Kimberley , 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, hearing their ideas for the children and the centre, and then supporting them to make it a reality.
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, who are all here to create an engaging learning environment for children and to use their individual professional talents. I feel honoured to work alongside such an inspirational team each day.
We’re also lucky to have three individual spaces that cater to each of the different age groups (infants, toddlers and juniors). Each space provides age-appropriate learning experiences and challenges and has its own outdoor area for safety. Our location is pretty spectacular too, just outside of Wellington’s CBD with breath-taking views of the Wellington Harbour. You can’t beat our outside area on a warm day!
Susan Chapman, Team Leader: Infants Room
My name is Susan and I am the Team Leader for the Infants Room. I am a born and raised Wellingtonian, with a large family based both here and around New Zealand. I am the oldest of 5 siblings with many nieces and nephews.
I started my journey after leaving high school working in primary as both the supervisor for before and after school care, holiday programme and also working as a teacher aide where I supported children with special needs. Next I nannied for a few years, where I thoroughly enjoyed the close relationships with both children and their families. Wanting to learn more I began my journey into teaching. I graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Victoria University and am a registered teacher. I have been teaching for 10 years in ECE with all ages.
I am passionate about promoting an environment where children are free to develop at their own pace, celebrating each and every children’s unique journey. Relationships with families is such an important aspect of my work. Through these relationships I learn all about what you as a parent want for your child. I look forward to working alongside you in supporting your child to grow and develop through respectfully relationships, close bonds and helping them to reach their potential.
Debbie Parsons, Acting Team Leader: Toddler Room
Kia ora, my name is Debbie and I am the acting Team Leader in the Toddlers Room.
I grew up in Wellington and I love living in the coolest little capital. It’s a privilege to be able to work somewhere where I can see our gorgeous harbour and mountains everyday. I am the second of four children in my family, who all still live in Wellington.
I’ve been teaching here at Active Explorers as part of the Toddler Team since February 2017. My teaching journey began back in 2013. After completing my Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching, I spent a couple of years as a special education teacher and an Intermediate teacher. In 2016, I decided to retrain, and I completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE). I enjoy working here at Active Explorers; our friendly teaching team and wonderful children and families make everyday enjoyable and unique.
I believe that children are competent and capable people, who desire to know about their world, and be known by the important people in their lives. Building responsive and respectful relationships with children and whanau is important to me, as it enables me to support their learning and development.
In my personal time, I attend Arise church, and I sing in a young professional choir called Supertonic. I also enjoy watching sci-fi films and tv shows, reading novels, bush walks, and being with family, friends, my partner, and his dog Leo.
Nalini Arrizon, Team Leader: Juniors Room
My name is Nalini and I am the new Juniors Room Team Leader. I am 32 years old and come from a very multi-cultural background. My mother is Indian from Fiji and my Father is Mexican currently residing in California. Being born in Fiji, I spent time in Oakland California as a young child and then did most of my schooling here in New Zealand. I have lived here for 29 years and am originally from Auckland. Early Childhood Education is a huge passion of mine. I have been teaching in the industry for 15 years now and have experience in all fields of the sector. Currently I have discovered my passion for transition to school and I love to focus on children and getting them prepared for their school journey. I have done a lot of professional development in this area and hope to include this in our learning environment at Active Explorers Kaiwharawhara.