Work experience student Kim Hirose relished the opportunity to meet highly experienced teachers when he attended the IEU’s ECS Council meeting recently.
Each year the IEU offers work experience in community leadership to a student teacher from the Western Sydney University Master of Teaching (birth to five years) course.
Kim already has a teaching degree from his native Japan for school age students, and he said he had enjoyed learning the different style of teaching for younger children.
“People think because it’s play we are not teaching, but in fact it is teaching using play as a base,” Kim said.
“I find teaching young children very interesting, and the cultural diversity where I teach is great.”
Kim teaches two days a week at a long day care centre in the heart of Sydney CBD.
When he has finished his course he may be able to get sponsorship from his employer to stay in Australia and work as a full time teacher.
Kim is one of only two males on his course.
“I don’t feel isolated, as everyone is very friendly. But I would like there to be more males. I think the low salary is the problem.”
Low salary for early childhood teachers is a problem not unique to Australia. Kim said Japan has the same problem.
During his 30 hours with the IEU, Kim plans to look into funding issues, and find out how it affects services.
He wants to interview a centre director about how funding affects them, as well as IEU organisers, for the assignment he needs to complete on community leadership.
“I really like this opportunity to meet lots of experienced people and get an idea about what is happening across the community.
“When you work in a centre you only think about what’s going on there every day.”