Meet Zena Badiha, Auburn Montessori Academy Centre Manager

Meet Zena Badiha, Auburn Montessori Academy Centre Manager

What has your Early Childhood Education journey looked like?

I have always wanted to work with children as I have admired and respected those who educated and cared for me in my youth. Therefore, after completing high school I enrolled to study my Diploma of Children’s Services, with the view of becoming an educator.

After completing my studies, I started working for a small day care centre in Prairiewood, where I would spend the next seven years of my career. This time was very special, as I formed strong bonds with the local families and the children I was working with each day, whilst also developing my skills as an early childhood educator.

In June 2017 I joined the team at Smithfield Montessori Academy where I discovered the wonderful Montessori philosophy. As a teacher I have always loved preparing unique learning experiences, therefore I immediately loved the tactile and engaging approach to Montessori education. I took every opportunity handed to me, as I became the Second-in-Charge and Educational Leader of the campus, allowing me to work alongside the team to create exciting projects.

This year I have accepted the role of Centre Manager at Auburn Montessori Academy. The community of staff and families have been very welcoming in my first few weeks and I am looking forward to what is to come.

What makes Montessori education so special?

The first time I entered a Montessori classroom I was in shock. After working for a play-based centre for seven years, my ideas of school readiness and learning were at a different standard, and I was amazed to find Preschoolers at Montessori Academy writing and reading sentences with ease.

In the Montessori environment children are engaged and comfortable, and learning feels like a natural extension of the daily activities, rather than being forced upon unwilling children. Also, Montessori children possess a confidence and certainty about their learning, as they have a hunger to understand the world around them.

Do you have any special projects planned for Auburn Montessori Academy?

I believe strongly in educating children about sustainable practices, and now that I’m settled into the Auburn campus, I’m ready to introduce new environmental friendly ideas.

Currently I’m focusing on creating a compost bin for the Infants area which will help the students understand the impact of our waste. I’m also in the process of introducing more natural elements into our environments, such as pot plants, and preparing the gardens for winter.

Hopefully by spring and summer we will be able to plant some delicious vegetables so we can begin harvesting our own food!