Growth Award Winner ~ Noelle Tsang, Centre Manager at Macquarie Park Montessori Academy

When did you start working in the Early Childhood Education Industry?

I’ve been in the early childhood industry for five years and I have thoroughly loved the journey it has been so far.

After finishing university, my original graduate job didn’t live up to my expectations, as I wanted to work in a dynamic and growing industry.

I decided to retrain, and study a Masters of Early Childhood (0-8) at Flinders University, as I loved the idea of helping to educate young children.

Whilst I was a student, I enjoyed my first taste of life as a teacher, being a Special Needs Support Educator at a child care centre in Adelaide. This was challenging time, as I struggled to communicate with the child in my care who had hearing difficulties. However, after mastering a few basic sign language words, our relationship grew instantly stronger.

This experience taught me that the early childhood industry is not always easy. It does require you to be persistent and creative as an
educator, but it is a rewarding experience seeing your students fulfilling their development goals!

When did you begin working at Montessori Academy?

Macquarie Park Montessori Academy in 2015, and I am still at this campus. I was originally the Preschool Room Leader, specifically helping the children with their school-readiness program.

Over the past three years I have progressed to different roles, including Educational Leader, Second in Charge, and finally Centre Manager at Macquarie Park. As you can imagine, I am deeply invested in our campus community, and have loved partnering with our students and families over the years.

What initially attracted you to the Montessori Philosophy?

I first heard about Montessori education in one of my Masters subjects called ‘Teaching Methodologies’. Our lecturer showed us a video
of children working quietly with specially-made learning materials in the Montessori classroom, the majority of whom were learning individually or in small groups.

I was particularly mesmerized by the image of a four-year-old student completing multiplication activities, something I had previously considered an activity for primary school aged children. Since then, I have always wanted to know more about the magic behind the Montessori education.

When the opportunity arose to be trained as a Montessori educator at Montessori Academy I was excited to apply, as I wanted to find out how I could help children learn complex concepts at such a young age. In the past three years I have loved getting to experience firsthand how the Montessori curriculum can help children of all ages achieve their personal potential.

What do you enjoy about your new role as a Centre Manager?

As a Centre Manager, my focus extends beyond a specific age group, as I get to plan and assist the all Room Leaders with preparing their weekly programs.

My personal education philosophy encompasses Doctor Maria Montessori’s belief that children benefit from mutli-aged learning environments, so I enjoy incursions and group times which bring together the Toddler and Preschool classes, allowing the students to interact and form relationships with one another.

Also, although I am a Centre Manager, I make sure I am still in the classrooms each day. My previous managers and mentors led by example, and I am excited that I now have the opportunity to do this myself for my staff team. I ensure I spend a good deal of my morning in one of our classrooms, helping the educators during the Montessori work cycle, and also
supervising during different group time activities. I also include myself on cleaning rosters and helping with ratio, as this is an expectation for all staff!

Finally, what is your favourite Montessori quote?

“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to teach child the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities.”