The role of an educator is an essential, if not highly significant role in any society. While the opportunity to learn is important, the ability to learn well is of equal standing.
"I care about the children and about the type of quality they are going to get from potential teachers and educators that may be working with them," Holmesglen Early Childhood Education Teacher Donna Anderson says.
Early childhood education is the starting point to a lifelong experience with learning. Therefore, the role of the teacher becomes a crucial part in a child's development. Holmesglen's respective course options focus on key areas including care, support and health and safety. Essentially, the aim is to create confident teachers with well-rounded perspectives.
"By the end of the course the students need to go out and be in the leadership role. That's a big one for their learning. It's about building their confidence," Donna observes. "We see the majority of them by the end have that confidence to go out and do it. That's a huge journey for a lot of them."
Holmesglen works closely with up to 600 partners, including the Department of Education and Training and the Childcare Centres Association of Victoria, to keep the curriculum relevant and proactive.
For Donna, though, the most fulfilling part of training future educators is seeing their knowledge grow before they make the transition into the workforce.
"It's about instilling that passion into them, and seeing that learning take place. We also want them to really think about [what they're learning], and come back with ideas and things they might take out with them."
Education, as an industry but also a community pillar, exists against the backdrop of ongoing social and cultural change. Holmesglen recognises that once early childhood education graduates enter the field they need the ability to teach in culturally diverse environments.
"We know that unless children are in the context which is relevant to them, they don't learn well. We have to consider it in a huge way when we're teaching children that they have the support that is relevant to them in a cultural way," Donna affirms.
With purpose built facilities at our Waverley campus, coupled with field placements, Holmesglen students are informed on the realities of the profession. The role of a teacher is selfless in function and the courses stress the importance of everyone involved.
"The needs of children and the needs of families are huge, it's complex. It's got to be open, not only to supporting a child, but also a whole family," Donna says.
Teaching is an influential job, too. Thankfully, the passion needed is already reflected in the staff. "I just love it. I really enjoy working with people. I learn with them."