Coming back to work post-lock-down manifested some mixed emotions in me. While I looked forward to getting back into a routine, doing a job I love, I was unsure about how staff and children returning would be coping with this unusual situation. I wondered how I was going to support them through it. Returning under level 3, with only a few staff and children, gave me a glimpse into how recovering from our closure was going to unfold.
I was amazed at the resilience and adaptability of the children. Their ability to transition back into the centre far exceeded what I had imagined. Being asked to say goodbye to parents, who had been their sole comfort for the previous four or so weeks, at the front door was an unusual yet empowering concept. Most of the children confidently said their goodbyes and demonstrated a sense of excitement about the day ahead.
Returning with such a small bubble created a special circumstance where tuakana- teina relationships thrived. This, as well as a newfound sense of independence, paved the way for many of these children to transition into new rooms as our bubble expanded. For staff returning, it quickly became apparent that I was surrounded by people who were willing to embrace change and support one another. We realised that human connection is a fundamental component of our happiness. The connections we experience here with our colleagues, the children and their families are at the very heart of our passion for teaching in this setting.
I found so much joy in seeing the children coming back together again and being reunited with their friends, and us teachers again.Emma – Centre Director at Remuera
Overall, what I think we all have learnt throughout this process is that it is the simple things that matter and we need each other much more than we had previously realised.