Stacey Brock, Centre Manager
What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
I always enjoyed caring for children, being a big sister does that to you. I knew that I either want to be a teacher or a nurse. During my time at high school I was able to take part in Gateway, a work place experience programme. I was placed at an early childhood centre where I would spend one day a week experiencing early childhood. Spending time here I was inspired to pursue my career path of early childhood teaching. I haven’t looked back, I know I chose the best career possible!
How long have you been working in this sector?
Ten years I have been working in early childhood, I have had some time off during those years to have two beautiful children.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love seeing the smiles on children’s faces when they achieve a new goal, whether it be putting on their own shoes or learning to push themselves on a swing. Building relationships with the children and their whānau is so important, supporting everyone as they make their way along their learning journey. Early childhood teaching is the most rewarding job I think anyone can have, watching children succeed and develop is why I love what I do. I don’t think I could imagine doing anything else!
What are three things that set your centre apart?
- Our stunning landscape that our centre is nestled in, raging Tasman Sea to one side and the stunning Southern Alps to the other
- Our environment that reflects our West Coast environment
- The journey we are on to embed Te Ao Māori into our centre
What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?
Matariki Celebrations! Without a doubt this is the most favourite time of the year for me. My love for Matariki goes back to the preschool where I began my training as an early childhood teacher. My team leader had a passion for Te Ao Māori and she passed her knowledge on. Every year we celebrated Matariki with a whānau hangi, and each year the celebrations became bigger and my understanding of Te Ao Māori grew and deepened. Papa Tom, a family member at our centre, shared his knowledge, his skills and his tricks of the trade with us. Because I was surrounded by passionate people this empowered me to share this tikanga and my new found knowledge with everyone.
Matariki to me is more than having kai with each other, it is the learning that occurs; the smiles and excitement from children when they learn a new kapa haka song to perform to their parents; the pride you see in their faces when they discover what Matariki means to them; the excitement when children share stories and their discoveries about Matariki with their whānau and friends.
Matariki to me is a celebration of coming together, demonstrating manaakitanga and strengthening relationships with everyone. Being able to create our own Matariki celebrations in our centre is very special for me. Our celebrations consist of a whānau hangi, sharing of knowledge, passing down stories, kapa haka and spending time with our special friends and whānau. I too hope to inspire my team and whānau like I was inspired by my team leader and Papa Tom to share their knowledge and create meaningful tikanga.
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
Diploma in Teaching Early Childhood