- Graduate Diploma Early Childhood, 2011
Melindie was working in counselling and pharmacy before deciding to do her graduate degree in Early Childhood Education. Fast forward five years and Melindie wins an Australian Family Early Childhood Education and Care Award for Victoria for her role as educational leader at an early learning centre on the Mornington Peninsula.
The centre Melindie worked in serves a low socio-economic community. The early years program was designed in response to children in the area being developmentally behind the rest of the state by the time they start school. Melindie and her team worked with the community to help these children reach more developmental goals through conversational reading, learning games and enriched caregiving.
Melindie worked intensively with staff to develop a professional learning community, and a collaborative approach to teaching and learning. As a team, the lead teachers explored current research and assessment data ensuring the needs of all children were met. This led to the development of a cohesive team that recently received a mayoral commendation.
Studying a Graduate Diploma in Education at Monash complemented Melindie’s work in the classroom.
“The studies really reinforced the values and beliefs I was acquiring and gave me the theoretical foundation to really challenge myself to look and think more deeply about teaching and what effective teaching and educational leadership looked like,” she says.
“I felt that even though I was studying on line, the lecturers made themselves available to answer questions, to provide feedback and to clarify anything that I was uncertain about.”
The assignments Melindie completed during her studies allowed her to further explore areas specific to her interest.
Melindie has recently moved centres and begun a new journey of transformational change. Once again, she is working with colleagues to develop an innovative and proactive approach to early childhood.
Seeing children have ‘a-ha’ moments make Melindie’s hard work worthwhile. Her career goal is that all children develop a love of learning and are resilient and confident. She would like to someday be a change agent for the profession, and would love to see the sector receive more recognition and support for the important role it plays.
Melindie’s advice to future educators is to think outside of the box.
“Also try to have a group of supporters that you can seek advice from and bounce ideas off,” she says.