This month, Bear Park features Paloma Reyes-Poliko, one of our dedicated teachers from our Mt Eden Centre. Paloma is committed to empowering young minds to be curious and learn through creative expression. She spares a few moments this month to discuss her experience as a Bear Park teacher for this our July teacher spotlight.
Choosing a career with Bear Park
Paloma: I was lucky enough to join Bear Park as an unqualified reliever around seven years ago. After discovering that Early Childhood Education (ECE) was a field I was passionate about, I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in ECE. During my studies, I completed my practicum placements at three different centres and I can 100% say that I definitely missed Bear Park during that time away! Bear Park has a certain way of making children, teachers and families feel at home. It is a very special place to grow as a teacher with the support received along the way.
What makes Bear Park a great place to build a long-term career in teaching?
Paloma: In my time at Bear Park, I have transitioned and developed from an unqualified teacher to registered teacher. After I was registered, I became an Assistant Supervisor and following this, I stepped into a Preschool Supervisor role. Currently, I am the Centre Manager at one of our amazing Bear Park centres…I have definitely had great opportunities in my career and am still learning so much every day.
“Bear Park has a certain way of making children, teachers and families feel at home.”
Why is it important to have the support of an experienced pedagogical mentor?
Paloma: Having support from a pedagogical mentor means that there is always support for the programme and environment that we offer our children. It is so helpful having another set of experienced eyes to challenge us further about what we are providing and to empower us, as teachers, to ensure the best possible learning environments are created for our tamariki.
The pedagogical team bring with them a lot of knowledge and are very supportive of our teaching teams. These mentors help our teachers to grow in their capacity and confidence.
How have you been supported in your career growth as a teacher?
Paloma: Bear Park really invests in its teachers. I have been lucky enough to attend the Reggio Emilia study tour in Italy in 2016, which has definitely been a highlight in my career. I have also attended bi-monthly professional development opportunities, which help me to grow in my teaching practice.
During my time at Bear Park, I have progressed from an unqualified teacher to Centre Manager and the support I have received has been amazing! Bear Park saw something within me and they haven't stopped challenging me to be the best teacher and leader I can be.
Interested in a progressive career opportunity with Bear Park? Apply for a role today!
In case you missed it, read about our June Teacher Spotlight on Juliet Smith from Bear Park Epsom