All Carol Doran ever wanted to do in life, since attending kindergarten back in 1959, was become a kindergarten teacher!
“I loved my kindergarten teacher and have fond memories of my time at kinder. As a child, I played schools with my brother and sisters and I was always keen to be the teacher. My career has brought me much pleasure,” she adds.
After attaining a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Carol’s first job took her to a school in Zeehan (a Tasmanian mining town). Recently the Yallambie Park Preschool Nominated Supervisor was celebrated at our annual conference for completing 25 wonderful years’ service at ECMS.
After moving to Victoria in 1994 with her husband and two small children, Carol, enjoyed a short stint as a relief teacher at her daughter’s primary school before landing a role educating the 3 year old group at Yallambie Park. Five years later she took over the 4 year old position, a role she still relishes.
“Every day is different. I love building connections with the children and families and seeing the joy on a child’s face when they have mastered a skill that they have been working on,” says Carol. “I love it when children and families refer to Yallambie Park as their kindergarten. It is a wonderful feeling to be part of this very supportive community. The thing I love most is the people: the enthusiastic and dedicated team of educators, the children and their families.”
Carol sees the primary purpose of her Nominated Supervisor role as inspiring and supporting her team to use their skills and passions to provide the best possible outcomes for the children and families, in addition to acting as a bridge to the area managers and ECMS Support Services.
Away from work, Carol likes walking her Golden Retriever (Willow) through the bush near her Greensborough home, watching movies and café brunches. Sometimes she spots former pre-schoolers at the local supermarket and welcomes ex-students back to Yallambie Park for work experience.
“I haven’t yet taught the children of any child that I taught when they were at kindergarten!”
Reflecting on how things have changed over the years at Yallambie Park, Carol cites a few examples.
“We have gone from one room housing two four year old groups and one three year old group with three staff, to two rooms housing three 4 year old groups, two three year old groups and 8 staff.”
As for the children themselves, Carol appreciates they are definitely more IT savvy nowadays.
“I think technology is just another tool we can access to educate children. (But) no more important than good quality children’s literature, blocks, paper, paint or pencils,” she maintains. “I am saddened when I see phones and iPads used as baby sitters. The most precious gift we can give children is to be in the present with them, as teachers, parents, friends and advocates.”
What really excites Carol is seeing children lead their own play, being confident, inclusive, collaborative and using their imagination to extend their learning and that of those around them.
“If children have confident self-identities, know what they are good at and have the ability to seek help when they require it, can build positive, trusting relationships and see themselves as learners with a ‘have a go’ attitude, then they are well prepared to embrace the challenges of more formal primary school learning.”
As for the highlight of her time at ECMS, Carol recalls ECMS’ Trans-Tasman initiative in 2016.
“I was so proud to stand beside my seven colleagues at our graduation ceremony in Wellington, New Zealand when we received our Post Graduate Diploma in Leadership from Te Rito Maioha.”
Like many Australians separated from family for so long, hopefully another overseas trip will be soon on the horizon for Carol.
“I enjoy travelling to Japan – I’ve been there five times. My eldest daughter, Steph, lives in Osaka. I can’t wait until we can visit her again.”