Maria is a nursery teacher, deputy headteacher and EYFS lead. Here's her story:
Can you describe your journey into working in Early Years (how did you qualify, what have been the key steps along the way)?
I fell in love with the EYFS when I took my niece for a stay and play session. I then volunteered in an outstanding London nursery school in a deprived area. The head asked me to train as a nursery nurse and I completed the NNEB. Then updated the qualification to a diploma in nursery nursing. Afterwards I completed the degree in childhood studies and was invited to train as a teacher by the same head teacher. I then completed the Registered teacher programme. I left the outstanding school and worked in an RI school bringing it to good alongside the amazing EYFS lead. She was a real inspiration to me. I then shadowed the lead and then applied at a village school and led the EYFS there. Many of the head teachers I have worked with in the past have had a keen interest and championed the EYFS.
What are the key things that you love about your job?
- Being able to use theory in practice.
- Knowing how children learn developmentally and planning for their next steps.
- Watching the children's awe and wonder.
- Being spontaneous.
- Planning in the moment.
- Being outside with the children.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to work in Early Years?
- Don’t be worried to be silly and have fun.
- Research Vygotsky.
- See things from the children’s prospective.
- Walk around the setting ( on your own) on your knees to see how it feels to be small.
- Have real things in the home corner.
- Learn how to observe correctly.
- Home visit the families.
- Develop rapport and relationships with the children and their families.
- Develop consistent routines Implement change when things don’t work.
- Have fun together.
Do you have any suggestions for how settings can make their vacancies attractive to more candidates?
- Make provision for visits- time in the setting.
- Adverts personal to the school/ setting ethos - quirky.
- Talk about setting’s practice linked to theory - Ask about the candidates principles and influences ( Reggio)
- Staff well-being
- Support and training to gain qualification.
- CPD - visits to other settings.
- Photos of the setting in action.