Kimberley Fryer, Centre Manager
What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
When my daughter was an infant, I saw what a difference it made to have an adult caring primarily for a child. We developed a close, trusting relationship and I became interested in ways that I could support her learning (at that stage it was her desire to get moving!). I began reading about infant brain development and was surprised to learn that how children develop in the first five years of life, affects their life-long outcomes. I knew that I wanted to be part of ensuring that those first five years create positive life-long outcomes for children.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love talking with families and getting to know them and their children. It’s a pleasure when families return to the centre again when their second or third child is born, and we’re able to pick up our relationship again. I love supporting our teaching team, mentoring and guiding them. I love the learning that happens for everyone when we share our ideas, and perspectives and then collaborate with each other to improve our teaching practices and the learning for children.
But the most rewarding part of all? Seeing a child’s eyes light up and the pride on their face when they achieve something they’ve been working so hard at.
What are some of the things that make your centre special?
First and foremost, our dedicated teaching team, most of whom have worked at Active Explorers Grenada for 3+ years. It is special when a family returns to the centre with their second or third child and can pick up the relationship with the same teachers again.
Our philosophy is very special, as it is inspired by the principles of RIE and Pikler. Seeing these principles brought to life each day and the positive effect of this on the learning and development of children is a delight. I have a particular soft spot for our wee infants and love seeing how empowered they feel when we provide them with the time and space to explore their movements and abilities at their own pace.
We’re also lucky to have four individual spaces that cater to each of the different age groups (Kakano, Koru, Rakau and Ngahere). Each space provides age-appropriate learning experiences and challenges. Our location is pretty spectacular too, amongst the hills in Grenada Village. We even have pukeko visit our carpark sometimes! We are truly part of our community and work together with whanau to ensure that their aspirations for their child are met.
Marites Sagarbarria, Assistant Centre Manager and Head Teacher Ngahere
Hello, my name Maz Sagarbarria and I am the Assistant Centre Manager, and Head Teacher of our Ngahere Room. I have a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) and have a strong interest in transition to school. I enjoy teaching because it feels good to know that you can make a difference in children’s development and be part of their achievement when they leave to go to school. I have a son, Gianni, and I like the outdoors and being active.
Lynda Hopkin, Head Teacher Koru
Hello, my name is Lynda Hopkin and I am the Head Teacher in our Koru Room.
I have a Diploma in Teaching ECE and I am a fully registered teacher. I have been working as an ECE teacher for over 20 years as working with children is extremely rewarding. It gives me so much pleasure in getting to know children and families in our local community and working together in partnership to inspire the children to be confident and capable young learners. I have 3 adult children and now have beautiful grandchildren, whom I love to spend time with in the weekends. I live in Newlands and am enjoying living and working in my local community.
Suzanne Cowan, Head Teacher Rakau
Kia Ora, my name is Suzanne and I am the Head teacher in of our Rakau Room. My philosophy of teaching is that children and their families come first. I have done a lot of work with children of special learning needs. I like to keep my theories and teaching practices current. I am a Mum and Nana. My spare time activities are reading, quilting and gardening.