I am Pat, and the Centre Manager at Rabbit Patch, Saffron Street. I graduated from Christchurch College of Education in 1999 with a Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education). Before returning to teaching in 2006 I spent considerable time as a parent exploring educational settings in Christchurch that would be a special place for my two girls and also one that aligned with my values as a teacher. I found Rabbit Patch, enrolled my girls, fortuitously got offered a teaching position, and happily have been with Rabbit Patch ever since. Originally teaching at Rabbit Patch, Memorial Avenue, for five years, before moving to Rabbit Patch, Saffron Street, where I have been the Centre Manager for seven years. Over the last nine years I have been extremely fortunate and privileged to have travelled extensively, visiting Reggio Emilia inspired preschools and schools. I have visited and had the opportunity to learn and collaborate in some of the most renowned preschools in Melbourne, Brisbane, England, Reggio Emilia on two occasions, and the United States several times. Most recently returning from Santa Monica in March, 2018, where I attended a week long practicum exploring the Role of the Atelierista and Atelier. I have cherished spending time in dialogue and exchange with other Practitioners and the connections we have made with some truly inspiring schools. With many wonderful, in depth Professional Development opportunities, inspiring and consolidating our practise, I believe we are able to offer the highest quality and most innovative teaching programmes to our children here at Rabbit Patch.
I am a strong believer in advocating for our children and my own personal philosophy is viewing each child as unique, full of beauty and spirit and embracing their rich curiosity for exploring and making sense of the world around them. I am in awe of the children’s boundless thirst in the wonder of learning and their use of their hundred languages to uncover and represent their vast array of ideas and knowledge. I am also fond of challenging myself and looking for deeper meaning in uncovering what the children do. I am open to learning and have a particular fondness for the arts and children using open-ended materials and loose parts, promoting children to develop high levels of critical thinking and creativity and exploring the endless possibilities of discovery in the process.
In my spare time (which is not very often with two active teenagers) I take the opportunity to go for walks, spend time with my family, watch my girls on the side line of the netball court and various other sporting codes, cooking, family holidays and reading. I am passionate about keeping up to date with current literature around early childhood education and actively follow trends, particularly overseas that can be implemented here in our early childhood context. I thoroughly enjoy being part of the Rabbit Patch Team and being able to spend quality time learning alongside the children and teachers at Rabbit Patch. Every day is different and I usually find myself surprised or in awe of something that has been revealed by the children when spending time in the classroom!