Heida Siguradardottir, Toddler Teacher
My Co-op story
I began my journey at the Co-op as a parent of 4 children who all grew up at the Co-op. As a student paretnt I worked as a co-oping parent for a few years but towards the end of my studies started working as a student assistant teacher. I began working as a Co-lead teacher in the younger classrooms (ages 8 weeks to 3 years) at the Co-op in 1999 which makes this year my 20th year at the Co-op. The blend of philosophies we are inspired by at the Co-op match my own teaching philosophies and they, preceded by my love of children, are the biggest reasons for me to work at the Co-op this long. The research aspect of the Reggio philosophy is probably what inspires me the most. Being able to learn along with children, finding ways to facilitate them in their learning through their own research and documenting the process for parents makes every day joyful and allows me to engage in deep reflections and learning with the children, as well as with my colleges at the Co-op.
My philosophy for working with children
I believe strongly that children are members of our society and as such have the same rights as any other member. They have a right to live healthy, a right to a voice, a right to be challenged, a right to learn freely and a right to be loved and respected. I believe that children, from the day they are born, have knowledge, courage, imagination and ability, each in their own way. It is our role as educators to support them in discovering and expressing who they are. We do that by providing children with environments and materials that inspire further inquiry and challenge them to dig deeper in their explorations. I believe that we, adults, can learn a lot by observing children at work, individually as well as in their negotiations with others. I believe that much of the world does not see children as citizens and does not understand their abilities and strengths and view my role as an advocate for children, to publish children’s work for others to see, to make known their knowledge and their strength and their kindness.
By fostering children’s already open minds, strength, creativity and kindness we support them on their journey as the world’s citizens.