Getting to Know … Nicole Sammut of Guardian Early Learning – Marrickville

Nicole Sammut is the Centre Manager at Guardian Early Learning – Marrickville. She brings an extensive background in early childhood education to her role. Nicole and the educators at Guardian Marrickville are committed to ensuring that the children are nurtured and encouraged to become lifelong learners and thrive in the 21st Century.
 
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been working at Guardian Marrickville for two years and have an extensive background in early childhood education.
I started my teaching career as a high school teacher before moving to early childhood education ten years ago.
I have a sister with additional needs, so this is an area I’m very passionate about. In my spare time I enjoy the opportunities I get volunteering at Special Olympic sporting events and local community events.
I’m committed to ensuring that staff and children are nurtured and encouraged to achieve their full potential. I hope that in some small way I can make a difference in the lives of people I meet!
 
What inspired you to get into early learning?
I have always had a passion for helping and mentoring others. I had been coaching gymnastics for many years so teaching felt like a good natural progression.
I attained my Bachelor of Physical and Health Education and started my teaching career as a high school teacher, but it wasn’t long until I realised that early childhood education was where I wanted to be. Ten years later here I am, still as passionate and excited as the day I started.
I love having the opportunity to impact the way children view the world, to instil in them a passion for learning that they will carry with them throughout their life. Being present during this stage of development, when children have an unencumbered curiosity and delight for life, really is privilege.
 
Can you tell us a little about Guardian Marrickville?
Guardian Marrickville is a large centre, led by our Curriculum which focuses on supporting each child’s developmental needs to help them learn, grow and explore. At Guardian, preparing children for formal schooling starts from their first day of care.
Our educators help children expand their academic and social potential and prepare children for formal schooling and beyond, encouraging skills for the 21st Century.
We view every part of the day as a learning experience, providing welcoming environments and creating learning opportunities based on the children’s individual interests.
We are fortunate to have a culturally diverse team, who have been working together for more than five years. We pride ourselves on strong family and community connections.
 
How does Guardian Marrickville prepare children for the 21st Century?
At Guardian, we prepare children for formal schooling and beyond. That means preparing each child with creativity and innovation, collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, and communication skills to thrive in the 21st Century.
Children start getting ready for school from their first day at a Guardian centre. In the older learning environments at Guardian Marrickville, children benefit from daily writing and experiences that encourage creativity, exploration and discovery, while children in the younger rooms see language and numeracy concepts as part of their everyday experience and begin to internalise each concept.
Do you have any advice for new parents?
While I am not a mother yet, I am the doting godmother of my adorable niece who lives with me, and she is my heart and soul.
My advice – buckle up. Welcome to the most exciting, challenging, life-changing ride of your life. These beautiful little people will change your world, teach you things about yourself, remind you of the joys of life you’d forgotten, keep you up all night, make you laugh so hard your tummy hurts, leave sticky finger marks everywhere; in short they will make your heart burst with love.
Enjoy the little moments, stop worrying about what everyone else’s children are doing, trying to capture everything on your phone or be the perfect parent. You will make mistakes – we all do and that’s okay. Your child thinks you are the most amazing person on earth. You are their world, so be present for every second you possibly can. They grow up so quickly.
 
Which book/podcast has inspired you recently?
I was fortunate enough to hear Dr Stuart Shanker speak at an early childhood convention earlier this year. His lecture really resonated with me and provided wonderful insight into the importance of early childhood education and brain development.
Since then I have read several of his books and regularly tune in to his podcasts. The latest book, Self-Reg:  How to help your child (and you) break the stress cycle and successfully engage with life, gives practical advice that can be used to help children engage calmly and successfully in their world.
 
Favourite places in the Inner West?
I regularly enjoy spending time at the Addison Road Community Centre, walking through the markets on a Sunday morning or looking for treasures in Reverse Garbage and Bower. At Guardian Marrickville we promote recycling and reusing items as part of our sustainable practices and often use items purchased from here as part of our daily programs. It is a wonderful place to visit with a great community spirit.
Follow this link to book in a time to tour Guardian Marrickville and chat with Nicole about the approach to 21st Century learning at Guardian Marrickville.
 
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