New Beith educator Lauren Ferguson has been named regional winner for south Brisbane in the 2016 Excellence in Family Day Care Educator of the Year Awards.
Ms Ferguson looks after four children per day at Inspiring Minds Montessori FDC as well as doing relief teaching two days per week.
After being nominated for the award by parents in her day care, she was “completely speechless” to find out she had taken the south Brisbane prize.
“That’s the top ten in Queensland but I never really thought of it like that,” she said.
After having her own children and using the Montessori principles with them, she was inspired by their reactions to independent learning.
“I am really dedicated to providing inspiring learning environments based on the Montessori philosophy,” she said
“This means all the interactions, activities, events and experiences, spontaneous or intentional, are designed with the objectives to foster children’s learning and development.
“My time as a qualified teacher, and as a mother, has shown me for the children to acquire knowledge, they must be given the opportunity to independently discover it for themselves.
“By taking on the role of facilitator and linking the children’s learning to the national principles, outcomes and their interests I am able to promote self-discovery and autonomous thinking.”
No wanting to return to full time teaching straight away Ms Ferguson has been running the family day care for just over a year.
“There has always been something that draws me back to the family day care, it’s solved problems and things have just worked,” she said.
Ms Ferguson said she was extremely humbled to be nominated for the award and was looking forward to seeing how she compared to the other educators in the state finals.
“People tell you you are doing a great job, but to be really recognised by those early education professionals is a whole other thing,” she said.
The educator and service state winners are to be announced on 24 October, with new educator category awards being finalised this month.
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