Transcript: Knowledge leader - Denise Cedric

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Transcript: Knowledge leader - Denise Cedric

One day I was walking past the council office and a lady called out to me, would you like to do a kindergarten course in Brisbane. I did the kindergarten course in 1984-1985, then I applied for a job at Yarrabah State School as a preschool kindergarten teacher, and I have not looked back since.

I live in this beautiful country that belongs to the Gunganji people of Yarrabah. 

I now work as part of a team. We deliver remote Indigenous professional development workshops across Queensland, and we also have a mentoring program where we mentor early childhood educators who are I guess at their entry level.

Yeah it's such a pleasure, you know, working with these assistants, because what we would like for them is giving them confidence in celebrating their own culture, and embedding that when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

The foundations for success, acknowledges the children's cultural backgrounds, and it recognises that these children have different languages, and it has strategies in helping you support children whose language is not English.

It's important that you do develop that sense of belonging with the children and their families, because for them, it's that developing confidence and resilience and self-esteem. 

How you do that is the simple every day human things. When they come inside to your service, say hello, how are you, how's your day been. And encouraging them to say with their child once they've settled them in, put their bags away. Encourage them to sit down with their child and support them doing a drawing or whatever it is that you're doing in the morning.

The environment is new, so it's important that you develop that sense of belonging for those children so that they feel comfortable and confident in coming to your service every day.

That sense of being, just giving children more time to explore, more time to manipulate, more time to experiment.

I have a timetable in my pre-prep room but I don't stick to it, it's a general guide. If I look around the room and if I see children happily playing, that's what I mean about that sense of being, just leave them to complete their learning experiences.

That sense of becoming, it's because you've given up some of your time to allow children to explore, to experiment, to manipulate objects, and they start to become good at learning concepts, good at listening, because you've given them time to practice that skill. And of course, becoming more confident and ready to enter the school the next year.

Without Foundations for Success, yeah you just don't have that guiding document to help you plan for that.

You can see the difference between when they first rocked up to our early childhood service until it's time for them to leave, and you go oh where did that time go. I've got no doubt that our children are in safe, good hands, knowing that they're going to grow up learning in western ways and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways and keeping their culture strong. I've got no doubt.