“I’ve always felt that I’ve got a connection with children and they have a connection with me. Often I’m out somewhere and a child will turn and smile at me and speak to me. I don’t know why, maybe I’ve got an aura. But I know that I’m doing what I love and what I should be doing and that makes it easy.

Working with young children takes a lot of emotional energy. A lot of thought and care goes into it. You need to be reflective of what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, or whether you could be doing it better.

Kinder is about the holistic child. When my four-year-olds start kinder they’re like little buds and as the year goes on they open up into huge, bright flowers with confidence – with a love of learning. School readiness is important too, and when they finish kinder, I want them to have the confidence to go to the teacher at school and say, ‘I need help’, or say to another child, ‘Stop, I don’t like what you’re doing to me’.

I think I bring together the good in the old and the good in the new to make a balanced program. It’s play based, but there’s a more structured program where children are encouraged to sit and work on literacy, numeracy, cutting skills, those sorts of things. At the same time, we make sure those activities are related to those children’s interests.

For me, the best bit is when I meet a child I’ve taught many years ago and they come up to me and give me a hug. That’s fabulous.”

– Sue Johnson

My four-year-olds are like little buds and they open up into huge bright flowers with confidence.