Teacher’s love for stu­dents

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Boyi Yan, 27, is an early child­hood teacher at Tal­ented Tots Child­care, on West Coast Rd.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in Nan­jing, Jiangsu Prov­ince, China. It is a quite a large city in in the east China re­gion with a to­tal pop­u­la­tion around 8,000,000 - al­most twice the size of of New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion. Nan­jing is freez­ing cold dur­ing win­ter and very hot and hu­mid dur­ing sum­mer. I have so many pre­cious mem­o­ries in Nan­jing which I will never for­get. It’s to­tally dif­fer­ent from the life in New Zealand which is very busy and fast-paced.

What do you do as a child­hood ed­u­ca­tor?

As part of the teach­ing team, I cre­ate plans based on par­tic­u­lar in­door and out­door ar­eas. I set up ac­tiv­i­ties that fos­ter and sup­port chil­dren’s in­ter­ests and knowl­edge, ac­tiv­i­ties that chal­lenge them and al­low them to work to­gether to build as­sur­ance and un­der­stand­ing. I am also re­spon­si­ble for lan­guage de­vel­op­ment through sto­ry­telling, role play, songs and eval­u­ate chil­dren’s progress reg­u­larly.

You ob­vi­ously must love kids - what do you love most

‘‘It doesn't mat­ter how bad my mood is, talk­ing to a child helps me be at peace. ’’

Boyi Yan

about them?

It doesn’t mat­ter how bad my mood is, talk­ing to a child helps me be at peace. They are so adorable with their un­selfish love, pure heart, in­no­cence and cu­rios­ity... when they say they love me, I feel like all my work is worth it.

What are some mis­con­cep­tions about your job?

Some of peo­ple think our job is easy - just to play with chil­dren. It’s not easy at all be­cause there are so many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties when it comes to look­ing after chil­dren. It’s not only about their learn­ing, but their health, safety and life.

What’s the best part about what you do?

One of the most heart warm­ing ben­e­fits of be­ing an early child­hood ed­u­ca­tor is watch­ing our young chil­dren learn and achieve. Get­ting pos­i­tive feed­back from our par­ents also makes me feel val­ued.

What char­ac­ter­is­tics do you want your stu­dents to have be­fore they leave for pri­mary school?

To be open and hon­est, I want them to al­ways be pas­sion­ate about their in­ter­ests.

What’s the most chal­leng­ing part of your work?

Meet­ing each and ev­ery one of my chil­dren’s needs. This is my first per­ma­nent teach­ing job, it was both ex­cit­ing and scary when I started. I was frus­trated dur­ing the first few months but I now spend a lot of time think­ing and cre­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for my stu­dents.

Is it hard say­ing good­bye to chil­dren who are leav­ing for pri­mary school?

It is hard to see them leave but I am also happy for them. I miss them be­cause they touch my heart ev­ery day, even when they are driv­ing me crazy some­times. Early child­hood is the most re­ward­ing years to teach be­cause you see the most aca­demic and phys­i­cal growth dur­ing this time.

What are your favourite ac­tiv­i­ties with your stu­dents?

Cre­ative ac­tiv­i­ties with the chil­dren like art work and hand­crafts. I also like bring­ing my lan­guage and cul­ture to them, some of them would greet me in Chi­nese.

When you’re not work­ing, what do you love do­ing?

I en­joy travelling, get­ting to know places, peo­ple and ex­pe­ri­ences I’ve never had be­fore. After work, I like go­ing to the gym and tak­ing part in sports.

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