Username

thebeththomas

Country

United Kingdom

About Me

I am an Early Years Teacher based in the UK. I am married with two teenage boys, the youngest of whom has autism, so I have plenty of experience of special educational needs from a parent’s perspective alongside my professional knowledge and experience.

My Teaching Style

I am a big advocate for learning through play and exploration. I take influence from the Reggio-Emilia approach to children’s learning, which is that children are intrinsically motivated to learn and able to explore the world around them to create connections, with careful provocation and direction from those around them. I also believe that the outdoors has so much to offer children and provide elements of natural risk in the nursery environment to support children’s natural instincts for learning boundaries and safe ways to play.
My subject of interest is young children’s transitions and how they cope with the changes in the world around them – be it small, seemingly insignificant changes to large, obvious transitions like starting school. I am interested in what issues create the most tension for children and how we as practitioners can support them in effectively communicating their emotions and questions.

My Teaching Experience

– Teaching assistant in an Early Years classroom in a school for 1.5 years (in between having my own children)
– Childminder in my home for 6 years (until we realised my youngest could not cope with the sensory aspect of having lots of other children around at home)
– Large day nursery contracted for 1 year, worked as the leader of the ‘atelier’ or creativity hub for children aged 2-3 years
– Preschool Early Years Practitioner for 2.5 years

My Qualifications

CACHE level 3 diploma in Home-Based Childcare (2009)
BA (hons) Early Years (2016)
Early Years Teacher Status (2016)
Master of Research in Childhood Studies (2017)

My Own Education History

I have lived in the same town my whole life and went to the closest First, Middle, then High schools. I was fairly consistent with my grades throughout school and I did enjoy school, but my love of learning really grew when I’d had my own children and I knew then what I wanted my career to be.
When I look back on my years in school, only a handful of teachers stand out in my mind and they were the ones who showed empathy and kindness to me, which made me want to produce good work to impress them. I carry this with me as the overarching ethos of my work with children – to approach them with empathy and kindness.

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