Journey to becoming an Early Years Educator

Journey to becoming: Dreams, Detours and Travels

Hi, I’m Colette Stevenson.

Early years educator; Colette Stevenson; preschool teacher; parent; parenting support; teacher trainer; ece professional;

I am an early years educator and mama who loves spending time with children of all ages. Since the early 1990’s I have worked in multiple childcare and education roles, they include:

  • Early years educator/head teacher
  • Early years ESL teacher/school owner
  • Childcare professional and respite care provider
  • Children’s entertainer
  • Freelance teacher trainer
  • and… Parent

And I am still far from knowing it all.

Personal Philosophy

In all my years working as with the littlest members of our society, there are a few things I stick by:

  • Children are people; they deserve mutual and equal respect
  • Giving children the space to be kids, brings out their best qualities (and funniest moments)
  • Showing children you care, is enough.

All in all, I have come to understand that there is a huge difference between teaching a topic and enabling learning; and it will be the latter that informs most of the writing on this blog.

Journey to Becoming an Early Years Educator

Family; Early years educator; preschool teacher; early childhood development; early years career path; teaching in Japan; childcare in Japan; Bee Kids; Colette StevensonFrom an early age, I dreamed of having my own school (with all the best toys, so I could play all day). I was fortunate to have a wonderful childhood, filled with play and imagination; there was a reason my cousins nicknamed us the Cardboard Box Family! My siblings and I created and built worlds, we invented characters and histories, we played seriously and we seriously played. And, as I was the eldest, I continued playing well into young adulthood.

My love of play and imagination traveled with me wherever I went: babysitting and childcare positions, youth and volunteer work, and even my work in service and retail. Eventually, I turned my love of play into something concrete… a degree in Drama.

Yes, you read that right, I did not choose education or childcare; I chose to continue using my imagination. I could not, and did not want to, stop creating people and worlds.

Still, my love of working with children and young people blossomed as I navigated adulthood. I became a freelance performer and educator, touring the country with a range of productions and dramatic workshops. During this time, the most enjoyable projects included visiting schools and museums, performing in and facilitating “Living History” programs; above all, I loved how readily children would accept, and adapt to, changes in their reality.

Adults play along, children simply play; and it is beautiful. Click To Tweet

The unexpected became my reality

In 2002, I moved to Japan to teach English. My plan was to stay for one year, travel, broaden my experience, and check out teaching as a career. I did not plan to meet my husband there, let alone settle down and start a family. Professionally, I did not expect to become an early years educator despite this being a wonderful fit for me. In fact, I loved my work so much I ended up devising and facilitating training other early years teachers. After some time, I opened my own little school (with all the best toys). But, despite unexpectedly attaining a childhood dream, I still had other plans…

I currently live in the Japanese Alps with my husband and son. We have a small, seasonal cafe and I offer a childcare service to tourists during the ski season. Throughout the rest of the year, I develop resources and activities for early years parents and educators. I write and read, then write some more. But mostly, I continue to play and I continue to create. 

Some things never change.

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