considered the Early Childhood Education Program. Even then individuals may still feel uncertain about the choices they are making or the career paths they choose to go with. Shelise states, “It was my second year of college during my placement in a Full Day Kindergarten classroom that I fully realised that this is what I wanted to do” ….. and look at her now. Following her dreams and trusting her instincts, Shelise is a role model to other ECE’s who are in the same path as she is.
“I have always loved working with children! Whether it was babysitting or children in the family, my mom always said that children “gravitated” towards me. I was lucky enough to have some wonderful teachers in my early years of education so that definitely had an impact on my decision as well. My initial plan was to study bachelor of education and go to teacher’s college – but of course I went down a different path!” , states Shelise.
(To welcome her kinders back, Shelise made up some yummy healthy treats made from apples and cream cheese. What a wonderful idea!)
“Are there any inspirational messages as a teacher that you try to give to your students?”
“Since my students are only 4 and 5 years old (some even start off the school year at 3!) positivity is key! Seeing the children as being capable and independent allows them to feel trusted and unstoppable! I always encourage my kids to try something new and to not be afraid. It is okay to make mistakes and I want them to share their ideas and wonders. I am amazed everyday of what my Kinder’s are capable of and my hope in sharing my journey as Miss Full Day Kindergarten allows for others to see too!” States Shelise.
Best advice someone has given you before entering the ECE/teaching industry that you took with you?”
Shelise- “For me I think I have learned my own lessons along the way and would tell anyone entering the field of education – be flexible, be kind, don’t be afraid to ask questions, never ever stop learning, treat the children like they are your own and LOVE what you do”.
I could not thank Shelise enough for letting me ask her a few questions on her journey as “Miss Full Day Kindergarten”! If you have not checked out her pages already be sure to do so and follow for more exciting posts to come!
Instagram & Facebook- Miss Full Day Kindergarten
If more ECE’s were as enthusiastic and driven as Shelise is towards her little kinders, school would be much more exciting for children!
Thanks for reading my blog beauts, I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed writing it! Be sure to follow my social media accounts for more blogs to come:
Much love xo.