“My favourite thing is cooking with the children. And from cooking comes sustainability – how we set up the veggie patch, set up the worm farm, talk about whether something has a recycling symbol on it, and so on. Those are all life skills.
We like to teach the children skills that set them in good stead for school and later in life. For me, life skills and social niceties are important – being able to say hello and goodbye, pack your own bag, recognise what the weather’s doing, put your coat on by yourself or tidy up ready for the next person.
I watch and learn a lot. You can work out what you need at the kinder, what a particular child needs. You can plan their individual development just by watching. I often say the children are ‘my capable people’, and they are. I’ve found that young children will take whatever you set up for them and they’ll work with it, manage it, manipulate it to the best of their ability. They’ll always take what they need from it at the time.
You help children to develop confidence by establishing relationships with them. They need a sense of confidence that they can either solve a problem themselves, or negotiate, or come and say, ‘Donna, I need help’. And that will transfer to school teachers and other people in the future.
By the end of the kinder year, I like the children to be confident people in their own minds with an ability to look after others. That’s what I really want them to take away from kinder.”
– Donna Kennedy
You help children to develop confidence by establishing relationships with them.