Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With OSHC Teacher Andrew Xu by Mike Prochaska
Q. How did you get into this field?
“I am keen on working with children and believe that kindergarten teachers are very important in one’s whole life. There is an old saying, ‘As the boy is, so is the man.’ I really want to help children exploring the world.”
Q. What do you see as the advantages of having a male teacher?
“For other staff, [a] male teacher could help with some work that normally a child’s dad would do as a volunteer, such as setting up environment, preparing the important event and even repairing equipment in the kindy. For children, it would be a good chance for them to build a good understanding of gender stuff. Male teachers are more likely to integrate sports/video games into children’s play, which might hold some children’s interests.”
Q. What's your favorite memory working with kids?
“When I was doing my second bilingual support in a kindy, [one] boy was so anxious when mum left the kindy after dropping him off in the morning. After two weeks, we built close relationships and the boy stopped crying as soon as he saw me in the morning. One day his dad dropped him off for the first time and I heard the boy crying when I walked into the kindy. He stopped crying and [went] to play when he saw me. His mum said to his dad, ‘See? I said Andrew is the magic to stop our boy crying.’”
Q. Why is play important for children?
“Play is the natural way children explore the world. Not only the human being, baby animals also learn from play, so we should not take the most important thing away from children. Also, children play [with] what they are interested in and interests stimulate learning.”
Q. Anything inspiring to tell anyone thinking of going into this field?
“Children need male teachers in the kindy and they love to have a male teacher.”