Jamie-Lee’s passion for early years education developed when she was working part time in a private pre-school in her hometown - Cape Town, South Africa. The school encouraged play-based learning, and opportunities for children to ask questions, which she strongly believes in. She obtained her Bachelor of Education Degree at Embury Institute for Teacher Education, and is passionate about encouraging children to discover their unique gifts and talents from an early age. She is also committed to lifelong learning and enjoys attending professional development courses. Jamie is an avid sports fan and enjoys underwater hockey, hiking and soccer.
We find out more from Jamie in this exclusive interview!
1. How long have you been teaching at EtonHouse?
I have been teaching the Kindergarten class at EtonHouse for the last two years, and I love it!
2. What inspired you to become a pre-school teacher?
My pre-school teacher, Miss Van Der Walt, used to make me feel so loved and valued as a child. She encouraged us to be creative, curious and ask questions - something I strive to implement in my own teaching. She inspired me to be a pre-school teacher as the early years are important in children's development - a time when their immense potential of achieving great things is discovered.
3. What do you love most about teaching?
There are many aspects of teaching that I love, such as getting to know the children's unique personalities, observing how they grow and building on what the children are interested in. One of the best parts is going on excursions with the children - I love seeing them in awe of their surroundings!
4. What is your favorite spot in your classroom and why?
I enjoy having individual time with the children, so one of my favorite spaces would be the circle mat in my classroom where I can read with them, connect and spend precious time with them.
5. Most memorable moment in your years of teaching?
There are so many, but one of my favorite moments is when I see past students outside the school and they come up to give me a big hug. It means the world to me! I'm so proud to see how they have grown up so beautifully.
6. A quote/saying/belief that inspires you? How does it inspire you?
Maya Angelou once said, “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” I keep this quote close to my heart, as I believe it is fundamental to being a good teacher. The people who impacted me the most made me feel valued and that I could achieve anything I put my mind to.
7. Top 3 favourite children’s books?
- 'Please, Mr Panda' by Steve Antony - Children identify easily with the humor and the quirky characters.
- 'Not A Stick' by Antoinette Portis - Children are encouraged to explore their own ideas and possibilities.
- 'The Cat in the Hat' by Dr Seuss - I love how children get to learn about rhyming words in such a fun and quirky way!
8. How do you think parents can best support their children in the early years or education?
The best way parents can support the early years of their child’s development is to read to them daily, consistently offer them cuddles and words of love, and make time to listen to your child when they communicate their thoughts, ideas and dreams.
Book a school tour at EtonHouse International Pre-School Hong Kong and have a chat with Jamie.