Three- and four-year-old children are practising yoga and relaxation techniques, are singing songs to ukulele accompaniment, and are sitting in a yarning circle each morning as Auslan sign language is interwoven with an Acknowledgement of Country, under an inspirational Cairns kindergarten teacher.
Mweisi ‘Moy’ Carra – a former daycare worker who went to university as a mature-age student to become a teacher – uses her extensive early childhood education experience to implement teaching strategies that nurture, and create a love of learning in, all of the children in her C&K White Rock class in Cairns.
The mother-of-three, who is also currently completing a graduate diploma in psychology to further support the mental health and wellbeing of children, is a finalist in the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.
The QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards are the only State Government awards which recognise teachers from all schooling sectors state-wide. Winners will be announced on October 25, on the eve of World Teachers’ Day celebrations in Australia.
Mrs Carra said the importance of early childhood education was often overlooked and she was passionate about helping to lay down strong educational foundations for her kindy kids.
“The amount of growth and the changes in the children in those early years, it is massive, and because of the research which shows how much they learn and the impact of those earlier years on later development, it’s important to me, if I can help, to lay that positive foundation,” she said.
“I think I have got the most amazing job ever; that I am entrusted with these children – the care and education of them – it’s just so amazing,” she says.
Digital technology, nature play and community involvement also feature heavily in the kindergarten program to engage the children and their families.
“There is an open door policy, so families are always welcome in our kindy – we have BBQs and we go out into the community sometimes for neighbourhood days. We go to the local Indigenous festivals or other festivals that we have here in Cairns,” she said.
Mrs Carra, who has undertaken studies in mindfulness and children’s trauma, said she was also acutely aware of the rising mental health issues facing young people and it was important to her to provide strong foundations for her children in this area as well.
Congratulations Mweisi on being named a finalist for the QCT Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.