Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Preschool Teacher Jonathan Caulfield From Ireland by Mike Prochaska

Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Preschool Teacher Jonathan Caulfield From Ireland

Jonathan Caulfield, from Waterford, Ireland, works at Play Together Childcare. He is a preschool leader in the morning and school-age supervisor in the evening. Read on to learn more about Jonathan...

Q. What are the advantages of being a man in Early Childhood Education? What do men bring to classroom?

"This is a tricky one because personally I do not see an advantage to being a man in Early Childhood Education. because if you are good at your job and have a passion for it then whether you are a man or woman shouldn't make a difference. However, I do bring a different way of thinking into the classroom. I obviously have a different approach then my female colleagues. I think it is great for children to have a mix of male and female positive role models whom they know care for them in the setting."

Q. Why is play important for children?

"Play is where children learn a lot of valuable skills and lessons. Play is where they learn and improve their early social skills through their interactions with their peers. With play they will learn through new experiences. Mostly, though, when children play they are having fun and at this age children should have as much fun and joy and laughter in their life as possible."

Q. What about outside play?

"Outside play is very important, especially nowadays with children spending hours and hours on technology at home and not playing outside as much. Therefore, it is very important that while they are in our care that we have them outside as much as possible regardless of the weather. I love watching children playing outside in the mud and dirt, using climbing frames and swinging and sliding, etc. It's good healthy fun." 

Q. Why is it important to get kids into nature? 

"I think all children should learn about nature from an early age. It will influence them to respect, love and care about all things nature as they grow up."

Q. What is your favorite memory working with kids?

"Very tough question. Not a day goes by that I don't have a new favorite memory or story to tell from working with them. I suppose one that stands out is from my first year of working with children. I arrived to work on my birthday to find that all the children had worked hard on a birthday booklet for me with all their hands and feet prints and messages inside, and they were genuinely excited to see me to show me their present and we had cake and a party (cake is very common in this profession, it's always someone's birthday). That is a memory that stands out."

Q. What's your favorite book to read to the classroom?

"I honestly prefer the old-style ladybird books. The children seem to prefer those stories."

Q. What are your favorite activities to do with your kids? 

"I love anything art and crafty. There is no item that we can not find a way to reuse for an art activity in some way shape or form. I also love to teach them some dance. Great fun and an even better exercise."

Q. Anything inspiring to tell anyone thinking of going into this field?

"If you are truly passionate about this career, it will be very fulfilling and rewarding and you will look forward to each new day with your children. It is by no stretch of the imagination an easy job. You have to give 100 percent all the time. If you think it is going to be easy you are in for a massive reality check. The job will get tough. You will get tired, but try not lose your fun spirit. The children look forward to seeing you each day so give them something nice to remember at the end of it."

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