8 December, 2022

Rosy farewell at Esk Kindy

AFTER 14 years of working at Esk & District Kindergarten, Michelle Rose bade a heartfelt farewell this week.

Esk & District Kindergarten staff member Michelle Rose with Gabby, Willow and Pania.
Esk & District Kindergarten staff member Michelle Rose with Gabby, Willow and Pania.

Michelle, or Mrs Rose as she is known to the children, had her final day on Tuesday as the Esk-based kindergarten staged its annual end-of-year concert and party day.

As usual, this special occasion featured a concert of the children’s favourite songs, gifts and certificates for the children, as well as a slideshow of photos set to music: the year in review.

“It’s always an emotional day,” Michelle said.

“You get to know the children and their families so well.

“I’m all about connections to families and building those relationships.”

Since the news broke of Michelle’s departure, there have been plenty of positive messages and well-wishers, both face-to-face and on social media.

Michelle worked in childcare in Brisbane before she moved to the Somerset area with her husband, Andrew, a little over 20 years ago.

After working at the Fernvale Fun Factory for a few years – before it became a Goodstart Early Learning Centre – Michelle had two sons before resuming work in the early education scene.

Michelle said being a parent herself “absolutely” made a positive difference to her working life, as it enabled her to “relate better to other parents”.

Michelle said she enjoyed the setting at the Esk-based kindergarten, “particularly with the beautiful outdoor play space, and its ‘Barefoot Kindy’ policy”.

“I love the process of getting to know the kids, and following their interests,” Michelle said.

“Often it’s a case of ‘let’s find a book about that, or a video. And let’s share it with the other kids’.

“They have such enquiring minds.”

For the sake of the children, Michelle said it was about the social skills they learn: getting along with their peers, sharing and turn taking; all important factors in the lead-up to starting school.

“By the time they leave (kindergarten), you can see how much they’ve grown and what they’re capable of,” she said.

With the children ranging from three to five years of age, Michelle said, “It’s important to put in the effort early to get to know each child and find out who they really are.

“That way you can get the very best out of them, and help make their kindy experience wonderful.

“Past kindy kids come to visit and they say they wish they could come back!

“That’s because there’s something about this kindy which is just magic. I’m going to miss it!”

Referring to her work colleagues, Michelle said she had been part of great teams over the years at the kindergarten, and that “it’s certainly a team effort and a collaborative practice”.

“A lot of what we do is spontaneous,” Michelle said.

“It’s being responsive to the children in the moment, and a need to be on the same wavelength as your co-workers.”

Asked about the activities she enjoyed the most, Michelle said, “I love leading the children in singing and music activities, as well as yoga and storytelling.

“These are the areas I really love.”

Michelle said she loved being part of the Esk community, and that “I do think the Esk community is something special”.

Looking at Esk & District Kindergarten’s files, Michelle said there had been more than 220 children from about 160 families during her 14 years at the place.

“There were as many as four siblings come through during my time, and we’ve had quite a few twins,” she said.

As for what’s next, Michelle said she and her husband enjoy travelling and look forward to more travelling in the near future.

But there’s a little bit of her heart which will always be at the Esk & District Kindergarten.

After all, it’s been a big part of her life for such a long time.


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