After 17 years as an early childhood educator, I have hung up my teaching hat and moved onto a new career with Storypark. It has been 17 years of fulfilment, joy, and immense rewards. I have laughed more than I’ve ever laughed before. I have been so proud of children that are not my own, something I never thought would be possible. I have had relationships that I will always treasure and never forget. I have learnt something new every single day of each of those 17 years. I have cried when a child I taught passed away. I have also cried alongside parents at the loss of an unborn child. I have been so overwhelmingly tired that I have wondered how I will make it through to the end of the week. I have lain awake at night worrying about families going through rough times. I have cared more than I ever imagined I could. I have blinked back tears when children have taken their first steps or spoken first words. It’s been the most rewarding career and I feel so fortunate to have had such a wonderful chapter in my life.

As teachers, we know how rewarding our chosen career is. But it isn’t until I’ve stepped away that I’ve realised a few other things that I want to share with you.

You are the strongest, most hardworking people ever! You pour every ounce of energy into ensuring the children you work with not only have their physical and educational needs met, but also that their emotional needs are nurtured to ensure they have the best start in life. Often, you do this to the detriment of your own wellbeing. You are selfless and incredible! Despite feeling undervalued at times, you show up every day and deliver the best version of you possible!

You practice patience and give so much of yourself emotionally. Your mind never stops thinking of creative solutions and ideas. You literally have 100 tabs open in your brain at a time. This is exhausting but still you smile and give more to others than you give to yourself. You face challenges every day that only other educators could ever understand. The love you pour into the lives of the children you work with is astonishing. Some would say you are superhuman.

I’d have to say I agree!

Posted by Sonya McIntyre

Sonya went to Rata Street Kindergarten and Petone kindergarten. She gained her Bachelor of Education at Victoria University in Wellington and has worked as an educator and manager in home based care, community based and kindergarten services.


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One Comment

  1. That is really touching

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